It is human nature
and group. Its been hardwired into our brains through both genetics and culture
. And it causes most social problems.
We are all simply individuals. We can only be responsible for our own actions. However, often in modern society we are asked to pay for the "sins of the father" and are guilty by association.
I am white male living the United States. For ~200 years black people were enslaved by whites. About 150 years ago, slavery stopped. Then there was a long period of social oppression that was legal ended about 30 years ago. I was born about 10 years after that. However, I am often expected to feel sorry that the blacks were enslaved/oppressed. And to a point I am, in the same way I am sorry about the Holocaust, the Crusades and the Killing Fields of Cambodia. But I had nothing to do with that. Hell, I wasn't even alive then. To quote the band NoFx, "I accept responsibility for what I've done, but not for who I am."
There is a fairly small but not insignifigant group of Asian immigrants in my town. One, a friend of mine, is from China, but left when she was 2. She speaks perfect English, and if you didn't know it you'd think she lived in the US her whole life. When we studied about the Intercontinental railroad for Academic Decathlon, two different History teachers asked her how if she was mad about how the Chinese immigrants were treated (there was very bad conditions for Chinese workers on the West Coast, while whites had merely bad conditions). She didn't have signifigant feelings and that surprised the teachers. Similar incidence had happened to another Chinese kid I know and a Polish friend.
I am a Irish-Scot-American male. I do not feel worse when a white guy gets killed then a black guy. I get annoyed when a plane crashes and the news reports that "100 were killed, including 7 Americans", because hey you get double tragedy points for Americans.
Affirmative action, quotas, and PC all try to combat racism in the wrong way. They further segment society. The only way to truly create tolerance is to recognize that we are all individuals, not parts of a collective. I am not whitey # 19238733, or American 0918312213 or male # 9991923839522. I am simply a human being. To quote the same band NoFx, "I ain't part of no conspiracy, I'm just your average Joe." Try to see people as people and not representatives of a large whole and you will be able to see alot clearer.