White Guilt

Whoo, let’s just start the flame wars now.

JK, my followers aren’t like that…so far.

Actually, given how many international followers I have, I wonder if everyone even is familiar with the term White Guilt.

This is a term those of us in the USA who are white have for the feeling of shame associated with the actions of our ancestors, and with our many privileges we have allegedly because of our race.

While people of any other ethnicity claim that they really are worse off and we just don’t understand.

Now I’m taking a World History Class at my public college, and its predictably anti-European.

Not that anyone calls it that, they cal it “Fair and Balanced” “Telling the Real Story” “Coming at it from a different perspective” and not using “The European Narrative.”

Now, there are no really honest generalizations if you’re talking about individual views. The Narrative of history from a European perspective is no more biased than from any other, if you mean in general. If you want to talk about the individuals, than it becomes a matter of each person’s story. Our judgment shifts from national and global to biographical. That’s fine. It’s human nature to be more interested in personal stories than vague histories.

If you want to look at the spirit of the age, that’s another matter. Certainly some ages had a general cruelty to them, others a more general sense of justice. I’m not sure any country has even been overwhelmingly kind, as kindness is always an individual sort of virtue, but some have been more fair, less likely to condone horrible things.

What my point is is that the claim of the public schools, at least in my country, that our older history is slanted toward the Europeans, and therefore it’s inaccurate, is bogus.

Of course it is, and our modern way of telling it slants it against the Europeans and if favor of literally anyone else, no matter how corrupt they are.

For example, a real instance that happened last week in my class discussion. We talked about the Aztecs, an ancient Mesoamerican civilizations (meaning they lived in the general area that is now Mexico or Central America). During the discussion, my professor and classmates criticized the Spaniards for disrespecting the Aztec’s religion by saying its gods were evil for requiring human sacrifice.

A little more history about the Aztecs: They were conquerors in much the same way the Spanish were. They took over and absorbed other cultures around them, took slaves (something that the Spanish did not do at the time) and sacrificed them to their gods as part of their blood ritual religion. Regularly.

My professor and classmates showed no sign of horror at this abominable practice, and when I suggested it was wrong, and the Spanish were right to criticize it, my professor decided to bring up some troubling beliefs in Christianity, the religion of the Spanish at the time (and, I’m certain she had guessed, my own religion, as I wore a cross to make it obvious.)

It’s only fair to share her points. She said that part of Christianity is symbolically eating the body and blood of Christ (which is not human sacrifice, even if it sounds gross) and that Abraham was even willing to sacrifice his son Isaac.

She should have brought up the time Japhthah sacrificed his daughter. That would have been a much stronger case than the time when God stopped Abraham form doing it.

Now, even among the people Jesus said it to, the Sacrament was a pretty weird idea and a lot of his followers left over it. Peter said they would stay because Jesus had the Words of Life. Jesus later established that eating his body and blood was to be symbolic thing, using bread and wine. Common foods that rich and poor alike would be able to eat.

While I agree it’s a strange practice, you won’t find any real religion that doesn’t have bizarre practices. And most are real, not symbolic. In the Bible God forbids cannibalism and human sacrifice (not self sacrifice, however).  God does not contradict Himself. Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac was before God had commanded against it, and God prevented it from actually happening, then later forbids it to make ti clear that it was a test and not something to actually do as an act of worship.

The Holy Communion is one of many parts of Christianity that use symbolism to show spiritual truths. When you eat something it becomes part of you, Jesus is a part of all of us. We are his body, and his blood is for our healing, when we eat and drink the symbolism of it, it is showing our oneness with Christ. IT has nothing to do with cannibalism.

Much the same way the Bible refers to suffering and judgment as a cup, it uses eating and drinking to symbolize the nearness and intensity of an experience or connection, but the followers of Christ understood that it was a symbol. And anyone who confuses a symbol for a real thing is generally starting a cult.

Which brings me back to the Aztecs. They were not symbolically shedding blood, they were actually doing it. The Christians’ own religion is not one that condones this or anything like it, and my Professors using it as such displays her ignorance of it, not my or the Spaniard’s ignorance of history or our own religion.

Why would an intelligent woman, who does not seem unkind, and a class of the brightest students at the college (if Honor Roll means anything) not see that they are defending murder sanctioned by a corrupt religion?

Because in their own words, no one is really right or wrong, there is no black and white.

But just to be clear, it was the Europeans who were in the wrong. They make sure we know that.

White Guilt. This is where is starts. Actually, it starts in Elementary School, with the view of history that justifies everyone but the ancestors of  many of the kids learning it, not to mention our Founders who gave us the country where we have the freedom to question them and our current leaders alike.

No race or ethnicity is perfect. No nation is perfect. Most are not fair. Most have been or are currently cruel.

Human Government as a rule has to be harsher than the individuals in it, because human justice is damage control. Unlike the justice of God, it cannot fix anything permanently, it is simply trying to assuage some of the evils that every society has.

No matter where you live and at what time, some class or race of people is being treated unfairly. Oppressed, perhaps. Though oppression is a tricky word. If the person really has no choice, than sure, they are oppressed. But in the Western world and some of the Eastern wold too, people can choose to quit a job and look elsewhere, or get a divorce, or not marry at all, or move. Then oppression becomes more of a mentality.

We in the USA are taught to feel ashamed of our past, and to strive for a vague idea of equality that the people who promote it do not even understand how to achieve, except by calling the rest of us who dare to have a spine out for being bigots.

I try to stay away from politics in my posts, but this goes beyond politics. It affects relegation, people’s sense of culture, and self respect.

I find it revolting to apologize for being an American and being White. While I do have ancestry that dates back to the colonies, I also have ancestry that dates back only 3 generations in America. And my people are some of the most hated and oppressed worldwide that exist, maybe the most.

I went to a Black Church for 6 years of my life (they were mostly 1st or 2nd generation Americans, so they didn’t feel as awkward about the race thing). There’s people at my current church from Sri Lanka, Africa, China, and Latino America, plus white people.

So I hardly think it’s really a matter of skin color or background. It’s an attitude to feel guilty for something you didn’t do, and to feel like a victim for something that never happened to you.

White Guilt is ridiculous in more ways than one, because it puts all White people into a box. I’m technically white, I look White, but I’m Slavic, with some Scottish, people who were not really a huge part of the European Slave trade. I’ve got Irish too, they were shipped around as indentured servants right along with the Africans, treated badly also.

My point is, you can’t look at me and assume I or my ancestors had any part of slavery or racism. You can’t assume that we were privileged, as Irish and Scottish people were looked down on in America, and still are in Britain, had the worst jobs just like the Africans did, and on my other family side, my people were hated even more.

So White Guilt, as an idea, is just as racist as Racism against anyone else. It’s saying that because you’re white, you’re a perpetrator of these ideas, or you come from people who perpetrated them, and now you need to make it better.

In the end, if you look at history honestly, everyone sucks. Humanity is a mess.

“There is none righteous, no not one; there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God.” (Romans 3:10-11)

There’s Human Guilt, that’s all there is. No sense blaming it one any one group of people.

That’s all for now, until next time–Natasha.

One thought on “White Guilt

  1. This is a sidenote, but I liked how you laid out the teacher’s arguments and refuted them all in one go.

    Like

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