Some may have read yesterday’s post and quite understandably thought it was the result of White Guilt. You may have seen it and maybe if you are a white person who is in denial about privilege you may think I hate my fellow white people and being white. Nothing, could be further from the truth. I am not proud to be white. Being proud of being white would be like being proud to afford a Jag when you inherited thirty million from your daddy. What exactly did you accomplish there? No, I am not proud, but nor am I ashamed.
What I am is tired of a system that keeps my non-white fellow travelers down. I am aware of how that system benefits me and how desperately that needs to change. Guilt is not a factor in these attitudes. Guilt does nothing to change the system and when I, or more importantly a Person of Color, explains to you how you are benefiting from white privilege, we are not doing it to make you feel guilty. We are doing it to make you think. Everyone needs to recognize what privilege they have and how it is hurting others.
That goes double for the “liberals” who want to feel guilty. Your hand wringing over privilege is worth half a handful of rabbit turds. When you go on about how bad it makes you feel to enjoy privilege you are making it about your problems and not the problems of the oppressed. You feel bad about racism? I sure as hell hope you do not expect a pat on the back for that, because you are supposed to feel bad about it. What next? Do you want a medal for not beating your kids?
This goes so far beyond White Guilt too. That may be the largest group of perpetrators, but you can see it all. Christian Guilt, Straight Guilt, and even (though I notice this is the rarest) Male Guilt. Obviously Cis Guilt is the one that affects me the most and it drives me nuts. I do not want you to feel guilty that I cannot safely use a public restroom, I want you to help me and call out the people who are harassing me there. Your feeling bad about it just ain’t getting the job done.
For some of you I know this is reflexive. It is what liberals have conditioned themselves to do since at least the onset of the Civil Rights movement. It is counter productive though, and it enables those who are, at least subconsciously, involved with something more insidious. For many folks in a privileged situation, Guilt is a way to absolve themselves of responsibility. If you just feel bad about it, that’s good enough and you do not have to do any more. A few of those turn on the White (or other brand) Whine when we call it out because “why would you do that do me? Can’t you see I’m an ally?”
If you are one of those people, guess what? You are not an ally. Which is not to say you cannot be, but you will have to do a better job checking your privilege and realize that guilt itself is a part of that system. Feeling guilty does not let you off the hook. I felt guilty when I shirked my responsibilities as a kid, but that did not make it better. What made it better was actually tackling those responsibilities. Which is what you have to do. You have the power if you have privilege which makes you responsible for making it right, so stop shirking, stop making yourself feel better by feeling bad, and make it happen.
- Why We Still Need to Talk About Privilege (colorlines.com)
- Representations of Race and Ethnicity in Television (victoryangmdsa01.wordpress.com)
- White Privilege (amren.com)