Tuesday, November 11, 2008

White Guilt: A Eulogy by Tom Adkins

I have been out of the loop for a few days as I was traveling but I happened upon this op-ed written by blogger Tom Adkins in the Philadelphia Inquirer. I thought it was pretty funny so I thought I'd share:

"There go my fellow conservatives, glumly shuffling along, depressed by the election aftermath. Not me. I'm virtually euphoric. Don't get me wrong. I'm not thrilled with America's flirtation with neosocialism. But there's a massive silver lining in the magical clouds that lofted Barack Obama to the presidency. For today, without a shred of intellectually legitimate opposition, I can loudly proclaim to America:

The Era of White Guilt is over.This seemingly impossible event occurred because the vast majority of white Americans didn't give a fluff about skin color and enthusiastically pulled the voting lever for a black man. Not just any black man. A very liberal black man who spent his early career race-hustling banks, praying in a racist church for 20 years, and actively working with America-hating domestic terrorists. Yet white Americans made Barack Obama their leader. Therefore, as of Nov. 4, 2008, white guilt is dead. So today, I'm feeling a little "uppity," if you will. For more than a century, the millstone of white guilt hung around our necks, retribution for slave-owning predecessors. In the 1960s, American liberals began yanking that millstone while sticking a fork in the eye of black Americans, exacerbating the racial divide to extort a socialist solution to the country's problems. But if a black man can become president, exactly what significant barrier is left? The election of Barack Obama destroys the validation of liberal white guilt. The dragon is hereby slain.

So today, I'm feeling a little "uppity," if you will. From this day forward, my tolerance level for having my skin color hustled is exactly ZERO. No more Rev. Jeremiah Wright's "God Damn America," Al Sharpton's Church of Perpetual Victimization, or Jesse Jackson's rainbow racism. Cornel West? You're a fraud. All those "black studies" programs must now teach kids to thank Whitey. And I want that on the final.Congressional Black Caucus? Irrelevant. U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters (D., Calif.)? Shut up. ACORN? Outlawed. Black Panthers? Go home and pet your kitty. Black separatists? Find another nation that offers better dreams. To those Eurosnots who forged careers hating America? I'm still waiting for the first black French president.No more quotas. No more handouts. No more complaining that "the man" is keeping you down. "The man" is now black.

It's time to toss that massive, obsolete race-hustle machine upon the heap of the other stupid '60s ideas. Drag it over there, right between free love and cop-killing. Careful, don't trip on streaking. Just dump it. And then wash your hands. It's filthy. Obama's ascension also creates another gargantuan irony. How can liberals sell American racism, class envy and unfairness when our new black president and his wife went to Ivy League schools, got high-paying jobs, became millionaires, bought a mansion, and are now moving to the White House? How unfair is that? Now, like a delicious O. Henry tale, Obama's spread-the-wealth campaign rendered itself moot by its own victory! America is officially a meritocracy. Obama's election has validated American conservatism.

So ... Wham!!! That's the sound of my foot kicking the door shut on the era of white guilt. The rites have been muttered, the carcass lowered, dirt shoveled, and tombstone erected. Dead and buried" - (Source)

Though he jests I think he's right.

24 comments:

Black Diaspora said...

I guess I'm the first to weigh in on this. Well, let me get to it:

All of it is pure poppycock: I've never had whites respond to me from a place of pity, or remorse for racism.

If anything, I have always been seen as an obstacle to what they want, desire, and hope to have.

The only purpose of the Op-Ed is to cater to the common beliefs already in place: that blacks are availing themselves unfairly using white guilt (a damn myth, no such thing as white guilt), and they (whites) don't have to take it any more (another myth).

I submit that whites have never taken it, fighting any supposed black advantage--Affirmative action, or any other perceived racial preference--with a vengeance, even to the point of eliciting other blacks to carry out attacks against their fellow blacks.

This notion of "white guilt" is bogus. Whites have either dealt with us as equals, or they haven't.

It's as simple as that.

Pamela said...

I have to agree with Black Diaspora on this one. Anything they feel hinders them, especially as it relates to race, they fight tooth and nail. The idea of white guilt is pure nonsense to me. I think a more accurate description is that they communicate that they have been punished enough and that blacks should get with it.

Laws like affirmative action were put on the books because of hardness of heart of whites. In the Bible laws were put in place to deal with lawless people. I do not see an answer for this other than changed hearts and minds.

Bookworm Girl said...

picture this: you are living your life, peaceably, working, taking care of your family, co-existing with your countrymen. civilization is unfolding, let's say it's the early 1600s. one day you realize that some of your countrymen are bullies filled with malice for men and women that don't look like them. imagine your horror watching it all unfold, as a white american citizen. the bullies are running rampant you and your neighbors fear there's not much you can do about it without jeopardizing the lives of you and your family. eventually you do risk your lives, eventually you secretly talk amongst yourselves, next with the persecuted. in secret you collude to bring about changes.

imagine, also, african leaders, that unbeknownst to their own countrymen, negotiated and sold their own brethren into slavery. in our history terrible acts were committed on both sides (not to mention the civil wars that are still occurring in africa).

it is time to stop judging people according to the misdeeds of others. life happens. let us move on.

cbw, i applaud you for another excellent post. well done. i couldn't agree more.

Conservative Black Woman said...

Hey BD~An update regarding a call to action. I'm enrolling in the county course for caring for foster children, so when my daughter goes away for school next fall I will be prepared to take in a foster child. At least I will be able to pour into the life of one child. Baby step, yes but a step in the right direction I think.

Regarding white guilt--Not a myth, but let me define for you what I believe "white guilt" is. I don't think they literally feel guilty for the atrosities of the past, but I believe that they are tired of black being able to hold it over their heads. I think that whites who are not "willfully racist" are very afraid to be perceived as racist and therefore are relieved that Barack Obama was elected because they feel that some of the heat will be off regarding racism. If white guilt were not a real phenomenon then political correctness would not be such an issue. So no they don't feel sorry for us or feel an overwhelming sense of remorsefulness, but they (not all some) do fear the stigma of being
considered a bigot.

I don't think Tom Adkins feels guilty about racism he simply acknowledges liberal democrats used the race card (I'm talking about white liberals)to garner the support of black people because it was an effective way to bring forth their agenda. Now they are going to have to come up with something else because America has trumped the race card.

Pamela said...

I did not see white guilt as you defined. As defined I can see your point. My comments dealt purely with the idea of white guilt. I absolutely believe that whites want something to hopefully reduce accusations of racism.

I know there will still be some that have issues with blacks. I know there are still some blacks that are convinced that all their ills are solely because they are black. I know one bw that is a pure racist. She is convinced that Obama in office will take care of racism. I beg to differ. He is not the president of blacks. He is the president of all Americans.

No politician can change a heart. If people still want to live in the past they will find a way to do so. Hopefully this will stop our media from talking about it. Not sure how many hearts have changed really. Hopefully many.

Conservative Black Woman said...

Angela~It will be most interesting to see how this plays out. I do believe that some black folks have sincerely been inspired by Barack Obama's election and what I realize now that I hadn't before is that children who haven't seen accomplished black professional men or women for that matter in their environments may actually strive to do something different with their lives.

But there will be some black people who will allow the obstacles to block their acheivement and continue to subscribe to the victim mentality. I just hope as you said that some hearts and minds have been changed because that's progress.

Adkin's Op-ed is speaking more to liberal democrats and their front-men than to the black community at large. You and Black Diaspora are right most white folks don't give a flying fig about the collective pain of the black community and feel that we should solve our own problems. Barack Obama's election removes them from the equation in their mind. At this point, what ails us as a community is our problem not theirs -- They've given us a black president and they feel absolved.

Conservative Black Woman said...

Pamela~I'm apologize I always call you Angela.

Pamela said...

NP:)

Black Diaspora said...

@CBW: "I'm enrolling in the county course for caring for foster children, so when my daughter goes away for school next fall I will be prepared to take in a foster child."

You didn't seek, nor did you ask for, my approbation.

So I hope it's alright if I offer it, nevertheless.

We all need to step up in some way, large and small, to make a difference in, and for, our black communities.

I will unveil my own little initiative at the beginning of the new year. I hope before then.

Barack Obama's election removes them [whites] from the equation in their mind. At this point, what ails us as a community is our problem not theirs -- They've given us a black president and they feel absolved.

I believe that you're right regarding white absolution, finally they--those who have the
need--can wash their hands of us.

Yet, the problems of America are the problems of all. Some whites will, not because of guilt, roll up their sleeves and do what is possible and practical to up the standards of all people, not just those of their own tribe.

For example, I assist whites as well as blacks.

We are, in the final analysis, members of the same tribe--first as Americans, and secondly as members of the whole human family.

As goes blacks in this country, so goes the country (our welfare is inextricably tied to theirs), as is the welfare of others on this planet.

The questions has not really been about goals, but methodology, and willingness.

Hence, I'm renewing my willingness to make a difference, subscribing to the goals that have always been in place (to improve the lot of those in our midst), and using whatever methodology that will get us there the quickest, without alienating, nor castigating those using alternate methods, who are also striving to help us reach the goals we seek.

All are invited!

Hunker Down said...

I was in Atlanta the day after the election. I noticed a palpable sense of pride and optimism among virtually every black person I encountered. As a conservative Republican whose party got hammered, I saw this as the silver lining in this election - that a significant portion of our population will collectively be happier and more optimistic than perhaps at any time ever in our history.

Of course, I do not believe in trickle up economics and I worry about our national security, but this will hopefully be a turning point in our country in which all people (black, brown or white) will believe in the slogan "Yes We Can." Certainly anyone can succeed here with good habits. Can President Obama inspire the non-achievers to practice better habits in their personal lives? That is the change for which I am hopeful.

uglyblackjohn said...

I'm not sure.
I think that "White Guilt" is the reason that Obama won the election (more whites voted FOR Obama than all minorities combined). Maybe some will see it as a tactic that worked.

Anonymous said...

Hey, CBW, you say "most white folks don't give a flying fig about the collective pain of the black community and feel that we should solve our own problems..." Wow, how judgemental is that? So what you're saying is that you know exactly what white people are thinking. Let me ask you this. Knowing that whites were in rule of this country from the end of the 1700's, and yet now we have a country where blacks can gain any position, including President of the US, you don't think this may be indicative of many white people listening to the plight of blacks and creating/adjusting the law to allow for equality? If you don't see this, you're only looking to be bitter. We've come a long way, baby. Don't deny it.

Then you say: "Barack Obama's election removes them from the equation in their mind. At this point, what ails us as a community is our problem not theirs -- They've given us a black president and they feel absolved."

Absolved? From their guilt, I presume. How about the Japanese/American citizens who were thrown in concentation camps and had their land taken away from them in WW2 because of their appearance. I can go on and on and come up with peoples who were victimized and worked their way up (some of you like to quote the bible. The bible will teach you that Jews were the slave of slaves in olden days, and look at their relative societal rank today). I don't hear the Japanese complain about what happened to them. I don't see the Jews pointing their fingers at anyone either--they worked their way up. They are gracious and look to the past as the past (the bible teaches that principle also in Phil 3:14). You want to keep your kids down? Keep teaching them that society owes them something and that their lack of accomplishment is NOT their fault. You do that and I'll guarantee you a bunch of losers) By the way. I'm not white either, in case you were wondering--but you don't see color anyway, right?

Conservative Black Woman said...

Anonymous~Yes, I said that white folks don't give a fig about what ails black people but what I didn't say is that I expect them to or that they should. If you have followed this blog at all you will know that I am all about black folk caring about black folks and not expecting white folks to do what we should be doing ourselves.

Yes, I think that white folks do see the election of Obama as absolution from white guilt as I (and Tom Adkins) have defined. Not guilt in the sense of remorsefulness but absolution from the heavy white of the past.

Listen, I think black americans are seriously myopic on the slavery issue (not marginalizing the atrosity) but I know that several other racial groups have had enslaved, oppressed and killed and still have risen to the top of the heap. Have you read my previous posts at all?

Conservative Black Woman said...

I meant to say I don't expect white folk to give a fig. (Typing too fast)

Anonymous said...

Just stumbled across this blog. I'm a middle aged white guy who grew up in the inner city and saw good folks and bad folks (mostly good) both black and white. It seems at midlife that most people want to do mostly good things, most of the time. Admittedly, they often differ about what is "good" ...

For the record I received more trouble growing up from white bullies than from black counterparts, and this has continued to this day. The bullying is different now that I'm in a career. Have had the good fortune (I admit it is fortune) to have great opportunities in life, great mentors at opportune times, and a solid parental foundation to prepare for both opportunities and mentors.

In recent years I have materially helped two minority-owned businesses get started in my chosen field. Having worked closely in this capacity, I honestly believe (but could be wrong) that the "good ol' boys" club has worked against me at least as hard as against my minority colleagues. This isn't meant to complain but to note that human beings of all stripes oppose outsiders or even family (see Cain vs. Abel) who threaten their sense of how things ought to be (which invariably involves themselves on top).

Since so many humans view the world as a "zero sum game," all of us will always know someone who wants to work things to their advantage (often unfairly) and to keep others from competing for resources and power. Some will do that on the basis of race :-( others on the basis of wealth or intelligence or a dozen other things.

I don't know about this white guilt topic, but I do know that outright racism still exists :-( and always will, since human beings fall short of the glory of their Maker. (This reality does not excuse it of course.) I also know that I hope, pray, and WORK to be a faithful coworker with anyone on the basis of trustworthy effort above any other consideration. Since I am one of those fallen human beings, I don't claim to have arrived, but I am hopeful (naively?) that we are collectively witnessing progress.

jen.o said...

Hello - I happened to wander into this after I received an email and I looked it up on line to see what this was all about.

I don't necessarily agree with all that is written. Personally? I've been in the military for 13 years, I'm a female. I work in the field of Computers. I've been my own little minority island I guess. I don't have a lot of anger built up about color. I would just like to see us get beyond color. But lets face it - color or NO color. People tend to visually asses a person and place their own impression on them before they know who they are. Its how I have found most people to be, and yes I'll admit it - I have on many occasions "judged the book by its cover..." then been surprised when that blond girl had a brain. :) Gotta love it, and realistically you have to agree its all over and we have become a society of "its not my fault - its this judgment on me!" (I do like the quote about tossing it all out...)

GoDMaGNuS said...

Hi everyone, I wandered into this site after having read the rant of Tom Adkins then following up on him via Google. I have read all the previous comments leading to my own. My name is David and I am a hodge-podge of ethnic origins. Included in my bloodline are traces of English, German, American Indian (Cherokee), African American (my mother's grandmother was black), Jew, and any number of countless races. I guess what I'm getting at is that in a life like mine, there is no place for racial tension, yet I live with it on a daily basis. Racial tension is everywhere, it hovers around everyone, even those of us who strive to tear it down. I did not vote for Barack Obama. Not because he was black, but because I did not agree with much of his liberal views. He won without my vote. So be it. Now, as an American, a former U.S. soldier, and a man of God, I support him and pray for him as my leader. Maybe God can use him to bring change, maybe not. I cannot say. All I know is that change isn't reliant upon who sits in the seat of power, it relies solely on our personal decision to let go of things we cannot change, and change the things we can. I wish we didn't have to have segregation at any level. I've never understood why there were a need for black churches, white churches, black colleges, white colleges, and so on. I could play the Jew card and say, "I'm offended. where are my rights and college funds?" or, I could play the Native American hand and say, "My people were forced out of their land and made to live in concentration camps called reservations and have been hindered from progress by white suppressionist." Truth be told, I don't really care about any of that. I am aware of my history. My history has impacted who I am. Had Jews not fled from the persecution of the Middle Eastern nations and migrated into England, I would not exist. Had the English never forcibly spread their influence into Germany, I would not exist. Had their descendants never crossed the ocean into America and conquered the Native Americans, I would not exist. Had African slaves never been brought to American soil, I would not exist. Had a white man never fallen in love with a black woman in a time when such a thing was unheard of, I would not exist. Through all the supposed atrocities that have taken place throughout the history of this world, I cannot go back and say I despise any of them, because without them, I would not exist. I am an American, and I will proudly stand up and pledge my allegiance to the flag, even if my President does not. I will follow the leadership of the elect of this nation, and I will support him when his ideals do not conflict with my personal convictions, and I will always pray for him, even when they do. Am I prejudice? Sure, we all have some form of prejudice. The question is, are we big enough men and women to look past our personal opinions to step into a future that could possibly be free of racism for our children or grandchildren? Maybe that's a more important topic to discuss. God bless.

Conservative Black Woman said...

Amen,Godmagnus!

uptownsteve said...

This column was little more than a pathetic racist rant.

"I submit that whites have never taken it, fighting any supposed black advantage--Affirmative action, or any other perceived racial preference--with a vengeance, even to the point of eliciting other blacks to carry out attacks against their fellow blacks."

Very well said.

Conservative Black Woman said...

Uptown Steve~I don't know whether or not the Tom Adkins is racist nor do I care. What he said is true. Own up my brother, you and other Black Quasi-Socialist Progressive Fundamentalist Racism Chasers can no longer play the race card. But you guys are quite innovative I'm sure you will come up with some other why blacks should be excused for our underperformance.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I just read this in a local magazine on Long Island,NY and decided to Google this joke of a political commentator. I am flabbergasted by these remarks. To anyone who might read this: I am white. I am also appalled that this would pass as journalistic commentary in any form. It is simply and blatant racism. An unfortunate and continuing aspect of our country's legacy is that some white males, (particularly those who have little talent to express intellectual or insightful analysis about sociopolitical events)are blind to the power and position that their race and gender affords them. They have no conception of the impact of institutional racism and institutional poverty on those less fortunate in our society whether black or white. With the election of PE Obama, people like Adkins feel themselves to be in a one down position at the moment, and as such, they feel entitled to strike out, retaliate and "wound from the victim position". Hence his racist and remarks. There must be something more intelligent to say about how white and black Americans internalize this election and this president elect. It is truly sad that Conservatives would be associated with this kind of thinking (and poor writing). Bill Buckley must be turning over in his grave. The election of one black male, while inspiring in many ways, does not change the day to day existence for many under-privledged. Hopefully, his political solutions will be more fair, humane, and get us out of the social and economic quagmire that has been caused by Conservative politics and rhetoric.

namaste said...

@anonymous

speaking for myself, i don't care who the messenger is, the points made in the message cannot be ignored. history has produced societal ills across the globe. those who can do better MUST. it is the only way to move our black community forward.

Ashley said...

First off: Yes, I am a liberal and yes, I voted for Obama. But this is not a response defending him. I certainly do not agree with many of the things Barack has done so far, and I don't like several of his plans for the future. However, I feel that parts of this forward are inaccurate and very demeaning to the minority populations. I agree with some of what Tom Adkins is saying, but I am offended by other points that he makes. And for the record, I am as white as it gets

-"This seemingly impossible event occurred because the vast majority of white Americans didnt give a fluff about skin color and enthusiastically pulled the voting lever for a black man:"- Not exactly accurate. It's true and great that there were many white people who voted based upon politics and not skin color while many blacks DID vote based upon color...but that does NOT mean that a vast majority aren't racist....this exaggerates. And if we're going to get technical, let's remember that Obama is NOT black, he is mulatto. White mother, black mother. Let's not fall into the trap of that One-Drop Rule.

- "Actively worked with America-hating domestic terrorists"- Exactly where is the proof for this? If we're going to say this, let's please find every small detail about every former president's life and compare.....


-"But if a black man can become President, exactly what significant barrier is
left? The election of Barack Obama absolutely destroys the entire validation of liberal white guilt": ARE-YOU-KIDDING-ME? So now that Barack is in office, every little trace of racism is now gone..POOF!! Let's all just go along our merry way because NO ONE in our country will now be held accountable for being a racist! This goes BOTH ways people! I'm sorry but this statement makes no sense whatsoever. Every race in this country still has a significant barrier that is set up between one another. Some whites are racist against blacks, and some blacks are racists against whites...this probably won't change. Never have I felt guilty as a white person because of the actions of my ancestors. I am ashamed that people acted that way, but I am not a racist. What do I have to feel guilty about? The only ones that should feel guilty are those who ARE racist...thereby completely making this statement hypocritical. Basically we're saying here that its okay to be racist because we (meaning, We White Folks) have elected a "Black" man into office.


-"So when you plop your Colt 45-swilling, Oprah watchin butt on the couch and complain Da Man is keepin me down, allow me to inform you: Da Man is now black. You have no excuses": Someone mooching off of our country has NEVER had any excuses!!! So why are we relating this to the President? People of every race are going to complain that DA MAN is keeping them down. So if I ever hear a white person say this about a future white president, I'll be sure to let them read this particular excerpt.


-"How can you sell class envy and American unfairness when you and your black wife went to Ivy
League schools, got high-paying jobs, became millionaires, bought a mansion, and got elected President? How unfair is that???"- Did you ever happen to read about Barack's life before he worked his way up to earn these things?



-"Tonight, every black person should ask forgiveness for their apparent racism and prejudice towards white people": So...EVERY black person is now racist, eh? I would love to have every black, mulatto, and person of mixed heritage read this and respond.



This insults every minority who is out there living a normal...oh wait, should we say "White" life? Or would that be a racist statement? Well, I guess even if it is racist, it doesn't matter because we have no reason to feel guilty about that anymore.....we white people have done enough.

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