I think it is nonsense to say that white people are not permitted to celebrate their history and culture because to do so will offend other racial groups. Those groups simply do not have the right to not be offended. Some of us try to give them that right because we have been trained to have good manners, and that tells us that it is bad form to offend people.
We have many proud cultural instutions that celebrate European culture without acknowledging contributions from people from other parts of the world. Think of all the opera houses, orchestras, ballet and theatre companies and even museums. Let the other racial groups have theirs too or blend them with ours. Diversity of membership will only make these “clubs” better. Exluding people from anything because of their race is simply stupid. Even so, it happens big time, and it was much worse in the recent past.
On the other hand, this country was founded on slavery, and that was an inhuman travesty of justice. The descendents of those slaves have a right to be angry, and we need to be sensitive to that without giving them anything merely because of their anger. We were not responsible for the suffering of their ancestors, so we do not need to apoliogise, However, we are responsible for the way we treat the people who have to live with the legacy of slavery today.
The anonomous comments on this thread are not fair to whites, or reasonable, or constructive, but they are understandable. The animosity that they contain was well earned and we must live with it because it is a fact of life in America taday, and was also in other countries only a few generations ago.
How should we react? I think we should accept them as valid comments only from people who have been genuinely affected by racial exclusivity. We should try to make those people feel more welcome wherever they want to go in our society. Of course there are also many who seek to blame us for their own personal failure to succeed. Others think that they deserve special status by being riteous Christians. Everyone should earn respect and disrespect through their own personal achievements.
For most people, we simply will not know about their racial sensitivities or personal achievements, so we should treat them the same as anyone else regardless of their race color or creed. If we do this for long enough everyone will fall into this “nothing special, just Americans”, category.
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