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Does teaching "white guilt" also cultivate a "white pride" backlash?

Glenn Loury, a black author and professor of Economics at Brown University, recently wrote an article entitled "Unspeakable Truths about Racial Inequality in America". In it, he lists ways that "cancel culture" is enforcing a world-view that is often not fully backed up with facts and evidence. He posits further that the vilification of white people and their ancestors could result in an argumentatively justifiable "white pride" backlash. Specifically, he writes:


I wonder if the “white-guilt” and “white-apologia” and “white-privilege” view of the world cannot exist except also to give birth to a “white-pride” backlash, even if the latter is seldom expressed overtly—it being politically incorrect to do so.

Confronted by someone who is constantly bludgeoning me about the evils of colonialism, urging me to tear down the statues of “dead white men,” insisting that I apologize for what my white forebears did to the “peoples of color” in years past, demanding that I settle my historical indebtedness via reparations, and so forth—I well might begin to ask myself, were I one of these “white oppressors,” on exactly what foundations does human civilization in the 21st century stand? I might begin to enumerate the great works of philosophy, mathematics, and science that ushered in the “Age of Enlightenment,” that allowed modern medicine to exist, that gave rise to the core of human knowledge about the origins of the species or of the universe. I might begin to tick-off the great artistic achievements of European culture, the architectural innovations, the paintings, the symphonies, etc. And then, were I in a particularly agitated mood, I might even ask these “people of color,” who think that they can simply bully me into a state of guilt-ridden self-loathing, where is “their” civilization?

Now, everything I just said exemplifies “racist” and “white supremacist” rhetoric. I wish to stipulate that I would never actually say something like that myself. I am not here attempting to justify that position. I am simply noticing that, if I were a white person, it might tempt me, and I cannot help but think that it is tempting a great many white people. We can wag our fingers at them all we want but they are a part of the racism-monger’s package. If one is going to go down this route, one has got to expect this. How can we make “whiteness” into a site of unrelenting moral indictment without also occasioning it to become the basis of pride, of identity and, ultimately, of self-affirmation?

In a way similar to "Black Pride", "Asian Pride" and "Latino Pride" where associated people share camaraderie, a sense of identity, and an admiration for their history, is there a factual or moral argument for people of European ancestry to have "White Pride" (or "Anglo/Euro Pride" )? If not, why not?

White people having/expressing pride in the accomplishments of their ancestors...

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Admin 8 Feb 17
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12

I have zero white guilt whatsoever and have no plans to acquire any.

12

Only 6% of entire world population is white. So if anything, the whites are the minority and hence should be afforded special protection and treatment

Lt-JW Level 7 Feb 17, 2021
11

It is a natural reaction to perceived accusations, and all races are capable of such. If you go around pointing the finger and accusing others of being racist based on your emotions alone, chances are good the person you are pointing the finger at will get defensive.

The worse part is they're claiming moral superiority from a genetic perspective. A very dangerous place to go.

Can you explain?

I see no reason not to be justifiably proud of some of the accomplishments of my ancestors. They didn’t do anything notable that I’m aware of apart from surviving in a harsh environment. And it is a simple fact that here 2/3 of the population is white and of European heritage. Should we engage in some self-flagellation simply because this population has generated more and better technologies (for example) than others? The benefits have been shared and welcomed around the world, isn’t that enough?

@parsifal You misunderstood my comment. I take no issue with whites who are proud of their accomplishments. I was referring to those who point the finger at whites and automatically accusing them of being racist simply because they are white.

@SpikeTalon no, I got that part. I meant the “defensive” reaction...and then bumbled along with my own thoughts

10

A backlash toward who ? I've never met a race-baiter in person, that's really the only word I'm comfortable with in calling somebody who proclaims white guilt. These people are the talking heads on news casts or anonymous personalities on-line for the most part. I suppose the schools that are beginning to teach this as a curriculum or companies who require employees to attend Critical Race Theory would be the most egregious culprits. My answer would be to not except the premise...respectfully decline to agree. The people promulgating this agenda are trolls, so don't engage in the argument. Decline to attend CRT courses and force the administration to make the next move, then sue them for wrongful termination if it comes to that. This is like one person holding a gun on one hundred, somebody has to take the first bullet then the rest will overpower him.

By the way...the majority of Mexico is ethnically indigenous, Spain stopped tracking who is Mestizo centuries ago. I've never heard of Spanish guilt accusations coming from the masses down there. This is an American Left Wing tactic and what they really mean is Conservative Guilt, so let's start calling it like it is. And it isn't just pointed at whitey, Larry Elder feels it too. If you haven't watched Uncle Tom, shame on you.

This is like one person holding a gun on one hundred, somebody has to take the first bullet then the rest will overpower him.

Well said.

9

I don't think about white pride or white guilt because they are philosophical red herrings. The more we talk about white this and white that, the more we're giving legitimacy to the entire critical race theory narrative.

The critical race theory movement is simply a means to overthrow capitalism and replace it with socialism/communism. And it's seen overwhelming adoption because it takes advantage of two modern truisms:

  1. that virtue signaling one's wokeness is a currency to get that sweet dopamine hit via receiving upvotes on Twitter and Facebook, particularly for people who are low achievers looking for external approval and purpose. The people who spend all day on social media - or spend days at a time at protests - usually have no place more productive to be, and that's part of the problem.

  2. that people are more apt to embrace that their standing in life is the result of someone else's malice or apathy than a consequence of their own actions or inaction. Too many people want to blame their personal failures on something/someone else ("the system is rigged against me;" "my father was never there for me;" "I never had the opportunities that [INSERT DEMOGRAPHIC HERE] people got;" etc.) and not remotely enough on their lack of ambition, belief in themselves, or their willingness to make sacrifices for the betterment of their future. Furthermore, people are far less apt to think hard about the truth of a narrative that ultimately benefits them; so even if there's some part of you that thinks there's something wrong with the narrative, "All Manchester United fans are responsible for your lack of social equity," if you aren't a Man U fan, it probably doesn't bother you too much. In fact, it may even make you giddy, if you can't stand Man U.

That is, the people pushing the CRT narrative the hardest don't have solutions; they have acrimony - replete with plenty of finger pointing - and a destination they're trying to get to and somehow this is going to fix everything. How? No one can say, and if you question it, you get the finger pointed at you for daring to suggest the Emperor's New Clothes aren't the most splendid ever seen. And like the Pied Piper, people who have not, will not, or cannot achieve fall in line dancing merrily to the tune. What could possibly go wrong?

I refuse to play the game, even though I can see where this is all going and recognize that it will may one day lead to my destitution, if not murder. I can't control what the mob chooses to do, nor do I want the job. History is replete with incidents driven by the madness of crowds because we refuse to learn from history and I suspect this will eventually be another that historians will look back, sadly shake their heads, and think, "Thank goodness that could never happen here!"

Yup......

8

Yes, I like success stories by any creed or color.

8

I believe it is perfectly reasonable to not only feel pride, but also a historical connection with people who are like us.

For example, there is a painting by Diego Velázquez, in the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh, called "Old woman frying eggs" (Vieja friendo huevos) It is a beautiful painting that shows exactly that, an elderly woman frying eggs. The painting is from 1618. I remember feeling quite a deep connection with this painting. I am a Spaniard, 400 years later, I love fried eggs, and when I want some kind of comfort food, I fry eggs in olive oil (I normally add some chorizo too)

That does not mean that, for example, I do not appreciate those cobalt blue and white Chinese ceramics from the Ming dynasty, but the connection is not there.

I'm moved when I see artifacts from the far past...

7

People, as such, owe much to their predecessors. What has color got to do with it?

6

I think being proud of the accomplishments of my white ancestors is the same thing as a black person feeling like a victim of the enslavement of their ancestors. Neither one seems to make sense to me and both are just grand narratives made from only a tiny selection of “facts” based on group identity. Thinking this way is tribal thinking which leads to tribal conflict.

Perhaps, an individual who is white might take pride in their ancestors, and others might focus on the whiteness part and construe that as supremacy. Going back a few generations, I have eight Lutheran pastors in my family in only two generations. Four of them were brothers! As a Christian man, I find that pretty cool, and yes, they are white Germans, but it is not the color of their skin that drew me to them. It is the fact that their blood runs in my veins and that my existence is predicated on theirs. There will always be those who twist and deceive.

6

How about teaching them honest history? There are measures of selfless and selfish in every culture. For every hardy settler forging a better future for his family there was a tribal family losing their heritage. Was the settler the only one who was noble? Obviously not. Does this mean the settler and his dreams were intrinsically evil? Just as obviously not.

5

Are aware of the outstanding contribution white people have made toward civilising the planet over the last 300 years or so.

5

I don't take pride in my ancestors accomplishments because they're not my accomplishments they're their accomplishments I take pride in my own accomplishments

exactly this.

5

Some people are just obsessed with race... I have no idea why .

It's not like you have a choice in it .

5

It is because white people DONT have white pride that other races are able to accuse us of it.

Try accusing a black man of black pride... yes and your point is?

It is just white people who somehow feel guilty about being more successful than others.
Chinese and Japanese although just as successful don’t.

Still have to meet a black athlete who feels guilty about running faster or playing basketball better than other races.

White men especially feel so bad about being good playing chess that we just made a TV series of an imaginary girl becoming world champion.

We put black people into impossible historical roles because we are so ashamed of our amazing history and achievements.
No one else does that.

Hanno Level 7 Feb 17, 2021

Curious anomaly, one could almost be forgiven (if it weren’t a sign of "white supremacy" and "conspiracy theorizing" ) for entertaining the thought that white guilt is a deliberate, socially engineered, sentiment...

5

I think it is important to remember that there are two aspects to pride, the positive and the negative. It is generally positive when self directed. The virtue of pride is a commitment to achieve self-esteem by taking credit and responsibility for acting on one's judgment, in accordance with principles.

On the negative side, Pride is considered, on almost every list, the original and most serious of the seven deadly sins. It is identified as dangerously corrupt selfishness, the putting of one's own desires, urges, wants, and whims before the welfare of other people.

In even more destructive cases, it is irrationally believing that one is essentially and necessarily better, superior, or more important than others, failing to acknowledge the accomplishments of others, and excessive admiration of the personal image or self (especially forgetting one's own lack of divinity, and refusing to acknowledge one's own limits, faults, or wrongs as a human being).

So, if we should support "White Pride", upon what principles should this pride be justified?

TyKC Level 7 Feb 17, 2021

I agree with your statements. I think "pride" needs to be associated with something positive or else it will easily be corrupted. In fact, what you are proud of and not proud of says a lot about your character.

To answer your question, instead of jumping into "white pride", which is likely to upset some people, we should first normalise "white culture appreciation" to appreciate all the wonderful aspects of "White culture" as well as appreciation for other cultures. Then any cultural pride will have a positive association, as opposed to useless self aggrandizement

5

Glenn Loury is a thoughtful person (they are always economists for some reason), which is why I'm puzzled that he considers a defense of western culture as exemplifying white supremacist rhetoric. Does it truly matter today that our dominant and good culture (so far) comes from white people? Isn't that a racist perspective? One would have to presume that people of some color would form the culture that has built our society. That it was -Greek Philosophers, faithful Jews and European scientists- that have formed a majority of our culture should not be used to denigrate our culture just as it shouldn't be used to demote those who are of a different color ("all men are equal" is a western culture tenet).

As for celebrating white pride just mention Joe Biden. He's white and there is nothing there to be proud about. Of course there are plenty of other white people in history that should easily erase any thought that "white" in and of itself should be celebrated - Karl Marx, Hitler, Stalin, just to name a few. No, if we are going to be proud of people, let's celebrate the accomplishments of individuals and not so much skin colors.

5

Glen Loury is always a voice of reason.
Along with Thomas Sowell possibly the finest examples of great intellect who speak unpopular truths backed up with even less popular facts

5

Attempting at every turn to marginalize whites or make them feel guilty really doesn't do anything for the cause. It just makes you look as bad as the people that you say marginalized you to begin with. It's not trying to right any wrongs. It's just revenge.

4

Being happy with WHO you are surely includes ethnicity. My being happy ALSO wants others to do the same.

4

Whites should not be dancing to the tune of the Left.

No one should!

@LukeGP of course, but more so those who are being targeted.

3

she lost me at "White people signal WG to show they are more superior to you". Even her projecting doesn't make sense.

WP who signal white guilt aka guilt tripping are both historicly ignorant and small minded collectivists, they are in fact of inferior stock.

@CookieMonster Shes talking about the virtue signaling blue-haired college girl types I think. Those whites that annoy many blacks because they think they are using their "Privilege" as a shield. Its really demeaning. They think they are "Enlightened" because they have been brainwashed by institutions and Hollywood and thus are superior to other whites not able to grasp the insanity they mask as virtue.

She lost me at, "Join the party!"

White people that apologize by accepting WG do feel morally superior to unapologetic whites. It's the right thing to do, ya know!

3

Peoples culture and heritage should be to inspire not degrade, its something you should be prepared to go to war over.

Comparing white, or European culture to be more precise to any others you are on a hiding to nothing because the "whites" invented virtually everything good in the world today and just slating them isn't going to level things.

3

Expressing pride in the accomplishments of our ancestors, regardless of race, is completely justifiable imo, as well as should be encouraged rather than dismissed based on racism, sexism, bigotry, etc.

Everything in our history, the good, the bad, and the ugly, helped shape where we are today. I don't think the bad and ugly should be downplayed, however I think only focusing on the bad and ugly will leave a great deal many people resentful of being unfairly represented in history. So, I agree with this article.

Predicting what could happen in the future, based on what happened in the past, is not an exact science. Black pride movements didn't happen overnight. It took many decades of dehumanizing abuse. I can't speak for all white people, but I don't see the same levels of abuse towards white people that would give way to a widely accepted white uprising. However, any amount of race based discrimination made mainstream, like CRT, is very concerning. Historically, categorizing people based on immutable characteristics, end very badly.

I don't think teaching "whites are born with privilege" ergo "should dismantle their whiteness", will lead to a widely accepted belief that "whites are subhuman" ergo "should be eradicated", which then will lead to a widely accepted "white pride" movement and or full blown race war, based on history.

History doesn't repeat in so neat a fashion. It's messy, it's complicated, too many people, too many points of view, and variables to consider. However, I do think there's already a great deal of damage being done with every new "50 Shades of Whiteness" that keeps churning out. Racism has become so commonplace a word, that it's lost it's meaningful impact. Plus, a lot of people of all races don't like being categorized, generalized, and placed in some inherent caste system.

"I can't speak for all white people, but I don't see the same levels of abuse towards white people that would give way to a widely accepted white uprising. "
Perhaps you need to study a society where "white" people are in the minority then. What is it the Chinese call foreigners? What has happened in South Africa and Zimbabwe? There are examples all over the world.

@Lightman I don't think he is referring to the scenario you are talking about. I don't think CRT is taught in those regions

@saramarylop3z I agree with you. It's a very ineffective and primitive way of dealing with a complicated challenge. I think appreciation for the wonderful aspects of your culture, whether it is present or past, is a wonderful and even essential aspect of a healthy culture. It encourages you to build on that greatness. But CRT, cancel culture, etc usually have an opposite effect because you can't build on a foundation of horribleness, just like you can't build on a foundation of uselessness. It's one thing to accept constructive criticism and learn from past errors but to wallow in guilt and somehow make it "normal" is very counterproductive!

@Lightman Good point. I was thinking about America vs CRT and didn't take into account the rest of the world.

3

As a Christian who believes the Biblical teachings about human origins, namely that human beings came about by descent from two original human beings created by God, one male (Adam) and one female (Eve), the two of whom, for all I know, having looked a lot more like a black or brown couple than a white one, I question the way we speak of race from the outset. I believe there is really only one race, the human race, however much diversity there is among human beings, and that there is no basis for any particular pride among any of the various groups of people, however we might categorize them. Besides, I ultimately give God, the Creator, all the credit for anything good that has come from anyone, anywhere, at any time.

3

Pride gets us in so much trouble. I'm not going to assign a color to it. None of it is good unless it's directed at your kids.

Not necessarily. It depends on what you are proud of. It's a reflection of your values. It is not inherently good or bad.

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