In my growing awareness of power, privilege and oppression, I find that it is very important that I not only learn the difference between guilt and responsibility but that I also internalize that message and act on it. My own guilt about the legacy of racism paralyzes me as it does others in the racial justice movement. It does not serve me or anyone else in the pursuit of racial justice. Rather, when I can shift that attitude to one of taking responsibility for understanding racism, understanding my white privilege (the ways that I have received advantages as a white person), and taking action on causes that move us toward equity, then I can be part of real change. Tim Wise says it really well in the video below in response to the question, “Should white men feel guilty about racism?”[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhOh_EGe41Y&feature=player_embedded]
Solid Ground as an agency has made an explicit commitment to fight for racial justice and ending poverty. A part of that struggle has to be shedding our guilt and taking responsibility!