This Is What You Should Do With Your White Guilt

Empty platitudes are done. Over. Cancelled.

Photo by Ethan Sykes on Unsplash

My partner’s father is white and while they have no relationship, in the age of social media, anyone can connect with anyone. A few days ago my partner’s fully white half brother sent him a message on Facebook simply saying “I love you, brother”. My partner didn’t know what to do with it since they don’t know each other. He also noticed that the half brother had made a status update: “not all white people are racist”.

If you’re wondering what to do with your white guilt, honey, this ain’t it. White people must put their money where their mouth is. It’s long overdue. If you’re a poor white person, put your body on the line. Put up or shut up. The time for lofty platitudes is gone. The time for “ thoughts and prayers” is no more. Over. Done. Cancelled.

Racism has persisted for so long because all white people benefit from it; not only the ones that walk around saying “n*gger this”, and “n*igger that.” All white people have enjoyed the benefits of whiteness since racism began. If you feel guilty about that, great. That’s proof that you’re human. Now put that guilt to good use.

It’s not a Black person’s job to make you feel comfortable in your whiteness. You should feel uncomfortable. Get tougher skin. Because if you feel bad now, you’re going to feel a lot worse when you start educating yourself on the real American history — the stuff they don’t teach you in school. I repeat: get tougher skin. And while you’re at it, get a stronger stomach. This stuff ain’t for the faint at heart.

So what should you do? There are white people out there putting their bodies in between cops and black people — protecting them. There are white people out there making donations to organizations that are supporting the protesters. There are white people out there amplifying the voices of Black activists. Make some good use out of your guilt. Research, and then get active.

No one cares if “not all white people are racist”. This isn’t about white people at all. I know, it’s hard to process not being the center of attention after centuries and centuries of being the center of attention. Get used to it.

You will have to do more with your white guilt than sing John Lennon’s “Imagine”. You will have to educate yourself beyond what you were taught racism is and what you were taught America stands for. That’s on you. That’s your responsibility.

If you’re already doing these things, great. Then I’m not talking to you. Don’t @ me; @ your racist family and friends.

I do wonder if the white people I went to school with now understand why we were always so ~angry~. To be clear, I don’t actually care. I have more important things to worry about and I don’t have the time to educate people who have had the privilege of walking through life with their heads in the clouds. Welcome to the world. Face reality, like everyone else.

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Kesia Alexandra is a creative writer from Washington, DC. She studied at Boston University. She’s on Twitter and Instagram. She’s the author of It Ain’t Easy, Eating off the Floor and Majestic and Lynn.

creative writer, creative speller.

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