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I think part of reaching a truly mature understanding of politics and the impact of sensitive, controversial, and divisive subjects like race, is reaching an understanding of why and how otherwise decent people can come to hold beliefs you find abhorrent. my younger self, and it seems in similar way you, would have found it irreconcilable to think that people with opposing beliefs to my own might have an equally valid position, but morality is entirely relative.
i think i reached a kind of self-discovery during a debate about cultural imperialism. would it be wrong of the west to intervene in a country such as saudi arabia, where a great many things we would see as human rights abuses are just part of daily life? the present day mainstream western aversion to race issues can be perceived as nothing more than a wish to stuff the issue in the back of a cupboard, out of sight and out of mind; and like white people always have done, we feel like we have the right and the duty to impose our way of thinking on everyone.
i'm not saying you should have let your uncle be racist, but i reckon you might find it easier to interpret and navigate those situations if you give some consideration to how the mind of a racist works, without the presupposition that they are indeed just a nasty old racist. i've spent time with many people of different ethnic persuasions over the years, thanks to working in places full of asians or living in areas of high immigration- and the one thing they all seem to have in common is a much less precocious attitude about race than your average middle class white person, who is terrified that they might one day do or say something that could be seen that way, and expresses shock or concern on other people's behalf.
i'm not sure where i was going with this so i'm saging.