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when people say "everyone is racist", this is usually an ill-fated way to say that racism is part of many of our social structures

Exactly, and many people don't buy it as general explanation.

To deny that there are racists, antisemites, etc. would be ludicrous. It sadly happens all the time on a personal level. Still, institutional racism is a different league. There are laws against it. There are crimes - defined in the so called "Strafgesetzbuch" - which means that you don't even have to sue, police takes that over.

Additionally, there are many instances people mean institutional racism is at fault even though there are more probable explanations for a phenomena.

E.g. payment gap between white and black folks in the USA. If you look at the attributes of poor families and rich families, you will come up with race independent features. E.g. grew up without a father, didn't do well in school, did not get higher education, lives in poor area, etc. etc.

Still, many people demand that you take race into account although there are way better ways to tackle this problems.

This whole "social construct" argument is a slippery slope because it got harder to lead a serious and honest discussion if there's something different at fault. Therefore it's often used as cheap excuse for not digging deeper. And if you still do, you are at risk getting labeled a "racist".

Same thing with religious believes.

On the other hand: I have to say that I live in a liberal bubble, working in a multicultural setting, so maybe I'm overestimating the general potential for honest and open discussions.

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