I Am Embarrassed To Be A White Man

A list of behaviors we exhibit that should be put to shame

Shawn Laib
An Injustice!
Published in
6 min readDec 29, 2020


Photo by Enrique Fernandez on Unsplash

I can’t control that I’m a white man, just as nobody else gets to choose what color their skin is. But that doesn’t mean I can’t be embarrassed of the way people who look like me act on a daily basis.

Being tone-deaf, not using their privilege to improve society and make things easier on those who have centuries of harassment and racism thrown at them. White people sometimes think not being racist in their personal lives is good enough.

No. You must be anti-racist. That is why I enjoy writing on Medium about race, because I get to share my voice and make others who are like me think about how they can better their actions when they wake up every morning.

With that being said, here is a list of the ways I am embarrassed to be a white man, and how we as a society can improve upon these topics to make something to be proud of instead of something shameful.

Embarrassment: I am horrified when the first response a white person has to police violence against black people is to ask what the background was on the black person who was the victim of the brutality. Being arrested a decade ago for drugs does not mean that a cop has the right to take that person’s life. Having counterfeit money does not allow an authority to kill you. Horrific stuff.

It feeds into a disturbing trend of always looking at what the victim of a crime could do better to avoid an incident, instead of placing blame on the abuse of power that caused the exploitation. It’s how law enforcement always stays on top of the food chain and the people down below to get eaten alive by those who swear to serve and protect.

Solution: Ask what the cop’s background is first instead of what the civilian victim’s is. Weeding out the “bad apples” (and there’s a TON of them) will put much more pressure on the authorities to occupy these important positions with those who have the intelligence, the morals, and the strength to do a tough job properly.

If you know a cop in your family or friend circle, it’s time to police them. Ask them how they are helping the issue get better. Are they making their coworkers accountable? Don’t feel sorry for them…



University of Washington Class of 2020 in English Literature and fan of video games and basketball. Twitter: @LaibShawn