MyNews24 is a user-generated section of The stories here come from users.

Comments: 80
Article views: 2330
Latest Badges:

View all neddy.geoghegan's badges.

Racism: Left Behind and Not Forgotten!

30 October 2012, 11:21

Martin Luther King Jnr. once said, “Let it never be said by future generations that indifference, cynicism or selfishness made us fail to live up to the ideals of humanism”.

As a young, white, female born and raised in South Africa I read this quotation with a heavy heart. For I am part of the future generation he was referring to and from a very young age, this South African society has made me increasingly aware of race. This is not a reflection of my upbringing at home or of my joyful years at school. I have been lucky enough to grow up surrounded by people who have taught me the most valuable life lesson. That is, to never judge another person by their race, religion, culture or heritage.

My father always told my siblings and I, “There are only two things that any man or woman can ever be judged by, their character and their behavior, especially in how they treat those around them”. This is something I have personally chosen to live by. However, in day to day life it becomes more apparent that I am surrounded by certain individuals who see race first above any other quality.

When I sat down and thought about this issue in depth, which seemed to plague my mind, it seemed so illogical, so unfair, almost as if I was sitting reading Bill Bryson’s, A Short History of Nearly Everything, all over again, in which he explains the size of the universe which leaves you utterly perplexed and bewildered while trying to wrap your mind around how small and insignificant you are as a human being on earth. Just as I had felt then, I began to feel again. I tried to make sense of a belief my mind could not fully understand. I thought “Why in the world would you hate someone or dislike them because their skin is a different colour to what yours is? That makes no sense! Race does not give an insight into your character, your level of morality, your work ethic, your intellectual capacity or your behavior!”

And so I made the only educated and reasonable conclusion I could come to. If you are a racist and believe that one human is less than another solely because their skin, culture, language or religion is different to yours then, for lack of a better word, you are just stupid.

A lot of the time I find myself in the awkward and uncomfortable situation (which I’m sure the majority of people have found themselves in) when you happen to be in the company of a racist. Sometimes their prejudiced remarks are blatantly obvious leaving you dumbstruck and other times slightly more inconspicuous, using a “they” or a “them” to avoid using the word black or white or coloured or Indian as they do not want to seem as if they are being hateful. Most of the time it leaves me in a rather foul mood when I hear the less obvious racist utterance as it is also most of the time accompanied with, “I’m not trying to sound racist but. . . “(This being followed by an intolerant or generalized acquisition of some kind). Well, what are you trying to sound like? Because it’s abundantly clear that what you just said was nothing but racist. Whenever put in a position as such, I’m always the first to glare, unblinkingly in their direction and snap back at them with an either sarcastic or “smart-ass” response. This comes as a shock to most as the age of the other person is indifferent to me and a lot of the time they are adults and I am only twenty which leads them to view me as a rude, spoiled brat. My so-called “out of line” retorts are met by, “I used to think that way when I was younger, but as you get older you will realize . . .” or “Wait, you are still young, ignorant and naive. You still have a lot to learn.” or a, “One day when you have to work with them you’ll see what we mean.”

This leads me to smirk cheekily at them, raise an eyebrow and retaliate by questioning how they actually believe that what they have said can be given any sort of credit or merit when it projects nothing but an impoverished and premature culmination of an unjustified philosophy. As well as this, I never fail to mention how my parents (both in their early fifties now) have lived in this country as long as they have, if not longer but do not share the same moronic opinion.

All this being said, (keeping in mind my reactions to racial prejudice) above the anger and above the annoyance I feel towards such people, is a true sadness. I cannot help but think about how a large portion of our South African society has not learned from our country’s History. How many, have not yet grasped the concept that all human beings have been created equal and whenever another tries to implement a system to compromise that fact, it always ends badly. Has our country not endured enough hate? Is it really necessary to continue a spiteful and hurtful legacy which spreads danger and pain?

My whole life, this nation has provided me with exposure to multiple races, religions, cultures, nationalities and languages. Instead of burdening myself with the effort of carrying around blame and animosity due to this, I have looked at my life being surrounded by these things as a privilege, an education and a pivotal point in shaping a well-cultured, tolerant and accepting human being. Please understand, I by no means believe I am the perfect stature of morality or that I represent the model citizen. But I can hold my head high and say with pride that I do not practice in any way, shape or form repulsive and vile hate speech.

This is not written with the intent of making anyone feel bad or ashamed. I am aware that our Rainbow Nation contains many lovely and kind people who share my views. I am simply pointing out that it is never wrong or a mistake to care about other people and their feelings by treating them decently, the way you would want to be treated. I do not want to spend my life being just a colour, and most people I’m sure feel the same way I do. As people, we can set no better example of humanism to those around us by being kind and caring.

Race issues have gone on for too long now. It’s about time they ended!

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Deon George
SAPS air wing unit: Killing the c...

If you claim to care about the people, flora and fauna of SA, then best you read this. Read more...

0 comments 42 views
Minister Nene you're destroying t...

With increase in tax you were unfair, not justified too ambitious. Read more...

0 comments 43 views
Submitted by
Moses Mbunge
Proteas win over West Indies

Congratulations to the Proteas for such a remarkable and outstanding victory. Read more...

0 comments 9 views
Submitted by
Jean da Cruz
Betty's Bay fire


0 comments 10 views
Submitted by
Of Musicians and Poverty

Zayn Adam joins a long list of SA artists meeting their end in poverty stricken conditions. Read more...

0 comments 9 views
Submitted by
Lee Grandmaison
BDSM as a craft

I was recently challenged over my usage of words in one of my articles in the comment section. The article in question is titled, "Kinky sex and checklists." Read more...

8 comments 396 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]


Houses R 1 725 000

FARMS FOR SALE IN Stellenbosch

Farms R 19 900 000

Travel - Look, Book, Go! - shop online today

Deal of the week!

Petrol generators from R1399, save up to R350. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Pampers!

Save 30% when you buy 3 or more selected pampers products. While stocks last. Shop now!

This week only - 30% off books!

Get 30% off when you buy 2 or more books. Many titles to choose from. While stocks last. Shop now!

New range of Samsung smartphones!

Samsung Galaxy A3, A5 and Alpha now available at while stocks last. Shop now!

Buy 3 eBooks & only pay for 2!

The cheapest of the 3 titles will be free. Many more titles to choose from. While stocks last. Shop now!



E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

Interactive Advertising Bureau
© 2015 All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.