Welcome to Columbus Day, where according to the new orthodoxy I’m supposed to feel guilty for being a white guy.
Problem is, I don’t feel guilty. The European conquerors of the Americas were a nasty set of racist thugs, religious zealots, and vicious sadists, true enough. But that pretty much applies to everybody in that time and place, regardless of race. The Aztecs, for example, would have been every bit as genocidal as the Europeans if they’d only possessed gunpowder. That was a different era, and there’s nothing for me to feel guilty about today. I haven’t genocided anybody, after all.
Does that mean that I’m unaware of white privilege? Of course not. People don’t cross the street when they see me walking down the sidewalk. People don’t automatically assume I’m stupid, uneducated, or illiterate because of the color of my skin. On the other hand, the moment I open my mouth and that Southern accent comes out, they automatically assume I’m stupid, uneducated, or illiterate because of the accent I was raised with, so any white privilege accruing to me has been short-lived. It gets me in the door, but that’s all it does. The rest has been all me.
Does this mean that I oppose doing more to help those who are discriminated against? Of course not. Discrimination is real, and it occurs every day. Every day, hundreds of thousands of times per day, people are judged based on the color of their skin rather than upon the content of their character. We need to do something to help even out the game. But feeling guilty for being a white guy isn’t going to fix that. It would just give me a reason to feel superior to those who don’t feel guilty. But feeling superior never gave anybody a job, or helped anybody get a quality education. It’s just ego bullshit intended to avoid having to actually do something, in the end, and I have no desire to have any truck with it.
– Badtux the Southern Penguin