As many of you know, I have written farily extensively about racism - especially given my experience helping to raise and house a couple of black young men. The following are just some random thoughts that crossed my mind as I thought again about this topic:
1) Unfortunately, judging people who are different as inferior is one of the most deeply ingrained "natural (wo)man" tendencies in existence. It has always been so, and it is so deeply ingrained that it is extremely hard to recognize, much less root out.
2) One of my oldest son's favorite songs is called "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist" - by Avenue Q. [There is a bit of language that some might find offensive in the clip I'm linking, so decide whether or not you want to watch it. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9CSnlb-ymA)] It's pretty instructive, imo.
3) As someone who has housed and helped raise more than one young black man in a predominantly white area, I think I understand the overall issue as well as a middle-aged white man can. My own experience with racism saddens me deeply, but it has helped me understand and gain charity as much as any other topic has. I also think the LDS Church is far more progressive right now in terms of racial practices than most people recognize - and much more than the vast majority of still-segregated Protestant churches I observed when I lived in the Deep South.
4) The last part of #3 really is a truly amazing paradox. We still have a ways to go - and a LONG way for some individual members, but, institutionally, we have come much further than many realize.