When do I accept the title of racist?

I’m a middle aged, that’s weird to say, white male.  Growing up, I never considered myself as a racist.  I didn’t see a specific type of person and think anything that covered a whole race of people.  I had friends, or at least acquaintances of all types.

The first time I was accused of being a racist white guy was in Army basic training.  I needed something from a specific drill sergeant, but I didn’t know his name.  I described him as the black drill sergeant.  He was the only african american drill we had.  I then spent at least an hour doing push ups and being accused of being a racist.  Thinking about that now, they never did tell me how I was supposed to describe him.  That was in the 90’s.

It’s now 2015 and I still don’t know what words I can use and which ones I can’t.  From watching the news and other media it appears that it really doesn’t matter what I do or say.  I, and others like me, have been deemed to be the enemy by default.  It’s almost as if there are people that want me to be a racist whether I am or not.  It feels like brainwashing.  If I’m told that I’m racist for long enough, then eventually I’ll accept the title and act accordingly.  Then, I can truly be called an enemy.  Interesting approach.

I’ve only mentioned one incident here, but there are more than I can count.  Both on the job as a police officer, and personally.  So, I’m truly interested.  What do I do?  What am I?  Am I automatically racist because of my skin color?  Do I have a choice?