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On the guilt and fear

in racism
 
 

 

Dear Mr. Holdt, 
   
I am writing you to tell you how much I enjoyed your presentation of American Pictures recently at Westminster College. 

You were very right when you said at the beginning that I would feel ashamed at the end of the evening. But I don't feel ashamed because I feel like I have reaped the benefits of an unjust system. I felt ashamed because the most overwhelming emotion I experienced at seeing the lives of the people you spoke of was fear. It terrifies me to think that the world is such a cold, indifferent place where people are forced to eat dirt while others dine on caviar, and frightens me even more that it seems there is no protection from that end. 

I am ashamed because fear for my own well-being overrides my desire for change, and ashamed as well for the fact that it is attitudes like mine that keep the oppressed, oppressed. 

I thank you for showing me reality for once, and for giving me the opportunity to face my own shortcomings and indifference, in the hope that I may overcome them. 
Sincerely, 
John 

 

 
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