It amazes me how anything related to race makes some people feel so uptight and defensive. CNN has a story today (Jan. 9) on its Web site related to a race-based experiment conducted by Science, a professional journal. The CNN article was titled, “You may be more racist than you think, study says.” The study was designed to take a closer look at the racist feelings that exist inside of some people and how people react to something that is subtly racist more than overtly racist. It was an interesting story, to some extent, but there was nothing groundbreaking in the story or the study. I doubt there was much of anything in the article or study surprising except some of the conclusions about how many people the study indicated have, show or tolerate things that are racist. Here is the passage, “More recent work by Greenwald and colleagues shows that most people — between 75 and 80 percent — have implicit, non-overt prejudices against blacks.” That surprised me and I would want to see more information in regard to the study about what is and is not considered racist. But, with the experiment described in the study, I think the racism was fairly obvious, yet a large number of the people who participated in the study were not so bothered by the racist language and behavior. Now, as is the case with many online stories I read, I was interested in the reader comments. I knew that a number of people would go immediately on the defensive with regard to the story. A large number of respondents criticized the fact that there was no study of black-on-white racism. Some went hysterical and said the conclusion was that all whites are apparently racist, according to the study. It amazed me that some people could read that article and be more bothered by the fact they saw no study of black-on-white racism or some other form of racism. Apparently, some people were more bothered by that than the use of the N-word. It seems you have to be pretty moved by an item or items you’ve read to post something on a message board (even though you are mostly anonymous). Why were some people more bothered by the lack of different studies than the use of racist slurs? That, quite frankly, is puzzling to me. The article should make all of us think about the prejudices that may exist inside of us. It may be prejudices against blacks, Latinos, Asians, whites, immigrants (sometimes code for Latinos), gays, lesbians, trans gender and more that may exist inside of us. We need to examine those feelings without going nuclear and becoming uptight and defensive.