Except that while we all poo-poo racism, we carefully fail to discuss the fact that racism (and sexism, etc) are all just subtypes of generalization and generalizations persist BECAUSE THEY WORK. Certainly there's some confirmation bias, and some vicious-circle-reinforcement going on, but people wouldn't continue to generalize if they didn't find it ultimately useful.
I don't know about you, but I don't have the mental horsepower to keep a perfectly individual, atomistic view of everyone I've ever met as unique snowflakes in my mind. So I generalize, and these generalizations provide a reasonably reliable predictive value while I navigate the world. I know "guys of a certain age" will respond to something a certain way, while "women of a certain age" will respond another, and communicate accordingly.
Are there exceptions? Sure. I might find the beautiful 28 year old woman with a massive N-gauge model railroad in her basement; I'd amend my generalizations accordingly to say "ok, now there is a 1/1,000,000 chance that the next 28 yr old woman might also be fond of model railroads". The exceptions are where we find the limits to the generalizations and THIS is why (on the other side of the coin) it's so stupid to assert too much reliability to the models - ie act as if the generalizations are durably predictive, instead of generally descriptive. If you deny the exceptions, your 'internal models' just get more and more out-of-synch with reality and less and less useful.
I'd point out as well that the most inveterate racists that I know of any skin color are the people who either live or work the most closely with a diverse group of people - ie the people for whom a good, reliable mental generalization is relevant and useful on a DAILY basis - while the intellectualist "open minded" people seem to hail from the most lily-white suburbs.*
*FWIW I'd assert that most of what's called racism is in fact CLASSISM, and the tragedy of racism is that it masks actual class-based issues that are persistent and pernicious. Personally, my experience is that intolerance for racism/classism and racism/classism in practice are two separate things that have little to do with each other. I know an older black woman who is certain that white men in general are (in her words) "the devil" yet she cheerfully has coffee every morning with two white men in her building and would never harbor a nasty thought about either of them. On the other hand, I know lots and lots of white intellectuals that vehemently and passionately argue against the evils of racism, yet deliberately choose to live in 99.9% white suburbs and send their kids to private (mostly white) schools because they don't like the 'culture' of the public schools, and would sweat bullets sharing a downtown train with multiple 'urban youths' of various ethnicities.