Recently, one of my friends — someone I respect and look up to for her intelligence and sense of humor — regaled us with a story of how she was pulled over for a bogus charge. She got a ticket for an infraction that was “iffy” at best, and she was more than angry. After receiving her ticket, the police officer, who was a total jerk to her throughout the transaction, asked her if she had any questions. In a form that made me want to cheer, she explained how she told Officer Not-so-Friendly off. I would have done the same. Most of my friends would, because these are the type of kick-ass friends I have.
“Then…” she said with a straight face, “my white guilt kicked in.”
At first I thought she was joking. Up until then, it was a light-hearted rant about how Officer Macho was a jerk and she got a ticket she did not deserve. We all commiserated. But this white guilt thing? Turns out she was serious. She actually felt guilt for being white because, as she explained (since I was clueless), if she had not been white, she would have been dragged out of her car on trumped-up charges and either arrested or killed.
Insert screeching record sound here. Um…what?!
No, really. She really believes this. In fact, she and another friend — whom I also think the world of — both gave me incredulous looks as if *I* were insane for not understanding their position. They even told me that they were not willing to discuss it with me because the “facts proved it,” and I was wrong in my belief that not Every. Single. Human. Being. Is. Racist.
What facts? I’ve done my homework, and I have found ZERO statistics that stack up to this appalling mindset. I scoured the FBI statistics, the Bureau of Crime, and arrest records for decades. Nothing backs up this claim. So, this is based on anecdotes and feelings, but I do not feel this way. According to these two educated, intelligent ladies, there is something wrong with ME.
Maybe it was my upbringing?
Growing out of self-hatred and feelings of uselessness did not come naturally to me. My parents were never on my side. I was not raised in the “everybody gets a trophy” generation, and I had to fight for everything I got. I continue to fight for everything I have. I know what it is like to wait in line for government cheese, and I know what it is like to go hungry for days. I know what it is like to get denied for rentals, denied for auto loans, denied for home loans, and denied for even the easy-to-get department store credit. I know what it is like to be told that I do not qualify for any sort of student aid (other than mercenary loans that will follow me the rest of my life) because of my skin color (really). I know what homelessness and hopelessness feels like. I know what it is like to be “the one” who stands out in a room full of “normal” people. I know what it is like to have your own mother tell you that you were a burden. I have lived most of my life hating myself simply for being born.
It took a lot of work to build enough self-worth to go on, work hard, and actually do something with my life.
Yet now I am supposed to look around me and feel guilty. Not for doing anything wrong. Not for harming anyone or wanting to harm anyone. Not for doing or saying anything to set anyone back. No, I am supposed to hate myself for being born “white.”
Not only that, but I am to feel guilty because EVERYONE else who is white is racist, and that is why I “get away” with more. I do not know a single person who is a racist – frankly, because I would not want anything to do with them if they were. I take that back. I guess now I do know some racists, I just did not realize it.
I honestly cannot look at a cop, a clerk, or any other person I do not know and assume they are racist. Everyone? All the time? What a horrific, terrifying world to live in! Why would anyone want to live like that? Plus, if every white person is a disgusting racist pig that should feel guilty for their evil, evil ways (which could literally consist only of lack of melanin), then that means if you are white, you must be racist against all minorities AND yourself, as well. You must judge and hate large groups of people on nothing but assumptions. We are not only supposed to apologize for it, we are to perpetuate it. This is in the name of “equality” and “justice?” No, this is in the name of indoctrination and slavery. My skin color does not determine my mindset, and how DARE you tell me that it must.
This ideology is hatred, and it is racism, and I do not want to live that way.
…so I do not.
If you say terrible racist things against my friends — black, brown, white, polka-dotted, or covered in yellow duckies — then you take me on: a non-apologetic, educated ginger. I will not feel guilty for being born, and neither should you.
Bring it on, fascists.