Recently, I read a series of novels that were written for and about Boy Scouts in the early 1900s, and have begun reading another (by a different author) that was written in 1922. While it is clearly not the intention of either of the authors to be hateful, some of the words and phrases that were used were very racist, although I would bet the authors never considered themselves to be so. Both series take place in New England, the last in Maine. Neither were placed in the South. This was before my time, but racism was so ingrained in society that these phrases were apparently commonplace. Phrases like, "That's very white of you," in reference to something good that someone had done and, in another case, "He's as white as anyone," when the person being referred to is said to be an okay guy. I have heard these phrases before but only used sarcastically, and not as a regular form of speech. I grew up in the UP of Michigan however, an area where there were no black people. We did use the rhyme, "Eeny, meeny, miny, moe, which used the "n" word, but I don't think I even realized that it referred to black people. "Eeeny," "meeny," "miny," and "moe" didn't mean anything in particular, so I wasn't looking for meaning in the rhyme. I don't think I was aware of racism but, of course, I didn't have to be. I certainly didn't hate anyone based on their race and saw no reason to think that someone was less of a person based on the color of their skin. That just didn't make sense. Yet some of the language was there, even in the early 1970s. Then, when I was in college, I had a black roommate. Backing up just a bit, when I was registering, I was asked if I had any objections to having a black roommate and I thought the question was odd. Anyhow, at one point, he brought in a bag of Brazil nuts. Since I wasn't too crazy about the things anyhow, I had never bothered to learn the real name for them, so I had to ask him what he called them. His answer surprised me. "I've always called them nigger toes." "Maybe we should try to find something else to call them." "Brazil nuts will do."