They were all as southern redneck as you could get, house was decked with guns, weed, cocaine... Here I am just a suburb kid from Atlanta.
The point is.... They were the least racist people out there, the black roommate was best friends with one other, and we had large groups of people both white and black come in very often. They didn't hang out with any Asians or Latinos though.
Racism is a joke to them... no one takes it seriously, it's not something that was actually there. It's really down to earth. That group of people was WAAAAAYYYY too intense for me, but it was an interesting window.
The only places where you'll see racism is random old families that have been sheltered since the civil war.... and since the've been sheltered, you won't be seeing them around very much.
I've noticed a lot of times people are quick to jump the conclusions... Like I remember one day I was at a bar my sophomore year at a different college. This bouncer threw and punched this scrawny black guy out of this dance club.... my best friend (( who is Black, and yes, I've slept over his parents house before, and he IS the best friend I have)) Instantly disapproved what was going on, he assumed that the violence against the black was happening because he was black and the big bouncer white dude wanted to execute his anger on the gangsta dude.
But in reality... we had no idea what had happened before what caused this reaction, we had no idea of the issue that was going on.... but it was already assumed by someone who was black(my friend) that that was what was going on.
At the time I didn't say or do anything but say, "we don't know what's going on man" and we moved along to try to get into the club.
In ALL my time living in the South, 23 years... I have only encountered 1.... only ONE racist family.... and that was my ex-girlfriend of four years' family. They were from middle of nowhere Florida, had a large traditional family that was very sheltered for any kind of multiculturalism... and the younger generations of the family were drastically less racist, going on down.... and my Gf was not.
Although my family is not Southern, growing up here I've learned a lot about Southern culture... and they are people who believe in hard work and tough love. The Farming culture stems from the early philosophies of Thomas Jefferson, with strong independent responsibility, self-sustaining people. If you are not self-sustaining, not responsible, not hard-working, not tough.... this goes directly against a lot of core southern values.
Southerners are also realist... they don't care about hurting your feelings on issues... they will call out the elephant in the room. They are very aware of the slickness of political manipulation.
I really like the south and it's people and culture... I do not consider myself one, because I was raised in rich suburbs of Atlanta from a family that moved down from the north.
I have seen racism... The most racism I have seen actually is from Asians...The Asian cultures are of the most racist in my experience.... and the African American community would be second. It's the whole thing of "I don't feel comfortable unless I'm in a group of my own kind"....
That's the worst attitude.... EVER....I've been to dozens of parties where I was the only White guy... sure it can be weird at first, but I just embraced it and had fun and made friends.
The last year of college I had, I hung out with Indian people the most... I feel like I have a really unique perspective on this issue.
When you're paranoid about racism.... you'll magically start seeing it everywhere, even where it's not. The south is down to earth, and no more or less racist than any other place if we are talking about the mainstream people you'll be interacting with. The KKK didn't start in the south either.