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To Sam

Feeling Guilt about past racism

With everything going on in the world I find myself really passionate to show my support of the BLM movement. I want nothing more to do than help the community! but I feel I cant do that, not because I dont believe in the movement but because of my own personal history.

Growing up on the internet I found myself in a position where I found saying slurs funny. it wasnt until a few years ago I realised how harmful my words were.

Since then I have spent my time educating myself on topics I disregarded and ive found myself interested in humanitarian politics. In the current climate we are in I would love to use my knowledge to help support the community but I honestly feel I dont have the right to do so because of my racist history.

I feel like I have grown from this person I used to be but at the same time I feel, how can I really have changed so quickly?

Im struggling to contain these feelings of guilt as hearing the stories of black teens in the Uk and across the world breaks my heart, and knowing I could of been one of those people who gave them those stories and was the one to put them down hurts even more.

my head is telling me I deserve to feel this way and i really think i do, after everything ive done and said i should be allowed to take this guilt as i brought it on myself the moment those words left my mouth.

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Sam

Hi there,

As we grow we might think back about mistakes we've made in the past. We’ve all said and done things we regret. Over time we begin to understand ourselves better and what kind of person we want to be. This might mean recognising the things that we didn't like about ourselves from the past and making sure that we change them for the future.

Jokes that are about a group of people or that use words that are slurs against them  will often be hurtful. Everyone has different opinions about what's okay to joke about. Some people say that anything can be a joke, whereas  others say there’re things that you shouldn't joke about - or words we shouldn't use, even in a joke. You need to decide for yourself where you stand on this.

I can see that using racial slurs in the past - even as a joke - is something you regret, but it's important to focus on the present. What you did in the past is not something that represents you now. If you have values and beliefs that you want to stand up for then your past shouldn't stop you from doing that.  You can use how you used to act as a way of showing others that they may need to think carefully about their own actions and attitudes.

Everyone makes mistakes but by recognising and learning from them you have already become a better person. We’re all the result of our best and worst decisions from the past - make the most of who you’re today and work on being an even better you for tomorrow.

Thanks for sharing, I hope this has helped. You can also visit our message boards to talk with other young people who might have had a similar experience.

Take care.

Sam

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