Unfortunately, it'll take more than being "educated" or "tolerant" to avoid stereotyping. You'll actually have to become a different species.
There's quite a bit of psychology research (and seriously, why doesn't anyone ever just use google scholar?) that indicates a general inability to avoid stereotypes, even when you are aware of them and find them repulsive. One example, after the Amadou Diallo incident in NYC (of Springsteen's "41 shots" fame, a sad piece of trivia), a few researchers ran a study in which participants were shown pictures of people holding either some ambiguous object or a gun. They were asked to pretend they were officers and decide whether or not to "shoot" as quickly as possible. In other words, glance at the picture, make your judgment. All participants were more likely to respond "shoot" for ambiguous-object pictures when the actor in the picture was african american, and less likely to respond shoot when the actor was caucasian. This was true for participants of both races.
Interestingly, the effect was more pronounced for participants who were aware of a stereotype of african americans and violence than for participants who had never heard the stereotype before. I'll repeat that, for clarity: simply knowing the stereotype, regardless of whether you believed it to be true, was associated with the racial bias in responding.
Other studies have shown the neural link to racial bias, or at least, our lack of ability to control it sometimes. An ERP component generally associated with inhibiting automatic responses tends to be active when avoiding specific racially-biased responses, suggesting that avoiding a stereotype requires some effort.
Sure, if you aren't making a split second decision, the inhibitory processes in your brain can take over and allow you to make a stereotype-free decision, but the evidence suggests that you have to intentionally steer away from racism. Otherwise, it's just an automatic response that every human makes.
So I'm sorry missbitesalot, you're a racist. So am I. So is Jen. So is Professor John. So is Ken. VirgeZ might not be (not convinced he is human). As long as you know it, and adjust for it... put that extra effort in to avoid it, you can still be a nice person to everyone. However repulsive racism is, though, the fact that we feel influenced by these stereotypes sometimes shouldn't be a reason to feel like we're bad people. After all, we're only human.
^----everyone's a little bit racist.