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Johann de Villiers
 
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Poverty is not a "Race"!

07 February 2013, 12:00

Dear Sibongile Mafu

Your article “White beggars can be choosers” dated 6 February 2013 had me really concerned.

You responded on a study conducted during November and December. The season of giving. I am just wondering what the study would have revealed had this been done in January and February. The season to pay back the debt created by the season of giving. Yet this is not my concern.

I am wondering how much tolerance I would be given if I openly admit to “switching off” when poor black beggars come to my car. Not much I bet. Racist, you would yell. Yet you have the right to do so without the fear of being labelled.

It is sad to think that a serious problem like poverty can be given a race card. You claim that poverty has a colour. Black. Take a ride with me to some coloured areas in the Western Cape. They too have been disadvantaged. They too have poverty. Yet strangely enough you don’t mention them. Or is being a coloured not part of your so-called colour chart.

Then go to Kwa Zulu Natal and drive through some Indian communities. Same story………… Lenasia, in Gauteng. Kuruman in the Northern Cape and a whole lot of communities I have never seen or been to…………

Yet you sit behind your computer, tablet or Android driven cell phone and judge poverty by the colour of the beggars skin. You say you joke about white poverty with your friends. You are fascinated by the idea of white people being poor. Well how racist are you then?

It is columns like your that will keep dividing this country. Don’t stop blaming apartheid, but start to realize that what is going on in this country right now affects us other races and skin colours as much as it affects your race and skin colour.

I honestly hope you will shortly report on a serious matter that affects us all and not label it with race or colour.

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