I was inspired by this meditation on racism, which describes the well known evils of over-generalization.
And I got to thinking how people-of-color’s outrage at white privilege will be a never-healing wound.
For one thing, there are way too many white people out there who don’t even acknowledge the fact that there’s a problem. Yes, Virginia, there is racism out there. Sure, we’re not getting strung up on ropes or kept out of diners, but it’s there all the same. When otherwise educated people can still stupidly characterize an entire ethnic group as lazy or stupid, you’ve got to realize that we’re nowhere near a solution.
Now, the trickier part are the white people suffering from so-called white guilt. They are, on one hand, people who are enlightened enough to acknowledge that there is a problem. But they are also (OK, OK, I recognize the irony and yes, hypocrisy, of over-generalizing here, but language just ain’t efficient enough to mince words) prone to taking offense too easily when they are accused of “just not getting it.” Yes, I know you’re on my side, but, frankly, I’m not going to be the one to allay your guilt. What’s done is done, and I’m glad you own up to it, and I’m glad you have the strength of character to admit it, but forgiveness is not forgetting, and you know what, you’ve got to come to grips with things on your own. I’m not going to the salve that eases your soul.
It is, on a sociological level, a lot like a relationship between two people. I mean, who hasn’t been in a relationship where you were used or betrayed by the other party? It’s the same thing, you go on with life, you let it go. You don’t necessarily forget it, though. That betrayal, that abuse, is now part and parcel of your life, and even if the betrayer and abuser sincerely mends their ways, you can’t just go ahead an disavow that part of your history just to make that person feel better. What’s done is done. Deal with the consequences.
That said, is it possible that racism and all the bad feelings associated with it ever disappear? Probably not until we’re done with dividing people up into races. That’s probably at least one good thing about globalism—the gene pool widens considerably, and maybe in a few generations, we will all literally be one color, and this kind of bullshit won’t matter anymore. Oh, don’t worry, there’s lots of other kinds of discriminatory bullshit to wade through anyway.