There was this horrible article floating around a while ago about how people not of a certain race (read: white people) cannot write about people of another race (read: anything but white people things).
I think this is false, bad, stupid, nonsense. Obviously, I think that. I'm a writer. I make worlds of varying and diverse characters. I have written racist characters. I have written black characters. I have written (literally) blue characters.
I am not going to deny that there are a crap load of racists morons out there. There are...I've personally known a seriously racist person and everything out of their mouth just blew my mind. I cannot convince anyone I am not racist. I am white, therefore I must be racist (which, by the way, is racist...). But I love this planet I live on. I embrace different. Especially weird. I loooove weird. I love different music, food, ways of life, religions, food, dance, clothing, food. I like my worlds to vibrate with various cultures and people.
So I want to encourage you all to do that too. Also, you are welcome to write a racist character. Literary class in school fodder. Make them the protagonist...that will spawn all kinds of essays and school discussion. That's risky, and awful, but you have a right to write what you want and tell whatever story you want. Stories should never ever be PC. It makes them weak. Black and white rather than a rainbow. My novel "Revary" has a racist prince in it. He's not a great guy though. He's not bad, but he has issues. And no one likes him for them. But I'm not going to take that character out or make him love under elves. That's not who he is.
I am writing a short story (that I hope to get published) that takes place in a middle eastern kind of fantasy land. I will not change it, I will name my characters appropriately, and the religion will be shown. I am white but I will write this story. I am not making fun of a place or persons or faith. I am telling a story that takes place in a different land because it is different and it makes you imagine a camel instead of a horse. It's good for you.
Unless you are being a complete d-bad, never apologize or feel bad about what you write.