White, Not Guilty

My success in life, however modest that may be, did not come at the cost of anyone else’s failure, regardless of their skin color. Life and success in America today is not a zero sum game where for some to win some others must necessarily lose.

If “white privilege” played any part in that success it was because the culture that I grew up in valued education, hard work, and respect for authority. Probably most importantly the culture that I grew up in did not give me any excuses for my own personal failures.

Anyone in America, regardless of their skin color, can enjoy the benefits of “white privilege” if they are willing to “act white.” When I say “act white” I mean that a person needs to seek an education that gives them valuable skills, be prepared to work hard, respect the rights of others, and expect some setbacks and difficulties in life as a matter of course.

White Privilege

There is no systemic or institutional racism that gave me an advantage over an equally qualified black. In fact in the modern world many companies will discriminate against me because I am a white male in favor of a less qualified blacks in order to meet quotas for “diversity” in the workplace. Often today in the 21st century not being a white male gives one a distinct advantage, other things being equal.

However if a black sees education as acting white” and somehow treason to his or her race, if a black refuses to learn to speak in a mainstream American dialect, and especially if a black literally radiates hatred and resentment to the world, then it should not be a big surprise that he or she might face some serious difficulties in life.

In modern America systemic racism” (racism built into our laws, institutions, and culture) is an illusion. It may be a comfirming illusion for some, but it still an illusion.

I fully understand that in the living memory of some today – myself included – there were significant barriers – clearly systemic racism – for blacks to overcome, particularly in the South.

The past, not the present

What we need to understand though is that those barriers are not the reality of today. Black author John McWhorter writes:

“There was a time when fighting and decrying institutional racism was the main task at hand, and blacks of my generation owe a debt of gratitude to those who did it; our comfortable lives would be impossible without their efforts. Today, though, these people are well-intentioned relics of another era, an era they in their moment helped us to get past. Our main concern must be with new generations, who can fulfill their potential only in an America where victimology, separatism, and anti-intellectualism don’t flourish among black Americans.”

What’s Holding Blacks Back?

The sub-title of the article by John McWhorter quoted above is:

“It’s black attitudes, not white racism, that’s to blame.”

You should click on the above link to Mr. McWhorters article. It will be worth your time to read.

There are certainly some things in my life that I feel some guilt about, but mistreating black people is not one of them. I see no genuine reason why I should feel personal guilt for racism.

What I do feel, and feel genuinely, is sympathy. Life would be a lot better for everyone in America today if blacks would stop focusing on the worst parts of the past, and instead decided to accept the invitation of the greater part of America to be part of us, to be part of America, and to be proud of that as we all have a right to be.

Maybe black folks shouldn’t focus so much on slavery – that is long gone and there is no one alive today that bears any responsibility for that (and if you want the whole truth there were free black and Native American slaveowners too).

If black folks need heroes then look at the black fighter pilots in World War 2, the Tuskegee Airmen, who risked their lives to protect American bombers crewed by white airmen.

That is the black history that ought to be emphasized.

If black folks needs heroes look to Martin Luther King. Jr. and the non-violent movement he led to remind Americans of the real principles America was founded on.

This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with a new meaning, “My country, ‘tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.

I Have a Dream, Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr.

He also wrote:

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I Have a Dream, Martin Luther King Jr.


6 thoughts on “White, Not Guilty

  1. That first paragraph is only a belief out of convenience. It only exists to exaggerate the sense of your own personal power and dignity so you don’t question it. It’s not based on reality. If you look at factual data on this matter, you will find that the vast majority of wealth and success is based on how your parents had it and what zip code you were born in, not on how hard you work. Also, consider how much of what the US enjoys is due to labor that has been outsourced to other countries that have less protections for workers and can therefore be more cheaply exploited. Most of the comforts we enjoy are due to that.

    1. The first paragraph simply states a fact, my success in life did not come at the cost of others’ failure. That success did not come from “white privilege” unless you consider that to be the culture of responsibility that I grew up in .

      The “factual data” shows that children are much more likely to be successful when they grow up with a mother and a father who are the natural parents. Broken homes are a good predictor of failure.

      The globalization of commerce in many respects is a good thing. It is helping bring many people around the world out of poverty. The one thing that is wrong with it is we are enriching a brutal, genocidal and totalitarian government in Communist China. We should restrict that global economy to only countries that have some modicum of respect for human rights.

      1. How well your recent ancestors had it would have ripple effects into your current life and would therefore affect how well you’d be able to find success. As a white person, you have the privilege of not inheriting a lineage with slavery in its recent past so, by being in that lineage, you are going to be more adapted to finding success. That is what is meant by white privilege. If you really do come from a “culture of responsibility,” then you should take responsibility for the historical precedents that weave success or failure into your life, and acknowledge how they affect everyone else, especially black people. That isn’t to say personal action isn’t a part of that. It is. Inheritance is also a factor, more than you are probably willing to admit.

        Broken homes are a predictor of failure because divorces are expensive. That foundation of wealth, as well as the foundation of more consistent emotional support, gets disrupted. Since the father is more often the main source of income, that also gets taken away. I think that just proves my point.

        Trying to get capitalist interests to respect human rights is a pipe dream. As long as there is money to be made and human rights are a barrier to that, human rights will never be a real concern. We see it throughout all of history. The wealthy elites will, one way or another, find a way to corrupt the system to bend the rules in their favor, because there is every incentive for them to do so. You are just clashing with human nature at that point.

        1. “As a white person, you have the privilege of not inheriting a lineage with slavery in its recent past…”

          I would say 1865 is not so recent. No one has any reasonable right to claim that is affecting them now.

          “you should take responsibility for the historical precedents that weave success or failure into your life,…”

          Nope. I don’t take responsibility for things that happened generations before I was born. The real problem for blacks is the generations of lies told to them by “progressives” who told them that everything bad in their life is because of racism.

          It is kind of like way back when everyone believed that bad fortune was due to witches (which they like to burn or hang from time to time).

          Blacks were actually starting to make significant advances until the 1960 and the 70s when Liberals started to try to “help” them and it has been downhill ever since.

          As to capitalists, it is a mixed story. Often they do good. It is their involvement with murderous regimes like Communist China that today is the major content.

          I would say the major impediment to blacks today is their own racism, mostly the result of “progressive” propaganda to them that everything is about race and every obstacle in life is the result of racism.

          1. Things thousands of years ago affect us today, for better or for worse. Do you know what religion is? The world is blighted by thousands of different sects of Christianity, and Islam is the fastest growing religion is the world. Both were started by two of some of the most overrated people from over a thousand years ago, so this notion that 1865 is a disconnected past is laughable. It’s a simple-minded fantasy.

            A lot of bad things that happen in black people’s lives is due to racism. Are you saying racism is a fiction? Are you saying that racial discrimination isn’t real? This whole line of reasoning of yours reeks of a desperate desire to believe that nothing is wrong because we are Western civilization and our values are peak humanity. It sounds like you want to believe this Thomas Kinkade painting over of reality, and these progressives are inconveniencing your fantasy by pointing out problems that exist or by not paying homage to the great Western demiurge.

          2. “A lot of bad things that happen in black people’s lives is due to racism.”

            This is true, however it is often their own racism that is at the root of the problem. Black author Shelby Steele wrote:

            “I think that what whites have to do is acknowledge and accept one interesting fact. It’s not a theory. It’s a fact. Since 1965 to roughly this, our own time, white America, I think, has made one of the greatest moral evolutions in all of human history. There is no example that I’m aware of, of a society determining to correct itself morally that has been more consistent and more relentless than what white Americans have done.”


            Unfortunately white liberals are on a crusade to preach racism to black Americans.

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