The guilt game
0 comment Friday, June 13, 2014 |
Over at American Renaissance, there is a discussion of the Condi Rice story -- the one I blogged about yesterday, in which she says that America has a 'birth defect'.
Among the comments on the article, there is this one:
"She is definitely a product of our culture of over-simplification.
As if ALL Whites are the same. As if all Whites are one big extended family. When Jared Taylor says we�re an extended family he is using it as a construct. We do not stick together like a Family. Actually, not even White families stick together. An obvious fact with equally obvious and devastating consequences that Whites and everyone else STILL don�t want to talk about. Even he would admit that. Of course, to anyone who has been paying attention, Whites are hands down the MOST diverse Race there is.
But that aside; we have a BIG obvious problem here. There are practically NO surviving direct descendants of Slave Owners. Nearly ALL White people today are from the big wave of immigration from the Potato famine to the turn of the century and the few million Whites who came over after that.
The ONLY things they have to control us are the old - OLD - standbys of Guilt and Duty. In this case, Guilt for the Past, and Duty to right the wrong.
I feel ZERO guilt. I am the descendant of Potato farmers and Factory workers. The Irish were tyrannized by the English twice as long as Blacks were slaves. I have NO resentment because resentment is unhealthy. Nothing burns one up faster than the effects of resentment. That aside, I have a right to my own life. Life for everyone is short and you only get one. I will NOT waste it playing the scapegoat.
This comment encapsulates a lot of things that I find annoying in any discussion of race relations and history, including slavery. I find that the 'arguments' in the comment, frequently made as they are, leave much to be desired. In fact, the arguments only provide further fuel to the other side.
The commenter, though probably well-intentioned and 'on our side' seems to be implying, when he disclaims personal responsibility for slavery, that although he and others like him are not responsible for slavery, other whites are. This is a kind of ''everybody for himself" argument. It's facile to disclaim responsibility for oneself and maybe one's family by claiming as many do that ''my family wasn't here until after the Civil War, so I'm innocent." What does that say? That all white Americans whose families were here before the War Between the States are guilty, or potentially so? All the argument does is point the finger at other whites. Would it not be better, while also displaying solidarity with one's own brethren, to say none of us are guilty, simply because none of us were alive then? No American alive today has ever bought, sold, or owned a slave. No American alive today has ever been sold or bought as a slave. Therefore nobody owes anybody, even if we assume wrongly that we can retroactively make slavery a crime.
The commenter is making some very dubious statements when he says that
''There are practically NO surviving direct descendants of Slave Owners. Nearly ALL White people today are from the big wave of immigration from the Potato famine to the turn of the century and the few million Whites who came over after that.''
Really? Can the commenter prove these very broad assertions? I think a lot of people tend to believe these things, simply for self-serving reasons. People are so afraid of being called racist, and are so eager to disassociate themselves with slavery, that they often claim that none of their ancestors were in America during the slavery era. Now, maybe I underestimate the number of 'Ellis Island', later-wave immigrants and their progeny in America, but unless, say, all eight of your great-grandparents truly arrived after the slavery era, which I think relatively few people can say, then chances are you have some ancestors who were here during that time.
The commenter wildly claims that slave-owners have "practically NO" direct descendants in America today. I say that's just flat-out wrong. Even if we wrongly believe that only people in the South owned slaves, there are plenty of descendants of slave-owners around today, including yours truly. The fact is, even some of my New England ancestors were slave-owners, and no, it is not true that only the very wealthy could afford or keep slaves. Many people of quite modest means had maybe one or two slaves as household help. It was not just wealthy plantation-owners in the South who had slaves.
And how do I know that my Yankee ancestors owned slaves? For one thing, I have seen many of their wills, in which their possessions were listed. In many cases, slaves were mentioned specifically, by name and age.
But somehow people have assumed that because the North outlawed slavery first, and because the North went to war against the South in part because of slavery, that they never practiced slavery themselves. Obviously they did.
So, having only Yankee ancestors, or less-than-wealthy ancestors, is no guarantee of 'innocence' in the PC kangaroo court. It's been said by the reparations crowd that all whites are guilty by association anyway, even if they could produce a family history showing a lack of connection to slavery. And a further point: most white people cannot do that because many of us don't even know our family history past our grandparents. I meet a staggering number of people who have no idea of their ancestry except in very vague and general terms. Most could not tell you their great-grandparents' names.
But trying to evade culpability for slavery by claiming to be the product only of recent immigrants, or post-Civil War immigrants, is dodging the larger question: is there such a thing as generational guilt, or inherited guilt? Since when do we punish people for their ancestors' supposed sins and crimes?
Another question which occurs to me is: where is the solidarity that we should be showing among ourselves? One of the reasons why we are in the precarious situation we find ourselves in now is that white European-descended peoples tend to be too individualistic, and too lacking in group cohesion and loyalty. This is something I've blogged about before. We are too focused these days on vertical loyalty, on following 'leaders' who often lead us right up the garden path, rather than on horizontal loyalty, loyalty to our fellows, our own, our kin. We are too ready to look out for Number 1 and let the devil take the hindmost. I just don't think it's right for us to throw our kin to the wolves and let them bear the brunt of the blame for slavery; instead of simply trying to wriggle out of personal responsibility, surely we should be arguing against anybody being held accountable for what was done 150 or more years ago by other people.
It's truly a shame to us that more of us don't know our history, both our personal or family history, and our history as a people and a country. Ignorance is not bliss in this case; ignorance, on the contrary, is leaving us prey for the race hucksters and guilt merchants. It would strengthen us so much if we, first of all, stuck together, instead of trying to find some group among our own to bear the blame, hoping that throwing one of our own to the wolves will spare us. The groups that are usually chosen to take the heat are Southrons, and of course anybody who admits to being a slaveowners' descendant. But I promise you that even sacrificing some people to the gods of Guilt will not appease those hungry gods, just as all these demeaning 'apologies' for slavery are not helping, but only fueling the demands for more. We all surmise that every apology brings us closer to paying reparations.
Playing the grievance-mongers' game is another example of feeding the crocodile, which will not guarantee that he will spare you, but only that he will devour you last.

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