Simple Suggestions to Avoid White Guilt

I am a proud white American.

My great-grandparents came here with nothing on boats. They worked in sweatshops, mines, and probably worse for all I know. All in order to give my grandparents and my parents the nice middle class lives we have.

I am immensely proud of them, their values, and the fact that they produced my parents, not least because my Father is the hardest working man I have ever met. A true inspiration.

Thanks to our beautiful country, my family's story is one of millions. In fact, one special story that jumps out me is that of a man who came from Europe after WWII named John Demjanjuk.

John, his wife and daughter arrived in New York City aboard the USS General W. G. Haan on 9 February 1952. They moved to Indiana, and later settled in the Cleveland suburb of Seven Hills, Ohio. There he became a United Auto Workers (UAW) diesel engine mechanic at the nearby Ford automobile factory... His wife found work at a General Electric facility, and the two had two more children. On 14 November 1958, John became a naturalized citizen of the United States.

John and his wife lived the American Dream. They showed how good morals like Hard Work and Personal Responsibility could result in a cozy home in the suburbs and a future for their children.

There was only one small problem: John was a former Nazi. Decades later, he was proven to have committed countless murders.

So did John succeed in America because of his good morals? Or was it his good skin?

At the heart of our racial problem in America is the assumption that John must have had great morals to get his house and his good job, and anyone with less than John must have inferior morals.

To solve our racial problem and achieve our moral country, we must first reach a place where we can comprehend that the reason Hard Work has always been sure to mean success for white people is because of a handful of government programs over the years that made sure this was the case. As long as you worked hard and you where white, you made it.

Black people also come from long lines of hardworking, moral individuals; yet in many cases their outcomes have diverged from white outcomes. Why? And what can we do about it?

My simple suggestion is to stop assuming you know so much about black problems, and start with not assuming black people have problem. You're the one with the problem.

"Whatever white people do not know about Negroes reveals, precisely and inexorably, what they do not know about themselves."
James Baldwin