Samantha Poelstra, Richmod, VA. I am half Czech, half German, very much white. I chose these words because I sometimes have a hard time adding to conversations about race because I have internalized guilt over the actions that others my color have committed. I sometimes feel ashamed.
Sadie Petersen Philadelphia, PA As a child, the streets of west Philadelphia were my playground. I loved going to school in the area and wouldn’t change a thing about how I was raised and how race was never even noted in my small family of four, which eventually grew to a family of 7. However, [...]
Jackie Barclay USA Years ago, I had a run-in at a convenience store with a black woman who apparently hated me because I’m white. I didn’t know the woman and had never gone to that store before but she started calling me a huzz, a bitch, etc. Just when I was getting angry enough to [...]
Mark Allen Kleiman Venice, CA As a student activist back in the day, I fought de facto segregation. It breaks my heart to see how quickly things slid back. A “kinder, gentler” end to a “kinder, gentler” Reconstruction. Only nationwide.
Jani Lee New York City, NY I accept what African American friends/co-workers say, I would like to answer, “But it wasn’t me.” I listen, feel and absorb their pain in an attempt to try and make things right.
Kerri Ash Tuscaloosa, AL When I think of the sacrifices of all of those who fought before me, I’m ashamed of how we (parents, the schools, the churches, the community) have failed them and our kids. We have failed and our children are following suit. When we do better, they’ll do better.
Kathleen Cole Chicago, IL
Kevin Potts Des Moines, IA Drake University Mankind is surprisingly homogeneous, having evolved from a common ancestor. Our distant relative ‘Aunt Lucy’, the Australopithecus Afarensis hominid, would be ashamed to see how much hatred exists within her ‘family’ on the assumed prominence of racial differences. That is, if her species had the brain capacity to [...]
Eric Vonhoussen Richmond, VA Let’s be honest. This website isn’t about anything else, but making white people feel guilty and ashamed to be white. Well, my friends, I’m proud to be white, and proud of my people’s accomplishments. it doesn’t mean I’m racist. ( yes you can be both proud of being white and not [...]
Matt Portland, OR Lately I’ve seen people of all races attack and belittle white people. Everyone complains about how whites are so racist, but where I come from everyone except white people are treated equally. We constantly get ridiculed for something our generation has no part of. We get made out to be the bad [...]
Rebeca Osborn Ambridge, PA I grew up in largely white, upper-middle-class suburbs, but as a social outcast for different reasons, somehow most of my best friends through life have been non-white or biracial. It’s taken me a long time to learn to just ask questions of people who are different from me, and accept that [...]
Diana Valentine Minneapolis, MN I am haunted to this day (and I am now 65) that I was so completely clueless about race, civil rights, and justice when I should have known better at age 15 when the March on Washington occurred. I moved from the North to a small town in the South when [...]
Rhonda Wiggins Ormond Beach, FL
Christine Abraham Santa Monica, CA My mom is ashamed to speak Arabic in public in this post-9/11 world.
Patrick Casey MI Being a white man, from birth, power was bestowed on me. As I did not earn it, I need to acknowledge the unfairness of this birthright in America, and set about the task of sharing this power with others lower on the pyramid.
Ann Wroth Arlington, VA As a proud liberal feminist I am ashamed of the racism I carry inside. #whitepeopleproblems
Elizabeth Simson Durant Portland, OR Facing race and racism is hard for white people like me because we feel guilty and ashamed. We wish we weren’t racist. We don’t mean to be. “We can’t help it.” It shook me up the day I realized that being “good” i.e. being “innocent” is part of my white [...]
Submitted via Twitter: @SugaBabe_14
Kelly Cirigliano Orange, CA I am ostensibly white. In the secrecy of my heart, I am embarrassed of my race. Often I feel the urge to shout, “I am not like them! I am not defined by my ancestry!” But still, I am ashamed. I am ashamed that the color of my skin is associated [...]
Devin Day Washington, DC As a straight, white, twenty-something man, I am imminently aware of my privileges, given randomly due to my genetic make-up alone. But with a full heart and an excess of empathy growing up, it always bothered me when people around me were discriminated against or treated differently just because of something [...]
Bill Rowe Bucks County, PA It was 1971 and I was ashamed the moment I said it. Jeff was a friend and to impress the wrong person I said something terrible. What impresses me to this day is the way that he responded. He just said “you don’t mean that” and never said another word. [...]
CA Pittsburgh, PA I don’t know why. And I don’t mean just in a dark, desolate alley- where I’d be afraid of any man. I am just more afraid of black men. It makes me feel ashamed of myself.
Em Canada This is a constant and terrible icebreaker. It’s not that I’m ashamed or shy about my mixed background or ambiguous looks, but I’m constantly disappointed that that’s all that people want to know, that’s all they see me as, or they believe they can’t know me without knowing my race.
J Wildman Saint Louis, MO I grew up in a household where we were basically allowed to develop our own opinions about prejudice. I’ve never been a racist. My prejudice of choice was against gay men. Something that I’m still ashamed of having felt, even though I’ve since let that go. When I became an [...]
Rochelle Fritsch WI The country’s history and current tension around race and ethnicity create a pull in which some of us need to talk about it, while others of us are so afraid, ashamed and uncomfortable that we only HEAR the concerns of others rather than listening, reflecting and perhaps even learning from them. Some [...]
Submitted via Twitter: @catfishJohn47