An unnamed New York Times reader asks, “How can I cure my white guilt?”
I’m riddled with shame. White shame. This isn’t helpful to me or to anyone, especially people of colour. I feel like there is no “me” outside of my white/upper middle class/cisgender identity. I feel like my literal existence hurts people, like I’m always taking up space that should belong to someone else.
Times contributors Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond, self-styled purveyors of “radically empathic advice,” inform this unhappy, seemingly demented reader that, “We do live in a culture steeped in white supremacy and class bigotry, as well as patriarchal values,” and therefore any comforts and advantages the reader might have, however they were arrived at, are “unearned, the product of corrupt systems,” for which “every white person should be ashamed.” “What you really feel,” they continue, “is trapped within an identity that marks you, inescapably, as an oppressor.”
Today’s words are abuse, creepy and cult.