On Monday April 9th, 2012, author Mark Judge published an article in the Daily Caller called “The End of My White Guilt,” in which he discussed how he was delivered from this affliction carried by white people as a result of past injustices inflicted on various groups, especially African Americans, as a result of racism. On Good Friday, Mr. Judge’s bicycle was stolen while he was observing a Pre-Easter celebration at that National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Aside from the sense of violation one experiences when personal property is taken, it was the symbolism and purpose for why he had purchased the bike in the first place that fueled his fury and led to his declaration of no longer carrying white guilt; in 2008, Mark Judge was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and, according to doctor’s orders, exercise would help him to strengthen his body due to the nerve damage he’d experienced from the chemotherapy. The bicycle was his strengthening apparatus.
Mr. Judge, I felt terribly sorry that someone would take your “sharp silver-blue hybrid” bicycle “from L.L. Bean.” After all, it provided you with prime parking spaces, the chance to soak up historic Washington, DC, and catch breath-taking views of the cherry blossoms; most importantly, it represented a symbol of recovery due to your battle with cancer. After having loss my favorite uncle to a dreaded battle with cancer, I know too well the pain in not being able to triumph over illness. And, for your recovery, I rejoiced with you! On the other hand, I did not celebrate your public confession of no longer owning “white guilt.” For all of the years you “owned” it prior to April 6th, 2012, I don’t believe you have managed to change the world, at least not for very many African American people, with your liberal education. Finally, I would suggest is that you use your energies to remain thankful that your illness was not worse. Please don’t use your loss as an unproductive way to further castigate an entire race of people. Prejudice is not your friend.
No one can make you own guilt; it is experienced when we accept our connection to some sort of depraved wrong, directly or indirectly. No matter how much you would like to distance yourself from the past behaviors of your ancestors, you are inextricably linked to their horrors just as I am forever linked to the history of my enslaved ancestors. You will never be a “master” and I will never look to you as one as your enslaved subject, but our connection to our past is relative.
In the same vein, a declaration that you’ve gotten rid of “white guilt” is problematic and quite laughable. Primarily, your public denunciation of white guilt may make you a martyr to other white people needing to feel empowered by your sudden act of “bravery” but certainly, you will not be referred to as Saint Judge anytime soon. Secondly, your confession was written as if you have been doing Black people a favor for all of the years you’ve held on to this alleged guilt, but what it really reveals is that one incident can cast away your moral compass and provoke you into showing Black people—you only felt compelled to believe you did because that is what you were taught and not how you really felt.
Unfortunately for you, you were poorly taught about how to treat African Americans. The teachings you were given were not as careful or as liberal as you’ve believed for all of these years; and, the whole misnomer of being liberal in a lot instances, especially in cases of race, means carrying feelings of being “the savior” to those liberals perceive to be in need. How arrogant! The “liberal” friend you ranted to validated that point. You wrote that your liberal friend responded, “That person needs our prayers and help,” she said. “They haven’t had the advantages we have.” What is so liberal about believing that people, just because of their race and circumstances, are predisposed to criminal behavior and should need help derived from pity? If only race were the litmus test in determining how a group of people would behave, I would never trust that a white person could ever have an ounce of humanity in them after knowing how they treated people who look like me in America. I have lived and observed the actions of white people to know that all people require the same emotional and logical considerations from me; and, my observations will determine my behavior and thoughts about these individuals. My mother and my aunt (who, by the way are in no way liberal when it comes to race) did not to teach me that lesson—humanity did. Race is not what determines how people should be treated. It is clearly not the barometer that people marginalized in this country have chosen to use to judge you and others that look like you.
You are far too old to hold on to the issues you have with race. I will commend you on one thing; at least you are now finally able to be honest. In addition, your article opened my eyes in a great way to the mis-education of White folks. Hopefully your Black friends have gotten the memo. I have but one last piece of advice for you—instead of getting rid of the guilt, get rid of your bitterness and your learned inclination to pre-judge people based on their race.
The full article can be read here: http://dailycaller.com/2012/04/09/the-end-of-my-white-guilt/#ixzz1rwofuv1o