I don’t see this article as white guilt. I see it as a description of the author’s mid-life awakening to the reality of race in this country. I had a similar awakening, and continue to try to learn. (I am a white woman.)
There are numerous studies, that show in sad detail, how black people are judged from a very, very young age, by whites (and yes, sometimes other blacks) in just about all the systems in our society. That’s why it’s called systemic racism. Black people in general are made to feel different and “other” from a very young age.
Yes, unfortunately colorism exists. But that doesn’t excuse racism. Leave the “what-about-isms” behind.
There are the black preschool children suspended from school due to behavior that does not result in suspension when committed by white children.
There are the black women (and men) in hospital emergency rooms that are not given adequate pain medication for their ailments because they are perceived to be either A) able to withstand pain more — a myth left over from slavery days, or B) faking their pain to get and abuse pain meds. White people in the hospital are not faced with this.
There are the black defendants given harsher prison terms or other punishments for the exact same crimes that white people commit.
There are the black student test-takers who perform worse on tests that ask what race they are at the beginning of the test. There are the black students who have to answer “standardized” test questions that are completely out of the realm of their experiences because they were written by white people.
These are just the studies I can think of off the top of my head, because I’ve read the summaries and articles on them. There are more.
Racism is dependent on power. There is a power imbalance in our American systems as well as in individual people. But this is why prejudice does not equal racism.
Black parents care just as much as white parents, or any other parents. Skin color has no bearing on parental caring. I don’t understand how you can believe such a thing. I’m sorry you had bad and violent experiences growing up. But anecdotal experiences prove nothing.
There is an ugly legacy in our country that disadvantages black people, going back to when “race” was invented in order to establish a hierarchy of poor people in the 1600s. Because rich white people were afraid of losing their power if the poor whites and poor blacks got together to challenge the rich people.
Some people say, “slavery ended, get over it.” But the reality is that after slavery, white people disrupted Reconstruction; neoslavery became a thing; Sundown Towns became a thing; Jim Crow became a thing; stealing land and belongings became a thing; lynching became a thing; housing covenants that forbade black people became a thing; redlining became a thing; sending drugs into black communities became a thing; over-policing by white cops has always been a thing… You can easily find information on all these things if you challenge what you learned in high school, with history books that were written by revisionists, and actively seek information and continual education.
What about black (and poor) schools that had inferior infrastructure and outdated, hand-me-down supplies. What about the racist comments that continue to this day when black-majority sporting teams visit white-majority schools and are subjected to ugly insults and epithets.
Black people are also victims of violent crime. The evil here is violent crime, not black people.
If you have a desire to learn, I would like to recommend a few resources:
Lies My Teacher Told Me, book by James W. Loewen
The Warmth of Other Suns, book by Isabel Wilkerson
Slavery by Another Name, book by Douglas Blackmon
White Like Me, documentary by Tim Wise (also a book)
Sundown Towns, book by James W. Loewen
And also, listen and learn by reading black media sites.
Until whites can have honest understanding about racism and the shared history of our country, no amount of white denial will eliminate it.