Don’t Say “White Guilt”

I don’t want to hear it. I’m annoyed to sometimes hear the phrase from progressive quarters. I wouldn’t be surprised if it originated in the African American civil rights movement, a way of talking about white people doing activist tourism, or some such. But most of the time when I hear it now? It’s from shameless racist cockstains. Whether you fit that description or not, don’t bring that phrase in my house.

I don’t feel guilt for the actions of racist whites. I feel shame. There’s a difference. Guilt would be if I felt personally responsible for slavery, lynching, etc. I don’t. I feel some guilt for the actual racist things I’ve done due to unconscious biases, but being neurotypical, my brain doesn’t even let me feel all that bad about it. I feel alright.

Shame though. I feel gross for sharing qualities with scumbags. I feel gross for having kinship with people like Trump and David Duke. I feel ashamed to be the same race as these people not because I think there’s something inherent in race that makes one good or evil, but because THEY make our shared race important in a disgusting way.

Likewise atheism and manhood. I’m ashamed to be the same apparent gender as Thunderf00t, Eron Gjoni, Daryush Valizadeh, and Ted Bundy – not because I think being a man makes one inherently evil, but because THEY have exercised the social power of their gender in evil ways. Because Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, TJ Kirk, Pat Condell, Penn Jillette, Bill Maher, and more have cited atheism and secularism in defense of shitty terrible positions.

People of privilege at this moment in history are in high reactionary mode, becoming more loud, terrible, fearful, and hateful than ever before. They’re making us look bad. If you don’t feel that, well, good for you, Jimmy. But you should be aware Trump reflects on you. Dawkins reflects on you. You cannot escape your brand, and it is being dragged through the shit right now in an epic way, by YOUR fellows.

You might not feel the shame like I do, but if you did, it might prepare you for the way the oppressed react to your presence. Might help you understand things like Schrodinger’s Rapist and Hands up, Don’t shoot. Whatever the case, don’t talk to me about white guilt.


  1. Great American Satan says

    If this post was a bit more popular, it’d be an excellent way to add people to my block list. Link it up, assholes. I only have one so far.

  2. Great American Satan says

    Heh. I remember one of the last exchanges I had on FB before I deleted it involved being called a white knight. Good times.

  3. silverfeather says

    Ugh, it’s a shame this phrase seems to be used by white supremacists as an insult to be directed at white people who have recognized the privileges they have in relation to PoC (and are struggling to help dismantle the system of white supremacy). I feel like it would have had some value if those alt-right racist blowhards could have stayed away from it.

    Oh well, whatever we’re calling it, I feel it. And I think the best way to channel it is into a sense of responsibility to use whatever voice or advantage I have to try to push against the status quo. Makes for some fun conversations at work :\

  4. Great American Satan says

    I definitely avoid political conversations at work, even on subjects that shouldn’t be political issues, such as the basic humanity and rights of my fellow humans. It ain’t easy. People always gotta have an opinion about shit. 😛

  5. silverfeather says

    It’s for sure smarter to avoid those conversations at work, they have the potential to lose you a job! I am just really terrible at keeping my mouth shut when someone is saying something that I think is really wrong/harmful/racist/sexist.
    I try to mitigate my inability to keep my mouth shut by staying civil, being as diplomatic as possible, saying my piece, and letting it drop when we reach a real impasse.
    Most of my memorable conversations along those lines have happened in the breakroom, with my goal being to be sure that other people hear pushback on shitty (racist/homophobic/sexist) comments. Kind of like internet arguments… it isn’t so much about changing the mind of the person you’re arguing with as it is about reaching the people lurking on the sidelines.

  6. Great American Satan says

    Always the break rooms, sometimes the floor during a slow minute. The worst was when I was doing security in a hallway that was arbitrarily decreed to require three people, with low enough traffic to let guards start talking all kinda shit. Despite everything, I want to like people, and knowing what they believe really fucks that up. But if you have the will to face that stuff, someone should, so keep it up.

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