Your ability to understand that your comments might be incendiary really depends upon the people with whom you surround yourself. One of my student workers just got back from a student trip abroad that included five other schools from various parts of our region. One school was from a small town in Minnesota. Several of the kids from that school made the MOST appalling racist comments -- not only in public, not only in front of their peers, but in front of peers who were people of color. They had no flicker of concern or self-consciousness. They were absolutely shocked when the other kids rose up in arms about their comments and when the tour guide leader told them to stop or they'd be sent home. They are not dumb kids. They are kids who not only believed what they were saying was acceptable, they truly believed they were correct. They also had never once had a personal experience in being told that saying the words out loud was wrong, let alone that the thinking was wrong. In 2013, racism is alive and well and "normal" depending upon where you live.
Yes... I once was teaching a year 8 maths class right after an assembly where there'd been a short bit about Amnesty International and asylum seekers. I was absolutely shocked at the kinds of venom these kids said, especially since they said these things as though they were making a casual comment about the weather. Due to the demographic of the school, these kids had almost all heard their parents make similar remarks, and thought they were fact. We spent ten minutes of that lesson getting a few basic things straight via Wiki and Google (how people can consider themselves experts enough to make judgements in a topic without having ever looked anything up is beyond me). They were very shocked to discover that most asylum seekers aren't actually evil terrorists. They also were pretty amazed to find out that the majority of illegal refugees in the part of the country we were in were actually young girls forced into the sex-trade who were staying against their wishes. It was a huge eye-opener for them.
These kids had just never heard any differently, and had no idea what they were saying was not only blatantly incorrect, but horrendously rude and disrespectful. I just hope that they'd never said any of that bile to an actual refugee.
So yeah... the hallmark of an enabled
SS is someone who has spat these kinds of things out at others their whole life but has never been told that it is inappropriate. Of course, many other SSs will be have been told many times to keep these kinds of opinions to themselves, but they will decide that they know best anyway...