#38 White Guilt

How was this term even coined? Who conceived the notion that an entire race of people are born with a sense of guilt? I’m not entirely sure. But after doing my thorough and extensive research*, I found a definition to help all of us out.

White Guilt: A concept of individual or collective guilt often said to be felt by some white people for the racist treatment of people of color by whites both historically and presently

In the City of Portland everyone is white, and therefore white guilt exists almost everywhere. You’ll find off-handed inappropriate comments about your Mexican friends love for burritos aren’t well received by white people within hearing range. This also applies to the killer Asian impression were you use R’s instead of L’s upon discussing how great rice is. In fact, white guilt is so rampant in Portland, that you may be deemed racist for using this type of humor.

Approaching a white person about their views on racism will usually invoke this general response, “Racism is horrible. I don’t know why people are racist”. They won’t be able to offer any great detail or clarity on historical examples. From their experiences growing up, Portland white children have been taught (in private schooling of course) that white people are responsible for some of the worst race crimes in American history. Since Portland is full of white people, these children don’t create the necessary commentary to build dialogue with minorities. So, their ignorance towards the minority experience leaves the guilt to grow- a sense of culpability for their ancestors past transgressions towards minorities. Now they have to be super fake nice to minorities and are generally afraid that blacks, native Americans, native Hawaiians, Latinos and the Japanese hate white people.

However, all this does is create a communication breakdown among Portland city proper. The affects of white guilt have prevented rapid development in race relations. Let’s just try to open up communication with our fellow brother/sister so we can avoid situations similiar to this NE Portland neighborhood meeting:

At one point, she (a white woman) also asked blacks what she should call them – blacks or African-Americans.

An older black woman in the front replied, “People.”

Another black woman, toward the back, said, “Donna.” 1

*Wikipedia… which we all know is a webpage of facts
1. New York Times: Racial Shift in a Progressive City Spurs Talks

14 thoughts on “#38 White Guilt

  1. Pingback: Pearl Districts Before Swine: Is Portland a Cult? | Iced Borscht

  2. This blog is stupid. “All people in Portland are white”? Even if that was a joke, it wasn’t clever.

    You are rehashing reactionary grudges from the seventies and eighties. Don’t feel guilty if you don’t want to. Maybe you should though . . . it’s harder to be a minority in any society, especially when 150 years ago we considered blacks subhuman slaves, and not until 50 years ago would we deign to share a drinking fountain.

    Anyway this post is irrelevant. I’ve lived in Portland all my 32 years, have rarely meant anyone expounding “white guilt” as something positive, and have never met a black person who expected it. “Guilt” is an unhealthy emotion that makes both parties uncomfortable, rather than solving any problems.

    But do put yourself in their shoes for awhile. I trust you’ll learn something. Check out the comments your blog is attracting . . . these cowards flock to any source of their favorite puke: white hate.

  3. To properly feel guilty when White you must forgive any bad behavior from minorities.

    If a minority murders an entire family of Whites… that’s “social justice” and must be forgiven.


  4. Pingback: Uncomfortable Questions About Progressive Paragons « Vogue Republic

  5. I hate it when fat, ugly white girls date thug black guys and think that makes them cool. They always get f**ked over, which I find hilarious. Have fun getting cheated on, honey.

  6. They are probably just feeling guilty because their grandfathers, like a large percentage of western Oregonians, belonged to the Ku Klux Klan back in the day. It’s no longer cool to wear a white hood anymore, or to hate blacks and Jews, but it’s still perfectly okay to bash Catholics in that amazingly-ignorant way perfected by the modern white Oregon liberal.

  7. I’m from California and my man’s from Ohio and we’ve been interacting with other races since childhood and this blog is correct, the white guilt out here is ridiculous. I know people who treat black people like celebrities and act dazzled to be in their presence. My casualness in interacting with them seems to worry them like I’m going to get them shot or something. I’ve made remarks about Brangelina’s kid Zahara being ugly and my white friends act appalled and my black friends either agree or are like, whatever. RELAX, everyone! They’re just people and there’s no need to be afraid!

  8. That’s the problem. Portland’s white guilt is a half-assed white guilt. It’s the fake guilt of how we all need to be tolerant of those bearing more melanin than Edgar Winter…but the moment one of them shows up in your neighborhood, it’s time to call the SWAT team. Remember the days when the Portland police were assigning officers to TriMet trains heading out to Beaverton because “some guy” told an impressionable officer that “street gangs” were planning to rob banks and stores in Beaverton and then ride back to NE on TriMet? (Yeah, it’s ridiculous, but no more ridiculous than the cops spending a solid month seining the Willamette looking for an alleged caiman in the river, on the idea that “If we don’t rescue it by the time the water gets too cold, it could drown.”)

  9. Fantastic post. Although, you have this backwards:

    This also applies to the killer Asian impression were you use L’s instead of R’s upon discussing how great rice is.

    It’s actually R’s instead of L’s, like “herro” and “engrish”.

    From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engrish (also an interesting read):

    While the term mocks the accent, it is used mainly without malice in reference to humorous misuses, puns, double entendres, and unintentional word substitutions within written English, not difficulties in pronunciation. For example, “election” might be pronounced similar to “erection”, and “clap” might be pronounced like “crap”.


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