I am about as unrepresentative as one can get in understanding prejudice. I come from NH, where, when I was growing up, I had met about 10% of all the black people within 5 years of my age in the entire state. My memory being what it is, I can still name a good portion of those. I did go to college in Virginia, and NH has had more minorities move here over the last decades, but still…
Second, my ongoing experience of both the minority populations and those who are prejudiced against them comes from working at a psychiatric hospital – heavily weighted toward those from other countries (patients and staff) or other regions of the country at minimum. Plus a Sudanese church. Thus, about half the black people I know are from Africa, which I think is an unusually high percentage for an American.
Lastly, much of my experience of candid and explicit prejudice comes from the non-American context of Romanian attitudes toward Roma, or gypsies. This fits far better with my reading from across time and place of what human bigotry, rather than American prejudice, is really like. It was quite a surprise to me, once I posed myself the question, to discover that the US is likely the least racist country in the world. The Canadians may do a touch better, but the words “First Nations” should keep them in check, and the bigger cities aren’t quite so international festival as one would expect. Hell, they can’t even get along with the Quebecois. Europeans? Say the word “gypsy.” Now add in the problems of imported workers and poorly-assimilated colonials. Latin America? It’s a continuum instead of sharp lines, but lighter-skinned people rule darker-skinned ones pretty much throughout. Scandinavia is giving it the old college try, moving from being nations where everyone is fifth cousins (still true outside the cities) to absorbing significant new, deeply unrelated populations. But they haven’t done well historically with Saami or Jews, and I’m not giving them credit in advance just because they think I should. Norway is still a pretty antisemitic place.
Perhaps all this gives me a clearer perspective, perhaps it skews my views to uselessness. Just so you know it’s different.