I confess: I sometimes like to answer bizarre questions.

Why don’t white people realize that I don’t want them bothering me?

…as answered on Quora….

I am a white person. I am answering this question. Does that bother you?

If it does, it is not my fault. While one might not unreasonably infer you only want answers from P.o.C., you are not explicit, and it is more than likely that Quora itself provides a socially recognized venue constituting the one safe space in which you might interact with people you apparently dislike (“whites”) without being bothered.

So I have the temerity of answering.

Most white people in America are not very racist, and many of them are (or, until recently, were) at least trying not to be racist. Indeed, many white Americans voted for Barack Obama not merely to signal their lack of racism, but also in an earnest attempt to encourage racial peace. But that did not work out at all well (Obama having fanned the flames of racial grievances), so quite a few seem to be giving up on trying.

But look at that word, again, “bother.”

I do not want to be bothered by anyone! White, black, brown or purple. I bet you do not want to be bothered by anyone either. Being bothered is a negative condition.

I am sort of wondering why anyone would express their dislike of being bothered by limiting it to people of one race. It suggests that you are pretty darned tolerant of bothersome P.o.C, but not at all of bothersome whites.

And that is racist.

But maybe not horribly racist.

I have come to believe that racism, no matter how irrational it looks from a universalistic moral point of view, has not evolved in a singular way to play upon the social sphere of life as WHOLLY EVIL. Some forms of racism are worse than others. And maybe the most common form is best thought of in terms of “bothersomeness.” I know that I expect people to be open enough (empathic enough) to be well-mannered in most social situations; I merely assume that my presence alone will not bother them. I expect others to have my basic attitude: to be open to peaceful relations with anyone, and tolerant of social contact while we negotiate the extent of our future involvement, if any. Most of us will ignore each other most of the time. But when, in the course of the day, we do bump up against each other and find oursleves sharing a temporary social space, we expect each other to be, at worst, rejected with grace. Not in anger, hatred, revulsion.

Perhaps the most common form of racism is not expecting that attitude from other races, but only of one’s own — or, worse yet, not expecting minimal civilized courtesy and forbearance of members of one race, while assuming it of all others.

I fear that, in the last decade or so, a number of prominent political groups (far left and alt-right) have abandoned the moral goal of establishing that minimal social more. Their onslaught of airing racial grievances, I fear, is upping the levels of racial discord.

And that is more than bothersome.