The thing about racism is that it comes in varying degrees. I worked a job with very few whites. The black supervisor hated me at first because I was white. He gave me sh*t jobs, didn't take me seriously etc. The other guys on the job felt likewise. I was raised in a home that had some racial problems but my father was like a third native American and had dark skin, my mother was very pale European. So race wasn't set in stone, there were racial slurs from time to time but we were all different races, my mother was white my father thought of himself as Native American, my sister and I were mixed it wasn't the same as a black or white or Asian family that can get together and all hate on group x. I came to the racially charged environment on that job, not really knowing what true blue racism was and not really understanding why they all hated me. I thought for a long time it was because they all liked the thug life and I was more college oriented. As time went by I realized it was mostly because I was white. (or mostly white any way)
I learned to take racism with a grain of salt, yes it can get serious like skin heads or nation of islam but usually it's just petty bickering between races. And believe me they ALL do it. The Mexican guys I work with now use the N word a LOT and they are racist, to a point, but I doubt these guys have some skin head agenda about killing blacks, their just ethnocentric and ignorant of how blacks actually are.
Another thing to watch out for and not to fall into is the witch hunt mentality that is so pervasive today. I volunteer with very left wing groups and there is a cult like group think out there where you have to walk on egg shells with regard to what you say, lest it be interpreted as "racist". The mentality is vicious to the point that if they think someone has a racial agenda they act like they want to hang the person. You can see this on the internet in chat rooms as well, race baiting to no end. Accusations flying. I think your boyfriend is insensitive about that given issue at least to a point. I do NOT think he is a raving white supremacist or he would not have been your boy friend in the first place.
What your boy friend has isn't good, and he could be more sensitive but if I reacted like that every time someone used the term honky or peckerwood around me It would become an issue eating me up inside.
I eventually grew to like my supervisor as time went by and he looked out for me on more than one occasion. That dose not mean that he didn't still have the same attitudes about whites that he did before, he did, and he looked at things I did with a critical eye because of that. All that means is, he was human not a monster.