Is anyone else here ashamed of their heritage?
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
29-08-2011, 01:01 AM
Is anyone else here ashamed of their heritage?
Even though I know the ancestors in my lineage didn't come to america until the start of World War 2 (at least to the best of my knowledge), I still feel kind of bad for what white people in general have done to oppress people in America i.e. Slavery (and other areas of the world).... even though I know I shouldn't, because it wasn't ME that did those things, it was my ancestors. Still, I feel like I am part of some bigger problem...

Fight the system,

~~~but don't mute the opposition!~~~
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
29-08-2011, 01:37 AM
RE: Is anyone else here ashamed of their heritage?
All races have done the same things, it's just that white people did it better.
It's probably racist to say, but white people always have been better at doing most things than most other race, which unfortunately includes genocide, slavery, mass warfare and enviromental destruction. White people have made a victim of other white people far more often than other races too, which is another thing to remember. You shouldn't feel any more or less guilty than anyone else. If you're feeling guilty because of the race you belong to then something is wrong.
You should be proud of your ancestors for the good things they did, and proud of your people for the good things that happen now.

I'm actually in an interesting position with WWII, as I had 2 great uncles who fought for Germany despite being from British parents, but my direct line on the other side of the family fought with Britain during WWII.
It was a bit of a conflict for a while, but now I am proud of both sides of the family. I am proud of my Nazi relatives because they joined with a diferent culture at great risk to themselves to fight for what they believed in. I am proud of my non-Nazi relatives because they did the same, and were part in removing a dangerous dictator.

Feeling guilty about things is just unhealthy. At worse you should just push anyone out of your mind if you find the history of that person contemptable.

[Image: sigone_zps207cf92c.png]

Leonard Nimoy
1931-2015
Live long and prosper.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
29-08-2011, 04:44 AM
RE: Is anyone else here ashamed of their heritage?
(29-08-2011 01:01 AM)latvianxave8 Wrote:  Even though I know the ancestors in my lineage didn't come to america until the start of World War 2 (at least to the best of my knowledge), I still feel kind of bad for what white people in general have done to oppress people in America i.e. Slavery (and other areas of the world).... even though I know I shouldn't, because it wasn't ME that did those things, it was my ancestors. Still, I feel like I am part of some bigger problem...

I think you would benefit from reading guns, germs and steel. It would give you a much better perspective.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes angry_liberal's post
29-08-2011, 05:25 AM
RE: Is anyone else here ashamed of their heritage?
(29-08-2011 04:44 AM)angry_liberal Wrote:  
(29-08-2011 01:01 AM)latvianxave8 Wrote:  Even though I know the ancestors in my lineage didn't come to america until the start of World War 2 (at least to the best of my knowledge), I still feel kind of bad for what white people in general have done to oppress people in America i.e. Slavery (and other areas of the world).... even though I know I shouldn't, because it wasn't ME that did those things, it was my ancestors. Still, I feel like I am part of some bigger problem...

I think you would benefit from reading guns, germs and steel. It would give you a much better perspective.

Hey thanks man I'll check it out

Fight the system,

~~~but don't mute the opposition!~~~
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
29-08-2011, 10:14 AM
RE: Is anyone else here ashamed of their heritage?
We all came from Africa, even gingers... Big Grin

"Infinitus est numerus stultorum." (The number of fools is infinite)
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
29-08-2011, 10:20 AM (This post was last modified: 29-08-2011 02:15 PM by Observer.)
RE: Is anyone else here ashamed of their heritage?
What strikes me as odd is that people today are judged on what their ancestors did. I never met my great grandparents, how the hell am I supposed to be held accountable for their deeds.

My wife has a strong sense for feminism (Which i fully support). Sometimes it happens we have some kind of non-personal discussion or disagreement and she draws the "Women where always oppressed in the past" card. Then I gently point out that: "This was definitely the case, but not by most of today's men and certainly not by me, so what is your point? Revenge by proxy?"

It kind of pisses me off that I'm supposed to feel guilty for the colonization of Africa, because I'm a white westerner.

I have nothing to feel guilty about!

There's nothing much we can do about the past, but to learn from it, to not make the same mistakes again. That's about it! If you really want to make a difference, you
should focus on the future...

edit: corrected bad grammar

Observer

Agnostic atheist
Secular humanist
Emotional rationalist
Disclaimer: Don’t mix the personal opinion above with the absolute and objective truth. Remember to think for yourself. Thank you.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Observer's post
29-08-2011, 12:06 PM
 
RE: Is anyone else here ashamed of their heritage?
Guilt is one thing and quite pointless unless you have something personally to feel guilty about.

However, Justice is a totally different matter.

We in Canada have a shameful past (not mine) about how we treated the Indians (we call them now “First Nations”).

During the last few decades serious efforts were made to provide compensation (land claims, apologies, more and more autonomy for self government).

I bring this up because people often confuse guilt with justice in this matter.

I often hear the argument: “It happened a long time ago, nothing to do with us now”

My usual response is “Just because my great grandfather robbed your great grandfather blind, I have no right to keep the loot”
Quote this message in a reply
29-08-2011, 12:53 PM
RE: Is anyone else here ashamed of their heritage?
Nope, I can't help what color my skin or hair is anyway, it's luck of the genetic draw. And as The_observer said, why should I be held responsible for something I didn't do? Seriously, if I found out my ancestors had owned slaves and their descendants came to me for reprimands, I would deny them for two reasons: 1) I did not personally enslave them (the ancestors and the living relatives) and 2) they (the people of today asking for reprimands) were never personally enslaved in the pre-civil war era (especially not by me). I'm not sure what right they would have to demand stuff from me when we'd never met before and I had never done anything to them personally.

I also don't think I should be held responsible for living relatives actions either for similar reasons. If my close living relative runs up a bar bill and owes someone money, they shouldn't be allowed to demand it from me when I was not the one who did the deed.

That said, I don't think that there's anything wrong with thinking that what people in the past did were terrible things, just as long as we realize that we personally have not done the same things (well, unless you actually did, in which case that'd be taking responsibility for your actions, not theirs) and that we don't need to share the shame of what we never did. The objective is to learn from the past and not repeat mistakes of past generations but....yeah, can't say that actually happens often enough.

Zatamon makes a good point though that if a group, say the government, can be held responsible, that actually sits alright with me. Blaming a single person or family is really a bit harsh and unfair. The nation of America has done terrible things to Indians too, I did not personally do it and I don't even personally own any of their loot anyway. The US government has been going back on their promises to American Indians for years, even in very modern times (mostly on a lot of monetary stuff lately, not that the US government has any money to spare right now, but they're more or less just sweeping stuff under the rug these days).

It can be a bit of a grey area really, but long story short, I'm not ashamed of my heritage at all. I could be related to Hitler for all I know and still not be ashamed today because I am not Hitler 2.0
The heritage of my country on the other hand...can't say I feel guilt about what a few people in power did, but it does make me a bit ashamed to be a citizen of the US at times, that could be changed by moving, sure, but every country has its dark moments in history, I don't think it'd help at the end of the day (at least on country guilt thing)

"Ford! There's an infinite number of monkeys outside who want to talk to us about this script for Hamlet they've worked out."
~Arthur Dent, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
29-08-2011, 02:17 PM
RE: Is anyone else here ashamed of their heritage?
(29-08-2011 12:06 PM)Zatamon Wrote:  My usual response is “Just because my great grandfather robbed your great grandfather blind, I have no right to keep the loot”
True! I should have pointed that out too.

Observer

Agnostic atheist
Secular humanist
Emotional rationalist
Disclaimer: Don’t mix the personal opinion above with the absolute and objective truth. Remember to think for yourself. Thank you.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
29-08-2011, 07:20 PM
RE: Is anyone else here ashamed of their heritage?
(29-08-2011 10:20 AM)The_observer Wrote:  What strikes me as odd is that people today are judged on what their ancestors did. I never met my great grandparents, how the hell am I supposed to be held accountable for their deeds.

Original Sin! You must pay!
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: