Part of the problem is that the issue is still framed from a white perspective; that is, it is framed to spare white people of any accountability. The assertion that whites can be racist but still be good people is a form of coddling: it forces people of color to explain to white people that black/brown/indigenous peoples (BBI)don’t really mean to be accusatory, that we aren’t actually calling the white person a racist.
This entire approach is fallacious, because it does the same thing to BBI that whites have done all along: it frames white behavior as something BBI should step around like eggshells, forcing us to coddle, once again, white people’s feelings, instead of addressing the issue head-on: are you, white, oppressing BBI? Then address this, instead of constantly catering to your emotional status.
Whether or not whites feel good or guilty really should not be the purview of BBI. We are positioned, chronologically, at a point in history whereby white privilege has granted to whites extreme benefits for centuries at the expense of BBI, worldwide. This fact should obligate whites to consider their behaviors, not BBI to figure out how to coddle whites once again (for another few centuries????)
It should not be of relevance to BBI whether or not whites feel guilty or ‘bad’ about being accused of racism. Guilt is a natural reaction to poor moral behavior; rather than lashing out at BBI when they feel guilty, whites should be asking themselves why they feel guilty. In fact, maybe they should congratulate themselves on feeling guilty, since this is an indicator of a working moral template.
Barring that, BBI should have no concern whatsoever re: whites reaction to truthful comments about their unearned benefits relative to BBI. BBI should not have to worry about whether or not whites feel guilty; we have enough on our plates dealing with constant racism, from daily microaggressions to full-on KKK commentary, AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN. The average white person falls into this category, in between.
Whites are free to feel whatever they need to feel to make the right decisions moving forward: whether or not whites feel guilty or opt to dance a merry jig near a pot of gold is largely irrelevant to BBI. As a rule, BBI simply want whites to do the right thing, whatever motive it takes to do so, whether or not that is motivation is guilt.
Feel whatever you need to feel to do the right thing. If that’s guilt, embrace it! BBI are under no obligation to coddle for another few centuries because whites are too fragile to admit the truth about themselves to themselves.