Thanks, Wade, for that comment. I've been meaning to reply for days now, but my response started taking up so much space that I drafted it into a post instead - "Note to a White Supremacist Commenter" or some such. It's typical of my predicament these days, however, that I just can't take the time to do it right, and, if it's not rightly doable, on a matter such as this one, it's almost always better not done. I'll just paste the conclusion here, reserving the right to revise and extend:

What I have found inexcusable, and delete-able, in several of your comments, and found difficult to excuse in commenter Sully's four years ago, has never been that either of you thought the wrong thoughts, or, a different thing, that you chose to express them. We all have wrong thoughts, and even to be aware of a wrong thought without ever consciously attributing to it a possibility of being a right thought will still always to some degree mean trying it on like a costume and viewing oneself in the mental mirror. The fiercely judgmental conduct of some anti-racists, anti-bigots, and assorted other lower order tyrants of the Kingdom of God, as many will sooner or later acknowledge, will tend to originate in their own vexation with themselves over their own reflexes - the painful familiarity of that image looking back at them.

I strongly suspect, for instance, that the interlocutor whom you sought to insult, longtime friend of this blog b-psycho, who in the event proved himself superior to your slights, may very well reflexively dislike white people. According to your own theory, he ought to do so, since he is not one of them. Furthermore, as perhaps ought to go without saying, under any conventional reading of American history, there is plentiful reason for an individual of African American descent to dislike the members of every other designated racial or ethnic group, and, of course, to dislike "whites" especially, and most especially to dislike whites who have been known to suggest that "blacks" on balance ought to be grateful rather than angry.

More generally, we can take as understood, as read, that everyone to the extent he or she is aware of any identity at all, experiences this awareness as a regime of preferences, many of them reflexive, or, again, as ineradicable, self-sustaining passions realized as prejudice: To the extent I love ice cream, I tend to derogate broccoli and even cake. To the extent I identify as an American, I will tend to derogate all other nationalities, even the ones which I may in one or another important regard, conceivably in every regard, judge more worthy of admiration than my own. To imagine oneself to be an American or Thai or Cretan, or white or black or mixed, or male or female or other, or Christian or Muslim, or straight or gay, and so on, endlessly, is to imagine groups to which one belongs, whose interests and fate will tend to bear upon one's own particular interests or fate, whose honor or shame will be to one's own honor or shame. This relationship is inherent and definitional. I might, conceivably, consider Canadians or Indonesians superior on average in moral temperament or intelligence or other admirable qualities than Americans, but the simple fact will remain that a threat addressed to Canadians will be of less interest to me as an American than a threat addressed to Americans. The same may or perhaps must be true, tautologically, for every other such criterion or index. Identity is in this sense another word for index of perceived unique or particular meaning, including perceived unique or separate vulnerability as well as perceived unique or separate advantage.

In this sense prejudice would simply be a given: We are prejudiced to the extent we "are" at all. The question is whether one's prejudices lead one to engage in blameworthy acts, including blameworthy speech acts. In the context of any serious or would-be serious inquiry into right and wrong, a refusal to consider the moral implications of one's own statements defeats the entire purpose of the exercise, or turns it into an exercise in hypocrisy: We start out claiming to seek a truth of moral significance, or to assert some hypothesis of general import, and instead are found, back in the mirror, reciting the same old lines, in the same old way, to the same old low purposes, heedless of the effect on others, or with a petty intent to insult or injure them. I reject any notion that a commitment to free inquiry obligates me to provide a forum for verbal attacks on my friends, or on strangers, on anyone at all, and by extension on myself or my reputation. Such conduct always undermines or destroys the possibility of free inquiry, at best provides counterexamples in relation to any authentic free inquiry, and otherwise has nothing to do with it as far as I can tell.

Now, back to work for me.