Friday, January 22, 2010

White Guilt Should Die

I have never once seen in person any sort of "whites only" sign in relation to anything - rest rooms, water fountains, or bus seating. Nor have I ever gone to school where students were segregated by color. I've worked my entire work life with people of all races.

So why in the hell should I feel guilty over slavery or the policies of segregation from decades and decades ago?!?!

In my Entrecard browsing I came across a post about Martin Luther King Jr day from one of my jewelry blog stops. It was definitely interesting and I can't imagine growing up in those times - and I hope that I would be as adamantly against the segregation of people based on the color of their skin as I am against the supposed guilt I should feel for those actions now.

As a child, the blog author actually had it right, while her father had it wrong:
"When I was about 12 yrs old I complained to my father that since I hadn't been alive during slavery in America, and that neither I or my family members had participated in the segregation of blacks, why did I or we have to pay the price in the world that we lived in?

My father very wisely and sternly explained that as long as I had a white face in a world where blacks continued to be segregated, where prejudice against blacks still prevailed then, I too, would bare the guilt and the shame of those before me."

Her father was WRONG! And I believe quite cruel for telling a little girl that she should feel shame and guilt based on sins perpetrated by those that came before her.

I can understand if he'd explained that (at that time) blacks were still being segregated and so their "forcing" (not in a negative way, mind you) her into black schools and experiences was their form of showing how wrong it was. I totally get that and it was an admirable action they took in those times. But doing so out of guilt or shame was wrong. Do it because it's the right thing to do to support equal rights (not special rights...equal rights).

And I think we're pretty much there. Yes, there are still issues and racists do exist. But they are shunned. ACTUAL racists...not this racial political crap where if you disagree with affirmative action you're labeled a racist. Or if you disagree with The One you're clearly a member of the KKK.

No, I mean actual racist institutions where I would not allowed to sit with a person of a different color skin. Fifty years ago that would be frowned upon and in some cases illegal. Now it is unheard of.

Of course, there are still places that promote segregation and the separation of the races, but since they are politically correct we don't talk about them. You certainly wouldn't see a Caucasian Fund or a college that promotes their "white" history. So we obviously aren't all the way to MLK's dream of judging people by the content of their character instead of the color of their skin.

But I think we're getting there. And my son will NOT be made to feel guilty for sins of people before him. If his teachers ever try to pull that crap I will go ballistic like a mama bear. No one is going to try to make him feel shame for being white. That is wrong! Just as wrong as someone looking down on someone who has black, brown, red, or yellow skin (who came up with 'yellow' skin for Asians??? or red for Indians? My cousins are Asian and they aren't yellow...I have yellower skin then they do!).

He will also learn that while politically correct racial politicians bitch and moan about supposed modern day grievances, there are actual slaves still being bought and sold in our world. The U.S. spilled blood to end the practice here but other countries still practice this horrific human abuse today. There are ACTUAL guilty and shameful people out there in the world. Why don't we try to solve that problem instead of creating imaginary ones here.


pamibe said...

White guilt should have died long ago. I certainly carry no guilt; I've done nothing wrong.

Please; the Germans have been exonerated over the events of WWII, why can't we just pick up and go on? Oh, yeah... because THEY won't let us forget.

CastoCreations said...

Exactly! I'm sure I'll be called a racist for even expressing this view. *sigh* The word has lost all meaning.


Interesting write up. Its always nice to learn differing opinions.

In my humble opinion, the reality is that slavery was the violent, economic vehicle that helped to create an enormous amount of wealth and enterprise for the United States. It was discontinued because it was immoral, even though many ignored the cruelty aspect and chose to focus on the social hierarchical issues and economic issues involved. And yes, blood was spilled to bring the practice to an end.

Unfortunately, although slavery, and later segregation, became illegal, the vestiges of those institutions/practices are still felt today. They have created a 'burden' (note not guilt), that many Americans (white or not) carry in some way or another, I feel. That burden creates certain responsibilities - a consciousness that such immorality should never again be tolerated and the incredible principles and laws upon which this union was founded must be upheld for all regardless of class, sex, sexual orientation, religion, disability or race.

That burden is one all who have taken the time to understand the history of this land should rightly carry. And, no, nobody should be allowed to forget. Does that mean whites should feel "guilty"? Gosh, I hope not, unless these same whites feel bad about the benefits they might/might not receive from a 'system' that keeps some up while holding others down. And, if that is the case, guilt solves nothing. Instead, a resolve to do the best one can for others is all that will help.

Again, nice post. Happy new year to you and yours.

CastoCreations said...

Thank you for visiting Solomonsydelle. I appreciate your comment.

I disagree with you quite a bit and I think it's our view on life that makes us see this differently.

I do not think our systems hold some down and prop others up. I believe that life is what you make of it. Some of the most abused and mistreated children have grown up to be amazing successes in this world. While some pampered, spoiled, and rich kids have done nothing to contribute to society. And I do not think that skin color alone predicts one's place in life. This is America and there is no caste system.

Slavery WAS a horific thing and it STILL is. I've learned plenty about the history of it - I went through the public school system and was pretty much "indoctrinated" with white guilt for many years. I'm white and therefore I must feel guilty for crimes committed against humans before I was even born or thought of ... and before some of my ancestors were even in this country.

Of course such things should never be allowed again. That goes without saying in my view. I'm not saying we don't learn about what happened, just as Germans need to remember WWII vividly. I just don't think that I should be made to "pay" in any way for sins of yesteryear.