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JJ_D
 
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A letter from your typical k.....

05 February 2013, 13:00

"You're just a typical k..... no other word for it.".

What a way to start my morning, one where I woke up in quite a good mood. No, the previous statement isn't directed at me but it might as well be. The number of thumbs up shows the mentality of a group of South Africans I detest. Racists...before anyone feels I'm referring to people of a certain skin tone.

I would like to point out that I can only speak from my experience and that of people around me, but I can assure you that I am a typical black male. 26 years old, hard working tax payer hoping for a prosperous future for the country I love. So here a few thoughts, those of your typical k....

Let's start with a simple one, language. We live in a country with 11, yes 11 official languages. Yet a lot of people believe that English/Afrikaans are the only ones acceptable on this forum. Fair enough, this is an English sites, but if language use is limited then let it be limited to English alone. I'm tired of seeing thumbs down to comments made in black languages, regardless of the content of the comment.

Yet, should the person write in English (not their first language) they are crucified for even the slightest of errors. On a daily basis I deal with people refusing to pronounce my name right, not the slightest attempt to make an effort (I have often been asked for my "English" name). It is offensive and disrespectful. With this in mind, I'm not surprised you make no effort to learn the languages either. Whose fault is that though? How can you be offended when people speak their language in front of you when you couldn't be bothered to learn it? A classic example being "umlungu" supposedly being a derogatory term. It means white person, just the same as describing me as "black". You cannot hope to understand something in terms of tone and meaning when you refuse to attempt to grasp even the very basics of a language.

Religion, ah the news24 favourite (only matched by our race obsession). I am not religious nor do I give a damn what religion, faith or lack of other people follow. I only have two issues with the subject; please don't force what you believe on me and secondly please respect mine and others beliefs. The lack of respect for any and all African cultures/traditions is shocking.

I believe in our ancestors, amongst other things, whose blood I can prove still flows through my veins. I believe they look out for me and protect me wherever I may be. Does this make me backward? People would ridicule Jacob Zuma's request for a cleansing ceremony but then in the very next article promise to get down on their knees and pray for the return of a missing child for instance. Can you not see the hypocrisy?

Yes, there are abuses of African culture but it's exactly that, abuse. This abuse does not make the entire culture backward or "savage". Similarly the extremists of every religion/belief should not be seen to reflect the mindset of the whole. Why is it acceptable with African culture? I stay out of these religious debates for the fact that I accept and respect your right to that belief. Can I not be afforded the same?

It's always amazing to see the reaction to crimes perpetrated in this country. Yes, in general, we do not condone crime. We do, however, condemn certain crimes a little more than others. In certain crimes we will find the words "savages", "sub humans" and "animals" written of the perpetrators but change the race of them and the tone changes. Yes, the crime is condemned but not in the same way. The cry for the race of perpetrators has long been voiced, but why? So you can adjust your disgust or the level of bigotry in your comment?

A recent example would be, based on the assumption that no race mentioned equals black criminals, the death of two siblings in 2008/9 and the capture of their killers. Many voiced their disgust and displayed their bias in condemning that crime. However, once the names (and therefore race) of the perpetrators were released, the reaction was somewhat muted. Fair play to those who remain objective, but it seems a small percentage.

The above are just my observations, as a black person, displaying the intolerance of our people and this intolerance being mainly based on race. The views here only represent a sample of our society, but it is enough to reflect the lack of tolerance throughout. I really hate the excuses of crime or anger makes me racist. No it doesn't, crimes are perpetrated by criminals and you become angry at a person not an entire race. I see the above everyday but I am not racist. It doesn't diminish my hope that at some point we can overcome this intolerance and push our country forward as a united people. As I said in my previous article, I am just your average black South African. Hoping against hope for change, who will join me if not my fellow Countrymen?

These are my thoughts and as I said based on my experiences.

Sincerely

A typical K....

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