I've always appreciated a story my dad once told us kids. He said when he and my mom got married (mid 60s) he invited an older black neighbor to the reception. He was just a nice guy who had always treated the neighborhood kids well, and since my dad liked him he sent him an invitation. The man showed up... with tears in his eyes! It was the first time anyone from the nearly all-white neighborhood had invited him to something like that, despite the fact that he had lived there for quite some time. It wasn't something my dad did with much thought; he just invited people he considered friends.
And it made me glad I grew up in the time and place I did and for the way I was taught to respect others regardless of race. But it made me wonder, what if I had grown up in a time and place when racism was normal and accepted for white folks? How would I act and what choices would I make? After all, those people who neglected to invite my dad's neighbor weren't bad people - quite the opposite, in fact: some very good salt-of-the-earth people - but they were a product of their time and place. I just hope that if I'd been in such a time and place I'd have had the courage to look beyond race and skin color and be both kind and courageous... and I hope that I am always that way in the here and now.