Virginia Beach, VA.
It’s not about guilt, it’s too much to ask anyone to take on the history that you have nothing to do with. Everywhere that humans exist you will find hatred, racism and prejudices, but this represents a fraction of a fraction of all human beings. You will also find loving, peaceful and coexisting attitudes and beliefs. Please let me share an analogy that I recently heard while training for an Islamic speakers bureau. (My husband and I are Muslim, he is from the Middle East, I’m a born and raised American woman with European and Hispanic heritage.) The trainer for our group said this analogy is one he uses sometimes with younger students, to help them understand the idea of not generalizing in this case not generalizing Muslims based on ISIS, but this really applies to anyone of any race, color, culture or belief. To any human beings.
The scenario he offered, paraphrased of course: I just moved into my house. I’m a Black man and the people who lived there before… me were Black also. They liked to have loud parties and park their cars on the lawn. My skin color is the same as theirs, but I don’t do the same things they do, you shouldn’t assume I’m going to be the same.” He also emphasized not needing to apologize for the previous homeowners simply because they’ve had a shared home and are from the same group.
The lesson not only was reminding others not to generalize, but also reminding those within the Muslim community that they should not be apologetic for what extremists do; there is no need to take the blame for the harmful actions of others, not when you’re not involved with those actions. How I wish others understood this more, whether referring to Muslim, Christian, Black or White or any other human beings judged by others based on the groups they are associated with. The negative actions of others isn’t a burden the innocent need to bear, and we need to stop persecuting each other for deeds done by people who may categorically belong to a particular group but will never represent that particular group in its majority. People might look the same, occupy the same environments, but humans are never truly homogeneous in regards to fitting ever so uniformly into limited boxes and categories defined by descriptive qualities. Think before you judge, whoever and however you’re judging.
Please don’t feel guilty or inferior or superior for being White or Black or Hispanic or Christian or Jewish or Atheist or wealthy or poor or anything else we possibly categorize ourselves and each other with.
The theme at the training I attended was commonalities, and once you get past the need to exist within a group, whatever that group is based upon, you will understand that most everyone wants to live within a peaceful world, and supports the rights and dignity of others as much as they seek it for themselves. We’re all members of a shared humanity, a shared existence, where everyone must work together to protect our “collective human dignity.”✿
Guilt for something you cannot control does not do anyone any good. It’s trendy to have white guilt and I’m honestly sick of hearing it..
Guilt about what? You must be a horrible person to feel so guilty. I’m white and I don’t feel guilty because I’ve always lived my life trying to be good to others. I suggest you do the same and you’ll start feeling less guilty. If this is about how others make you feel, well nobody can make can you feel anything. You choose to take on the guilt.