What an excellent analysis pulling everything together. I have seen all of this, but in microscopic pieces, not ever together.
I grew up in a small, northern, all-white farming community. I didn’t even think about racism until 1969 when I made a racist remark, without even knowing I did it. I then realized that it was part of the language, part of the culture, and have looked for such things ever since.
You are correct. The first step is for people to realize that they are denying it. Unfortunately, some never will.