An apology for your whiteness is good. for. nothing.
Recently, my best friend who is white was having a conversation with a white co-worker. Apparently, it was a long meandering conversation about the current state of social madness and racial unrest in America. And somewhere along the way, this co-worker uttered these nonsensical words:
I’m not apologizing for being white.~ Insensitive, uncaring, unenlightened white person
This is a man I’ve previously worked with. A man that if we were to see each other today, he would likely walk up to me without hesitation and give me, a black woman, a warm hug. At least, that’s how it has gone down in the past. Up until I heard these insensitive words he uttered, I considered him more intelligent and more enlightened than most. And yet, with his own words he has revealed the stupidity and selfishness that lives deep within.
And there are at least two reasons why this man’s statement is so unbecoming of a fully actualized caring, enlightened, thinking human being:
Reason #1: Skin color is an inborn trait.
Only an idiot or a fool would ask someone to apologize for inborn physical human features that just are. Facts: White people are white. Black people are black. Brown people are brown. Native Americans are what Native Americans are. So I can assure you no intelligent person of color wants White people to apologize for their “fortuitous” whiteness.
And guess what?! Just like White people don’t have to apologize for their “good fortune” of being born white. We people of color have no intention of apologizing for our skin color or for breathing and existing.
Moreover, we’re not apologizing for being justifiably and ethically frustrated, angry, disgusted, and repulsed by White America’s ongoing and continued felonious and immoral deeds that has landed this country in yet another era of racial reckoning 245 years after the adoption of the Declaration of Independence and 156 years after the ratification of the 13 Amendment to the Constitution abolishing slavery.
Reason #2: This stand-alone apology has no useful power.
White apologies for whiteness are worthless. Good. for. nothing. We people of color can’t house and feed our children with this apology from White people. We can’t educate our children, so they can rise above slave wages and escape the projects and ghettos with this white apology. This white apology will not stop coppers from murdering people of color for misdemeanor offenses or no offense at all. Grrrr.
It isn’t your mere whiteness that is at the heart of systemic racism. The real problem is the monstrous deeds of your White forefathers — deeds that are still crushing our spirits and denying us a high quality of life in countless ways even after numerous generations of people of color have lived and died. The real problem is the social policies White people who are alive today continue to lobby for and support: Policies that ensure people of color are used, abused, and undermined in a thousand ways; policies that maintain the status quo and your ill-gotten privilege. This is what we find abhorrent and offensive.
So to any White person who thinks like that white man, let me say it again: It is not your whiteness that’s our problem. You didn’t choose to be white just like we didn’t choose to be people of color. Intelligent, practical people comprehend this elementary fact.
What people of color want and need is for White America to acknowledge and to take responsibility for the bitter fruit chattel slavery bore and the continued destructive impact it is still having in our lives and the future lives of our children.
What we want and need is to finally enjoy our unalienable rights to life, equality, justice, and opportunity. You know, those human rights promised to all people in that document adopted by this country in 1776.
Please rest assured that people of color are not holding our breaths waiting on a worthless, lame arse apology for your whiteness.
What we’re waiting on is for White America to finally take responsibility for the gruesome historical relationship between people of color and whites in this country — and its continuing merciless, wounding impact on our lives. What we want and need is definitive results that allow all of us to thrive equally, not your apologies for your whiteness.
P.S. To all the stupid and selfish White people out there: My long-term beloved was white. I have in-laws who are white. And I have white best friends who love, respect, and care about me and I them. And everything I shared in the article is still the damn truth. Please don’t bother leaving your nonsensical ravings in the comments. I will block them and you.
This article inspired a comment troll to troll and here is my response: Message to White People on Responsibility