Michael J, Rochester, MN. I just feel I am a little tired of feeling guilty about being a white male. My family came from Norway and Sweden, we never owned slaves, and moving to Southern Minnesota, didn’t even have a plantation. Nevertheless it seems that this issue is somehow my fault as well.
Anna, Columbia, SC. I know I have “white” skin, but I really hate that word. I don’t think about myself as “white”. I am Italian and Czech. My dad was the first generation of my family to live in America. Our family wasn’t here for the Civil War, we didn’t enslave anybody. In fact, my […]
David Chen, New York, NY. I grew up in China listening to artists like 50 cent, Tupac, Snoop dogg (lion), and Jay-Z. I have every one of Jay-Z’s songs memorized and for a Chinese kid, that wasn’t easy. For as long as I can remember, I was fascinated by African American (is this the politically […]
Mike O’Begley, Canada. The ideas behind whites being inherently privileged, regardless of all the nuances that make up human life, are often untrue since privilege and class is a lot more complicated than you make it. And even if it were totally “correct”, only serves to alienate possible allies from the struggle of people of […]
Emily Einhorn, Beachwood, OH. Whenever there is talk about racism, a part of me feels guilty. I have lived in a small suburb my entire life. In this town, people joke you’re either black, Jewish, or Asian. I have never witnessed a racist act and I feel as if I’ve missed out on being a […]
R.E.A.L. Talk, High Tech Middle Media Arts, 7th Grade Trailblazer It has always confused me when people call others “white”, or “black”, because no one’s skin is “black”, or “white”. Besides, no one names their kids the color of their skin, so why do we call them that? In the past I have made myself […]
Greg, San Fransisco, CA. We can all be friends without blame and guilt.
Rachel Rodrigo, Chalfont, PA. Instead of blood on my hands, I have white on my hands. There are days when I read or hear people who are also white like me saying or doing terrible things to people different races and cultures. Some days I feel guilty that I’m white even though I didn’t choose […]
Allison Hren, Elon, NC. Elon University Recognizing the problems that exist in our divided world are very important, but there’s a part of me that gets fed up with the idea that expressing pride in my ancestry, mostly European, is racist. And although it’s true that issues, like slavery, were not actually that long ago, […]
Brian Washington, New York, NY. White guilt has not, will not, and is not useful in the mission to eliminate racial stratification. It’s a shame it took me so long to realize this. Everyone has the right to be proud of who they are. Being proud of being an in-power majority is not unfair. It […]
Gabby Mbeki, Boston, MA. In the fall of 1997, I started 6th grade at a day independent school in Connecticut. I grew up in a predominately West Indian neighborhood surrounded by faces like mine, but my father wanted me to have a more rigorous education. I entered the school being one of three students of […]
Matt Schoch, Viroqua, WI. I’ve always felt guilt and shame having grown up in a racist household. Even as an adult I’ve felt awkward around people of a different race, as if I’ve done something wrong. My hope is that my race card will help me shed the guilt and shame of being taught to […]
Anonymous, IL. Life is hard enough for everybody without guilting everybody for transgressions they had nothing to do with. My ancestors fought for the South, and they were poor white conscripts who starved to death in a prison camp. They didn’t care about race.
Felix, USA. I never owned a slave nor have I ever condoned slavery. My skin color does not make me guilty of any crime.
Anonymous, Portland, OR. I use the Race Card project framework to update my racial autobiography occasionally, so it changes over time. Right now, I am struck by the urgency to unpack my White privilege and not waste time or energy on guilt. I didn’t make systemic racism but I know it exists to engineer some […]
Sarah Kerson Ann Arbor, MI
Lisa VonTress Las, Sunrise, FL. As a child growing up in the DC suburbs, I had no idea about what was going on. I had Annie, who was with my family 6 years before I was born until I was 13 when my father moved us. I came back to her later as she worked […]
Dave Wood, Minneapolis, MN.
Barry Irving, Syracuse, NY. …white people are bred from the notion color superiority and first privilege. They don’t see others as equal and that is a distortion that is age old. So when addressing race, the new descendants of old Racism think that they have no blame whatsoever. Even though Their social attitudes are in […]
Gabrielle Durrett, Tucson, AZ. As a white person, I frequently feel white guilt whenever the topics of slavery and racism come up. For ages, I felt like I had to come up with excuses of why I shouldn’t feel guilty, the most prominent of which was: “Those were my ancestors, not me.” Well, I still […]
Darcia Schweitzer, Columbus, WI. When I feel guilt related to the white privilege I experience, I sometimes wonder if the only way to truly eliminate that guilt would be to have a different racial identity other than white.
Chris Wooten, Rowlett, TX.
Chris Wehunt, Overland Park, KS. So much focus is put on splitting up races, every time the race card is used in the media you see social media flipping out, looking for cases of white or black people being attacked by the opposite race, then guilt tripping not only mass media, but society as a […]
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.
Christine Miller Chicago, IL Blacks cause all their own problems then whine and cry about the results. They moved into my neighborhood and my moms and within 1 year the crime rate had started in BOTH. The property value dropped like a stone and then no one could get out.
Charles James Martinez, CA Feel the collective guilt of being white, and the responsibility to move forward in my time.
Tom Canada I honestly think it has no place in modern society.
Molly Kohler Canfield, OH
Ann Claycombe Atlanta, GA I am a middle-aged white woman working at Georgia State University, where no race is in the majority. Instead, what I see is poor students of every color – the average household income of our students is $25,000 a year. And what I’ve learned is they don’t need my pity or […]
Bill Miller Houston, TX No liberal guilt here. I treat everyone as an individual and not as a member of a group.
Lillie Schrock Des Moines, IA
Natalie Hogan Shawnee, OK
Jessica Wright Athens, GA I have grown up denouncing my Southern birth and heritage. My parents aren’t Southern and disliked its racist past. As a white girl, who am I?
Roderick Gray, Chico, CA. I am as much a mixed up mutt as everyone else. When I am referred to as white, my liberal guilt kicks in, and visualize a monolithic evil race. Euro-American includes my diverse ethnic background–my slave owning ancestors as well as the multitude of working poor ancestors for whom existence was […]
Susan (Sooz) Stahl Seattle, WA
Jessica Kornstein Ann Arbor, MI Understanding Race Project- University of Michigan After talking about diversity and race in our class, I have felt nothing but guilt when hearing about the inequalities and unfortunate circumstances of people of color or different races. I have become well aware that being white means being privileged. I feel guilty […]
Anonymous Am I allowed to have an opinion
Anon Ymous Charlotte, NC “Replaced slavery chains with entitlement chains” As a white with guilt, all I can say is: I’m so sorry, twice…
Jeff Cook Folsom, CA Will have this conversation until resolved.
Lindsey Lovel Columbus, OH Submitted via: NPR’s Talk of the Nation
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 […]
Cindy Castevens Winston Salem, NC I’m white, and feel ashamed about my color every time I’m around black folks whom I don’t know. I think of all my ancestors and my race did to Blacks, and I’m ashamed and horrified. This guilt makes it hard for me to just be myself around Black people most […]
Anonymous MA I’m white and I know that the feelings of discomfort/guilt I get sometimes from thinking about race are really not serious problems. Discomfort is nothing compared to what has happened to Trayvon Martin and more kids like him.
Math Professor Ft. Lauderdale, FL