Lapis Exilis wrote:
As a white person, I don't think I have anything to "feel sorry" for. Yeah, what white people did in the past was terrible and disgusting and I hate it. At the same time I haven't done any of it and neither did any of my direct ancestors. So I've nothing to feel guilty or sorry about.
And I don't owe anybody reparations for things I
Several people in this thread are misunderstanding the concept of white guilt. It is not so much about the crimes of our ancestors as it is about the privilege we enjoy as a result of their crimes. Many white people will deny that they enjoy special privileges, but that is because whiteness is obscured by being the dominant norm. That is, we are not trained to see the actions, behaviors and benefits that accrue to our race as being a result of our race (even though they are) because we are not trained to see our race at all - which is another psychological benefit of being white.
There's a lot more to this concept and it can be difficult to grasp - I still struggle with understanding it. But anyone who is interested can read this fairly good introduction:
White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy MacIntosh
And all I can do in response to this is renew my previous objection. I started reading through the essay (only stopping when I noticed I was ranting to myself about it) and many of the things listed are not true for me if I replace "race" with "ethnic group" despite the fact that I am indeed white because I still belong to what is both an ethnic and cultural minority... a minoirty that has been frequently repressed and marginalized over history despite having more or less the same skin color as everyone else in Europe.
I do think that I understand the concept on an overall societal level and in that context I can accept it. What I can't accept is tying it to the color of skin because it seems to me that this significantly misses the diversity and historical conflict found in what we group under the term "caucasian".