I'm in a community organization in Texas that interacts with and reaches out to people of all ethnic groups, though most of the members are "white". I'm a new member of this organization and recently attended a big meeting where the members were put into sub-groups based on the region of the city we reside in. Because this is a group that requires lots of free time, many of the members are older, retired people who are trying to be more civically engaged.
I was greeted by an older woman who proceeded to welcome me and mention some of the "difficulties" of our region of the city by making what I considered to be a well-meaning but very off-putting remark along the lines of:
There are the neighborhoods with Hispanic people but a lot of them don't speak English and the Blacks who don't trust us. And then there's the normal neighborhoods, which are easy.
We are both "white" and her implication that non-white neighborhoods are somehow abnormal really bothered me and I had to step away from her because I didn't know how to respond. I know that she doesn't mean to be casually racist because that goes against the purpose of this organization and our outreach but I'm not sure how to respond to her to recommend a better phrasing than the white = "normal".
I'd like to show her respect because she's older than I am and has been a member much longer than I have but as someone who does outreach, she needs to be more conscious of the phrasing that she uses because I'll bet that part of the reason she finds that the "Blacks don't trust us" is because of the way she phrases things.
I'm not sure if it makes more sense to address her directly or to mention something about this to the leaders of the group to be addressed more broadly under the umbrella of racial sensitivity training.