I didn’t say that she learned nothing of value, I said that the marginal value of reading additional books at this point is close to zero. The first few books were probably different. Also, one incompetent professor isn’t close to the only reason I have for opposing affirmative action. Finally, I didn’t simply “not think of them as different”, I didn’t even have the mindset to understand the argument that he was when I first heard it, which is clear evidence against the claim that “every white person has internalized racism against black people and these are the stages of racism awareness”. One paragraph is not my entire mindset.
Well, unless I’m entirely misunderstanding you, both of those arguments are of the form “despite reading all those books she still holds these obviously wrong opinions”, so I don’t see how they do any good if you aren’t arguing something pretty close to “she hasn’t learned anything of value”. And you did say, in so many words, “Is the result of this clear understanding of racial issues? No.”
So I will plead guilty to overstating the case a little at that point: you aren’t necessarily saying she’s learned nothing of value. But you are explicitly saying that reading those books has failed to give her a clear understanding of racial issues, and your evidence for that is the aforementioned two arguments from dubious n=1 anecdotes.
I didn’t claim that you have no other reasons for opposing affirmative action, nor that one white person not being aware of any internalized racism in themselves-in-elementary-school isn’t any evidence against the idea that every white person has internalized racism awareness. I do claim, though,
that your n=1 anecdote about one bad professor is very weak evidence that affirmative action is bad (primarily because it’s perfectly possible for something to have some bad consequences, while still being a Good Thing overall, though there are other reasons too)
that your n=1 anecdote about your own attitude to the one black student who was apparently at your elementary school is very weak evidence against the proposition that all white people have internalized anti-black racism (primarily because surely the point of this “internalized racism” idea is that one can have internalized racism without knowing it, and I remark that elementary-school pupils are not noted for their infallible self-awareness, though again there are other reasons too)
(For the avoidance of doubt, I am not claiming that affirmative action is in fact a good idea, or that all white people do in fact have internalized racism; nor am I claiming the reverse of either of those. I’m saying that you are presenting things are knockdown arguments against them that are very, very far from being knockdown arguments.)
On that second issue, you say “I didn’t even have the mindset to understand the argument that he was [different] when I first heard it”. Do you actually think that when people say things like “all white people have internalized racism” they mean that all white people have heard arguments for racism and been convinced by them? Because I’m pretty sure they don’t mean anything even slightly like that. The idea is more like this:
Almost everyone has (innately; it’s not something they need to learn, contra South Pacific) an inclination to be a bit suspicious and mistrustful of people who look different from the people they’re already familiar and friendly with. So white people will tend to have negative attitudes to black people, and black people will tend to have negative attitudes to white people.
and maybe this:
Our language, and indeed our thought, is full of metaphors (e.g., the word “full” earlier in this very sentence). We have lots of metaphors that equate light with insight, truth, goodness, and the like and darkness with the opposite (perhaps because our ancestors were safer in the (literal) light than in the (literal) darkness). This spills over into our attitudes to lighter and darker coloured things and, alas, people. So both white and black people will tend to have negative attitudes to black people.
(That second one sounds pretty far-fetched, but whatever the mechanism there is actually some evidence for its conclusion, though I personally don’t find it very convincing. E.g., “implicit-association tests”, which among other things attempt to identify unconscious associations between race and other things, find that ~70% of white people “prefer” white people to black, but black people “prefer” white and black people roughly equally often, which suggests a combination of prefer-your-own-group and prefer-whites.)
Once again, I am not claiming that “all white people have internalized racism” is true. (My guess is that it probably isn’t, even if you take “all” to mean “almost all” which you probably should because scarcely anything interesting is true of literally all people in any interesting category.) But, true or false, the kind of thing it says is not refuted by saying “five-year-old me can’t have had internalized racism because five-year-old-me didn’t have the mindset to understand the argument for being racist” (or “the argument” for thinking black people are any different from white people) because these claims are not about arguments at all, they are not about conscious thoughts at all, and people are extremely capable of having attitudes that aren’t justified by, or derived from, any argument they have heard.
 You can jury-rig counterexamples; e.g., tautologies like “literally all Christians are Christians”, or coincidences when the category happens to be extremely small, or maaaaybe “universal” features like shivering when cold (though actually I bet most of those don’t actually quite work because of people with very rare mutations, diseases, injuries, etc.). But in general, if you make a statement of the form “literally all A-people are B” it’s almost certain to be false unless it’s some kind of triviality.
Thanks for your well explained response! I’ll keep your reasons in mind for future posts.
I suggest you don’t include such unrelated politics in your posts at all. They actively detract from the main issues under discussion, and prime people for tribalist attitudes. Make a separate post about racism if you want, but don’t use it as an offhand example for a post on education.