I didn’t kill the natives or enslave the blacks

Every once in a while, I’ll see one of these memes that say things like “Your people killed mine” or “Your people enslaved mine.”


No, I didn’t.

My ancestors came over to America long after slavery was ended. They had nothing to do with American Indians being killed.

And even if they did, so what? I had nothing to do with it — I wasn’t even born yet.

Taking blame or credit for things your ancestors did always seemed silly to me, and it’s one of the biggest problems that the world faces. There are still people in the Middle East fighting over things that happened 1000 years ago.

Yes, the native Americans were treated terribly. Yes, many blacks were held in slavery in our country. Absolutely. I am not saying “get over it” — far from that, because we should always remember what happened to make sure it never happens again. Instead, I am saying that we should stop identifying each other as “part of that group” (either the oppressed or the oppressors at the time) and stop prejudging people that way.

Isn’t that the root of all discrimination? Assuming that if someone is from a certain racial or ethnic group, they are your enemy?

Obviously, if someone is a part of a present, current-day group they specifically joined and identify with, that is completely different. Someone waving a Confederate flag is pretty easily identified as a jerk. If your bumper sticker says “Obama go back to Kenya” yeah, I know you’re not my friend. That’s not “pre-judging” someone, that’s “judging them based on the evidence presented.”

Prejudice refers to judging people based on things they have no control over (race, sex, country of origin, sexual orientation, age, etc.) And it’s especially true when you judge them over things that happened before they were even born.

4 thoughts on “I didn’t kill the natives or enslave the blacks

  1. It’s not that terrible things were done, it’s that usually these groups are still getting the short end of the stick. These wounds leave scars, and 100 years ago is not as far away as you think. I had a family member that lived during the Spanish American war growing up. She had grandparents that remembered the Civil War. Sure, you weren’t there, doesn’t mean that an inactive participation of the norms of society isn’t damaging to those that carry that legacy of suffering.

    Ugh, my mind is a post event brain mush. I’ll try to come back to this when I can organize my mind better.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree completely, and I would hope the hundreds of posts I have put on my blog make it clear that I am not one of those stupid idiots who say “racism is dead” and other such crap.

      And we still need “gay pride” and “black pride” and other such movements because there are indeed groups that are still discriminated against.

      My point was that you can’t criticize others of being prejudiced if you are saying similar things, even if those things are in defense.


  2. But you profit from it. It is that past legacy that gives you white privalege, not just in this country, but across the globe wherever the European colonized.


    • Oh, absolutely. But that wasn’t my point.

      This was a post from years ago, and I wrote it when someone had argued with me personally as if I had done these things. I didn’t want to come across as “not all white people” but upon re-reading, that’s a bit too much what it sounds like. When someone says something about a group, it should always be understood that “not all” is part of it. But, like I said, this was in response to someone who was trying to include me in a group in which I don’t belong, if you see my point.


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