The most interesting section of a daily paper is often the letters to the editors. In the past month, an amusing letter appeared in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazettein which an African American woman complained that Asian American children have higher scores on standardized tests of mental ability than do African American children only because the Asians are short and spend less time on athletics. Presumably, the black children would do as well if they did not invest so much time in basketball. A Chinese American woman wrote a letter of reply a week later in which she retorted that Asian Americans are willing to work for what they want and do not need as NAACP or affirmative action to help them get it.
We will not assess the validity of the Asian woman's letter, but we note that it has a bluntness not to be found in the letters of European Americans. When Asians are told that they are supposed to feel guilty over slavery or segregation, it simply does not register with them.
When your editor lived in Ohio he knew many young people whose parents were immigrants from Eastern Europe. None of these felt any guilt over slavery either. In fact, many of them were intensely antagonistic to African Americans. They also had contempt for Southerners, who were simply ignorant, snake-handling Protestants as far as they were concerned.
We have also known many people who have come from Germany to the U.S.A., either to visit or to stay. None of them ever expressed any feelings of guilt over Germany's past.
Considering all of this, is it not about time that Southerners begin to rehabilitate their own self-esteem? A good way to begin is to throw off the burden of collective historic guilt that some schemers are seeking to lay upon you.