The “We” Problem

Here be some unpopular opinions. But it’s something, as a Southerner and a white girl and someone who lots of generalizations are made about, I feel the need to speak on because people seem too afraid to talk about.

Context: someone on Reddit news assumed that because I’m white, and from the South, that I think slavery was a net positive…

I can’t make this shit up.

white-privilege

My family came from Europe in the early 1900’s. We are mostly German, with some Welsh, Irish, and Spanish on my dad’s side. My mom is Welsh, Spanish, and Sioux (but not enough to be official). When our family came over, we were dirt poor and farmers. And we’re still pretty poor.

Having said all that, the idea of “white guilt” is the stupidest fucking thing in existence. I patently refuse to feel guilty for something someone else did years ago, ancestor/relative or not. And if you are one of those people, you really and truly are in desperate need for professional help.

Now, this does NOT mean I am a heartless person. I have a great deal of sympathy and empathy for people who have had horrible shit happen in their life. But to think that I’ve had a magically perfect life because I have white skin is absurd.

Like this white privilege thing — I wish I had some, ’cause I don’t.

Let me tell you about my student loans — I’ll probably have them when I die.

Let me tell you about my medical bills — I’ve been turned down for jobs in my field because I have a couple thousand dollars worth of them on my credit. Employers seem to think that it makes me dishonest, a thief, or a horrible person.

Let me tell you about my two sexual assault experiences — because that was such a wonderful (sarcasm) time in my life.

Let me tell you about my homeless adventure — how would you like to like to live in your car for six months.

Let me tell you about how I’ve had to work for everything I have — multiple jobs at once.

Let me tell you about my mom’s meth habit — meth was more important than our mortgage — guess how that ended.

Let me tell you about my experience and my family’s experiences with the police — I’m related to too many convicted felons to work for the FBI. I can count on both hands and my toes all the family I’ve had that has spent any time in jail.

Let me tell you about my physical issues — my body is eating my thyroid. Predisposed to staph. Have to take an SSRI because my brain refuses to let me be happy.

Let me tell you about all those times I wanted to end my life when the thought of all those bad fucking things would cascade in my head at once.

The list goes on.

When I look at a person, I don’t see a skin color. I see a person who has had their own struggles. And yes, they may be more or less than mine. And yes, they may be different than mine. But everyone has been through something. To use a person’s skin color as a metric for determining how guilty you should feel or how disadvantaged they are is fallacious and dishonest. People have struggles every day. And to categorize struggles by race is patently absurd — because your skin is this color you must be relegated to this struggleย or that hardship.

I think more of a person than just their skin color — and if you don’t, then you are a horrible person.

It’s like Mal Reynolds said in Firefly, “we’re all just folk, now.”

I know people of color who are extremely successful and I admire. My two personal heroes are Black women.

I refuse to apologize for things I DID NOT DO. I have never committed genocide. I’ve never raped anyone. I’ve never I’ve never owned slaves. I’ve never hated anyone because they have a different skin color than I do. I’ve never been wealthy — ha. I’ve never had anything given to me because of my skin color. So this “we ” thing — “we” committed genocide, “we” had slaves, “we” systematically engage in racism.

Who the fuck is this “we”, ’cause I ain’t done any of that shit.

I’m not a part of this “we” that white guilters seem to be thrusting upon me.

So, stop.

When you look at me, and see a white girl, a “Becky”, don’t think that I’ve had it any better than you have.

Sorry. I haven’t.

And sorry, if this offends you or is something you don’t want to hear. This is honesty. This is me. This is real life.

“It has fallen to us to defend Jerusalem, and we have made our preparations as well as they can be made. None of us took this city from Muslims. No Muslim of the great army now coming against us was born when this city was lost. We fight over an offence we did not give, against those who were not alive to be offended. What is Jerusalem? Your holy places lie over the Jewish temple that the Romans pulled down. The Muslim places of worship lie over yours. Which is more holy? The wall? The Mosque? The Sepulcher? Who has claim? No one has claim. All have claim!”

Balian of Ibelin — Kingdom of Heaven

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