You can only do a mea culpa if it's you-a that's culpa. If you stop identifying yourself with every ridiculous thing previous generations did, you might find that there's a lot less reason to feel guilty -- and a lot more reason to recognize and proclaim when previous generations did terrible things. Burglar: "I didn't engage in a systematic project to break into someone else's home and rob them of their diamonds. My primary goal was just to have the diamonds; the fact that those things had prior owners was irrelevant! Were there to have been no prior owners, I would still have come and taken the diamonds!" Europeans, and, later, European descendants, knew that the North and South America had native inhabitants, and they engaged in a systematic project to seize that land from its owners. Period. There is no way to spin this.