It's hard to sift through the noise to get to the meat of the issue, but this Metatalk thread asks an important question: to what extent may we be judged by the company we keep? Is it bad to have racist friends? Is it okay as long as you try to persuade them to change? Are values not what form the basis for friendship at all, and making judgments about a person because they chum around with people who act bigoted is "priggish" and "self righteous"?
I'm more of a values person, and frankly I was shocked that so many people would advocate keeping friends who openly use racist language or manifest prejudice. There are some things that are intolerable in polite society, and being an open bigot is one of them.
Am I just an insufferable priss?