Most white people of average to SC experience some sense of guilt as it
pertains to slavery and segregation of the past. There are 2 sub-conscious
notions fueling the experience of guilt. First, most whites at some level,
experience the sense that if they had lived during the time slavery they may
Then again, where to begin?
Some will state that if they were not alive at the time and therefore are not to
blame for any such oppression having occurred. This position requires the
person to believe they would have been equally enlightened at any point in
history- it also assumes a fair degree of individual enlightenment exists in the
present. Does the doing of nothing today have nothing to do with the doing of
nothing in the past?
likely to experience remorse may be the least likely to perpetrate. Regardless,
It would be a purpose served for a fleeting moment as the cause of liberty and
justice exist in limbo waiting to proceed in either forward direction or reverse to
have recognized a pervasive injustice but fear they would not
have acted in contribution to abolish. Second is the sense that
they are still not doing enough to eliminate the residual
inequities attributable to past oppressions committed by
ancestors of their own race.
It is disconcerting to behold the monumental disregard of
individual liberties- at one time occurring unabated. Can we
not superficially acknowledge great ‘wrongs’ and simply move
on? Surely the opening of old wounds functions only to
provoke unwelcome consequence.
At first glance, it may seem as though the experience
of guilt by an oppressor is a natural counter-balance to
the suffering experienced by the victim. Perhaps to the
extent that feelings of guilt serve to diminish the
frequency and severity of perpetrated oppression, a
higher purpose may be served. Although, those most
Direction by default assumes a course absent consensus and
results in an escalation of oppressive practices. Direction toward
positive and chosen destiny initiates and perpetuates a
reconciliation process in which guilt functions as a logical but
largely distracting consequence of an insidious, toxic lingering.