My ancestors do not define me.

R.M. Lutz,
East Lansing, MI.

My color does not define me. Why should being white make me feel guilty? I didn’t want slavery. I didn’t want Jim Crow. I didn’t ask to be born into a family that is upper middle class. But somehow, people blame me like it’s my fault. Like I wanted to rub it in their faces. I can’t control my family’s past–but I can control my future. My best guy friend is Asian-American. His grandfather was detained during WWII. That doesn’t affect us. My best friend is African-American. Her great-uncle was born into slavery. I’m not proud of it, but my Great-great grandparents owned slaves. But we don’t let that come between us. Why? Because we’ve decided that being friends and working through our differences is far more important than pointing fingers at each other for something that our ancestors did. It’s time to get over the past. It’s time to let our own deeds define us, rather than pointing at others for something they have no control over. Let’s take responsibility for own actions. Let’s build relationships that aren’t defined by race. Let’s define ourselves, rather than letting others define us based on presuppositions. We can’t control our past, but we can control our future.

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