Comment by H3xx on December 1, 2013 at 1:04am

Rush Limbaugh. I wish someone would force him to get a doctorate in history, geology, and biology at gunpoint. Maybe then he'll be worth listening to.

Comment by Ron Humphrey on December 1, 2013 at 8:46am

I guess that ignorance truly is bliss

Comment by Unseen on December 1, 2013 at 4:41pm

Oh. I'm white. What am I missing here? Am I supposed to feel guilty about something. 

Sure, Rush is a reactionary asshole, but set that aside for a moment and answer my question.

My family didn't own slaves. They actually arrived at our shores after the Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation. My father fought in WWII. He hired the first black office worker in his large corporation (and she turned out to be a gem). 

What is the guilt for? What can I do about it? Ten Our Fathers and Twenty Hail Marys and five Rosaries?

Comment by Michael on December 1, 2013 at 8:27pm
There is absolutely nothing to feel guilty about beyond Darwin convincing you that you descend from apes with out proof or paleontological evidence beyond sketchy inference.
Comment by H3xx on December 1, 2013 at 10:04pm

@Unseen

The "guilt" that prejudiced conservatives like Rush are fighting against is actually a much needed cultural delacacy. White people, even if their families never owned slaves, or what ever other qualifications one might offer up, are socially required to show a certain sympathy towards those of other skintones. It doesn't matter if you or your genetic line never actually had anything to do with it, There is such a cultural scar there that the pain and damage is still felt. It is comparable to the pain and damage that Jews feel when confronted Nazi flags. My great grandfather lived in Hamburg Germany during WWII, and he was Jewish, at least by familial ties. I have his extremely curly hair and uncoordinated grace to prove it. :p

We may have black friends who we are comfortable enough with to joke with them, but when it comes to interacting with strangers, Our scociety is not yet at a point where we can openly joke or chat with people about it without ruffling feathers. We've come a long way to be sure. Martin Luther King Jr. would have never guessed that had he not been assainated, there would be a black president within his lifetime. I'm sure Jessie Jackson and Al Sharptin would have never guessed it would be possible back in 2000. That's why I'm keeping my fingers crossed that within the next three presidential elections that we'll have an Atheist President. Culture moves very quickly in the information age, so nothing is impossible.

Comment by Pope Beanie on December 1, 2013 at 11:07pm

Yeah! And let's fuck voting rights while we're feeling like victims!

Comment by Pope Beanie on December 1, 2013 at 11:12pm

(Recommendation to newcomers to TA... please don't feed the troll who's trying to change the topic here. I will delete this post, if Troll deletes his.)

Comment by Unseen on December 2, 2013 at 8:27am

Yeah! And let's fuck voting rights while we're feeling like victims!

I haven't seen anyone from TA wanting to mess with voting rights, have you, Pope Beanbag?

Comment by SteveInCO on December 2, 2013 at 9:56am

Perhaps H3xx has a valid point here but if so the wrong word to use for it is guilt.  And if anyone is too touchy about the subject to be joked with, it's blacks.

"Guilt" would imply it was my fault.  It wasn't.  American slavery was not my fault, nor the fault of any of my ancestors, not that it would matter; it's a biblical doctrine (and for that matter a Nazi one too) that one can bear guilt for something one's ancestors did.  Do we really want to follow that?

And if ancestry confers guilt, most black Americans today would bear it, as they probably have more than a drop of American slaveholder blood in their veins, certainly they have more of it than I do.

Rush Limbaugh said: "If any race of people should not have guilt about slavery it's Caucasians"

You know he might have a point here (the quote is taken out of context so I don't know if his point is the same one I am thinking of--maybe he only hit it by accident).  Caucasians (specifically the British) ended the slave trade.  You might then respond but yeah they were the slave keepers before that.  Well, no, they weren't the slave keepers; people of absolutely every race kept slaves, and in point of fact it was (some) sub-Saharan Africans who captured and sold other sub-Saharan Africans to the slave trade that supplied the American colonies and then the United States.  Which By The Way banned the importation of new slaves in 1808, if I am not mistaken, which cut down on the number of people kidnapped and sent away from their old lives--only one of the many evils of the whole putrid "peculiar institution."

If having slave owning ancestors means you should feel guilty then every last human being on earth should feel guilty.  By the same token if freeing slaves and ending the trade are good things then the descendants of those people should feel less guilt.  I may be white but that would leave me out, as my ancestors were all in southern and eastern Europe at the time.  Fortunately I don't believe that either moral guilt or credit should pass down like that.

Do I believe progress has been made?  Yes, it has.  Do I believe there is more to be done?  Certainly.  But running around insisting that one group owes another group something regardless of the individual's lack of any role in the original harm is counter productive.  In fact by ascribing the (alleged) moral and character characteristics of a group to individuals who bear a superficial resemblance to the stereotype but who in fact happen to not share those characteristics is judging people by the color of their skin, not the content of their character, and inverts what Dr. Martin Luther King wanted our society to look like.  Why perpetuate the same type of evil?  Just because the "other" group would be on the shitty end of the stick?  Supposedly revenge is not a valid reason to do things; if not then surely revenge on people who didn't even do it is worse.

On a side note, I live in a very politically conservative town.  As such I hear a lot of people complain about Obama.  Now granted I don't hang around with knuckledragging rednecks and the like, but I have never personally heard one person complain about him being black.  Not once.  For that I have to go find someone who cherrypicks the media for interviews with assclown racists.  But based on my personal experience absolutely none of the opposition to Obama's policies stems from racism.  Now I know that cannot actually be true.  Like I said I don't hang out with knuckledraggers so my sampling is defective.  But by the same token, it is just as ridiculous to claim (as some do) that all of it does, or to simply automatically claim some opponent is a racist.

Comment by Ed on December 2, 2013 at 10:15am

Does one feel guilt for the mistreatment of the American Indian? The Japanese American citizens placed in camps on American soil at the start of WWII?

Short of embarrassment these are all events where we failed as a nation to treat fellow humans with dignity and respect. Hopefully we have learned not to repeat the errors of our way. 

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