Katherine Atlanta, GA I am not responsible for the actions of people one hundred and fifty years ago who enslaved an entire race. The institution of slavery is a horrific part of American History, and it was a heinous crime against African Americans. Because of that institution, there is racism alive and around still and […]
Dan Creamer, Sandpoint, ID. I grew up in the Jim Crow South. Being white I always felt both guilty and angry about the way black people were treated. In the Marine Corps, I accepted a bottle of wine from a black Marine and drank from it without wiping off the bottle or my mouth and […]
Barbara Kuether, Dallas, TX. Discussions of race seem to extrapolate the South to the entire country. History is more complicated.
Javiera, San Diego, CA. My husband often jokes that I’m not “brown” because my light skin makes me look like an average white person. But growing up in rural Missouri, I never felt like a “white” person because I was teased for my hispanic features. I’m not mixed race and was born in a Latinx […]
Bruce Hawkins, Northampton, MA. That doesn’t make me guilty, it makes me responsible. Prison is the new slavery, and the Drug War is modern slave-catching.
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 […]
Avery, Chicopee, MA. I’m white, but many of my friends growing up were children of color. I always thought that we were treated the same because nobody was overtly racist. Then I started educating myself and learned about concepts like dog-whistling and microaggressions. I was stunned to realize that I had been totally wrong the […]
Jonathan Routon, Riverside, CA. Often times people are afraid to own up to past racism due to how they may be judged. I must confess that I have thrown hurtful and disgusting words in my youth and while I am far from proud of this period of my life I also fully own the fact […]
Rudy Vogt, Louisville, KY. I feel constantly blamed for the actions of family I never met.
R.E.A.L. Talk, High Tech Middle Media Arts, 7th Grade Trailblazer Last year when the police brutality shootings started, my parents talked to me about what happened, they were really surprised and I was to. I wondered why these policemen would do such a thing when we have come so far with racism. I run into […]
Elisha Lowery, Delaware, OH. At times I feel guilty for being white. I feel people look at me and say “she has it easy she is white”. I feel guilty of how certain people still today treat colored people and they should’t treat them badly because we are all human.
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 […]
Jeremy Jones, Chicago, IL.
Danyahel Norris, Houston, TX. When I have a conversation about race or racism with someone white, I tend to get a few common responses. One being the fact that they weren’t even alive for things like slavery and Jim Crow, so they shouldn’t be blamed for it (not that I ever did). Another is the […]
Caroline Kish, Dunwoody, GA. I will not deny that race continues to reek extreme havoc on modern day social order. I see it every day at my high school, in the news, and even on the billboards lining the highway. We can all say that we ‘don’t see color’, but in reality, there are not […]
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, […]
Rebecca Whiting, Northport, AL. I thought very deeply about what I wanted to use to best express myself for this card. With my personal experience, I do know the benefits of white privilege, and what access that gives me to various different facets of our American society. I do not say this to make other […]
Hayley Franklin, Virginia Beach, VA.
Anonymous Kennewick, WA Being Latina, with a white name, but in knowledge of my Latino surname. I try to be supportive of my friends with their biracial and transracial adoptions, but it is so hard. I have suffered and struggled so much with my identity. People have such good intentions, but the children suffer. Then, […]
Brian Wackerly, Andover, KS. Black, white, blue, green, or yellow. It’s 2015 folks- why can’t we just all be Americans? The LEFT wants to label everyone as African American- why am I not labeled as Scottish American or Irish American or Czech American? Exactly. The people who demand to be called African American are no […]
Sarah Brush, Delaware, OH. I have friends that are of other races and I don’t care about their skin tone or how they look. I look deeper than that. The term race is constantly brought up when talking about racism. I don’t think race truly exists. Yes people have different skin tones. But we are […]
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 […]
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 […]
Brier, Olny, MD. I’m white, but I’m poor, I drive a beat up car, often with people of color in my car, I am not a threat to anyone. Don’t come at me with your hand on your gun. Don’t pull me out of my car and put me in handcuffs because I wear hand-me-down […]
Ephron McCullough, Perris, CA. Said the MALL COP to the young BLACK man. The security camera said different! I’m FREE, because I was INNOCENT! NOT GUILTY! HAH!! Check your camera angle! Black Man – 3 Police – 0
Chris Wooten, Rowlett, TX.
Daniel Escalante, Taos, NM. These six words are coming from a person of color to a white person who says, “I feel guilty about what my ancestors did to create racist institutions and systems. ” And, I feel that you blame me for what they did”.
Zoë Johnson, East Lansing, MI.
Molly Kohler Canfield, OH
Janet Eckles Des Moines, IA
David Sunnyvale, CA I’ve often bristled at the idea that I’m assumed guilty. I have pale skin and this comes with a host of unfair assumptions about my character. White does not mean racist.
Angela Weaver Creedmoor, NC I’ve been told I sound and act White. I like White music and most of friends are White. I married a White man and I’m raising a White child who was adopted at birth. I’m Black and sometimes I feel guilty.
Alyssa Bunce Poughkeepsie, NY
Peter Podesta Fernandina Beach, FL Submitted via: NPR’s Talk of the Nation