Many had hoped that when the United States elected a black man as president, it meant America was becoming a less racist nation.
Unfortunately, the election of Barack Obama as president six years ago actually seems to have had the opposite effect. The tables have turned so completely that 49 percent of Republicans believe that blacks are racist but only 11 percent feel that whites are racist.
This past year has given the country many opportunities to address this trend.
Around this time last year, George Zimmerman was on trial for killing Trayvon Martin. The U.S. justice system has a long, inglorious history of treating black Americans differently than their white counterparts.
And were it not for the failure of the system in this case, most Americans would never have heard the names George Zimmerman or Trayvon Martin. Instead the police let a man who admitted to shooting a teenager to death walk free. This failure led to national media attention from various groups looking to shine a light on racial inequality, while conservatives took to the airwaves to paint African Americans as inherently criminal, using terms like "black on black crime," despite all of the data to the contrary.
Shortly after the George Zimmerman trial started, chef Paula Deen testified as part of a racial discrimination lawsuit claiming she made racially charged remarks to her employees.
Fast forward a few months and texts and phone messages from NFL lineman Richie Incognito to a teammate expose the racism that many professional athletes endure on a daily basis.
A few weeks later and we find out that Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson made comments stating that racism didn't exist back when he was younger while suggesting today's African American communities are mainly freeloading entitlement communities.
Then, just this past week, NBA owner Donald Sterling and conservative hero Cliven Bundy both made remarks that are hard to see as anything other than overtly racist.
The good news for all of these folks is that Americans are a very forgiving people. All we need to hear is an apology and to know that you are seeking help.
Problem is, these people don't think they did anything wrong. Their publicist tells them to issue an apology, but they still manage to blame the liberal media or political correctness for people being too sensitive. They tend to think that no one was really offended by their words and that this is all manufactured outrage.
To make matters worse, the conservative media always finds a way to throw their support behind these racists. Instead of calling a spade a spade and distancing themselves, they make excuses. The conservative racist protection program inoculates these individuals from any real consequences and allows them to look into the camera and state lines like "anyone who knows me knows I'm not a racist."
But in the grand scheme of conservative lies like "I'm not a racist" might be the most detrimental of all lies.
When a celebrity get busted for driving drunk with an ounce of cocaine, they at least admit to having a problem and check into a clinic. When a politician gets caught having an affair, they at least suggest they have let people down and get counseling. When a professional athlete is arrested for beating his wife, he at least cops to having anger issues and seeks help.
But for some reason being racist is the only sin that provides political cover. For some reason being racist is always someone else's problem. For some reason racism is the only abuse the media minimizes with phrases like "playing the race card." For some reason, being racist apparently doesn't require professional help.
Ironically while these people fail to see how anyone can take offense their to racist comments, there is one thing that does get conservatives upset when it comes to racism -- being accused of being racist.
The fix to this problem is simple and has the added bonus of fitting conservative ideals. Many big businesses ask their employees to train from the ground up because they believe you have to understand how the entire company functions to be a good employee. The same is true of race relations.
If you think you aren't racist, live among people who don't look like you and see if you come out with a different view. Be the only person in a room who looks like you. Take an African American studies class and see if you aren't equal parts frustrated and enlightened. Ask your black friend if they ever experience racism. And recognize that your outrage over being labeled racist is really just the white version of "playing the race card."
When it comes to racism, conservatives are the alcoholic that 15 drinks in still insists he is fine to drive home. Conservative media is the enabler that continues to make excuses for this bad behavior. You have to admit you have a problem to fix it. Conservatives won't do that.
If you find that analogy offensive -- good. You should.
Because that's the kind of thing you have been letting people like Paula Deen, Richie Incognito, Phil Robertson, Donald Sterling and Cliven Bundy get away with for the past year.