I know that I live in a part of the country where racism of the more genteel variety flourishes. Beatings are rare and the more genteel racists deplore them. Out loud. I generally bite my tongue and change the subject, because enlightening the ignorant seems to be pretty much impossible.
If, however, the statement is too egregious then I tend to lose control of my mouth and say something along the lines of "You know, that's just ignorant"
"No, really. I mean that your statement is simply not true. You don't have the facts. Did you know that the vast majority of folks on welfare are white?" Or other similarly pointless remarks, because those folks just know that they are right.
I won't try to pretend that I don't have any personal biases, but these myths that any particular minority group shares the same character flaws just bug the hell out of me.
It is particularly unwise to follow up your ignorant statement with "I'm not a racist. I'm just stating a fact."
And when I've been awake for more than 36 hours, you are truly playing with fire if you try to go there. I did warn him.
I'm pretty sure he thinks I'm the ignorant one, because after all, he stood up for a minority co-worker when the chips were down and he even called the co-worker "Mr." when he talked to him. He couldn't possibly be racist, could he?
I probably should have just walked away when he started. I doubt I accomplished anything.