Have you lately felt disinclined to engage strangers of another race or ethnicity in any kind of conversation? Say in a locker room or sharing waiting space. We bring this up because we have found ourselves cutting these interactions short. Instead of following “good morning” with “how’s your day going”, it ends withe first salutation. At the heart of the reluctance is the real fear of inadvertently sayings or doing something the other person might find offensive. In these days of “code words” and “dog whistles” it’s almost impossible to keep up with what might offend somebody. If you’re not the one inadvertently offending, you might be the one offended and feel compelled to stand up. Better to dodge a possible confrontation.
Now some people advise if you find yourself in a situation of offending someone possibly because you weren’t properly “woke”, apologize immediately and if asked to do something to rectify the situation, do it. Forget this puts you at the mercy of what someone else thinks and your side isn’t heard. If you offend someone your reasons and explanation are immaterial. Unfortunately this can lead to some bizarre situations.