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sean
 
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Racists with a chip on their shoulders?

24 May 2012, 13:28

In response to what certain black people do as per the article "I am a racist", by TheFridaFactor person, let's look at the flipside of that coin she tossed,metaphorically speaking, and see what some of us white South Africans still do at this day and age or 18 years after Apartheid was legally dissolved.

Most other white South Africans I met socially and otherwise from 1994 onwards that came to live temporarily in England on a working holiday visa said that they had nothing to do with Apartheid. A few Europeans from various countries who had known me for 20 years at the time would often joke amongst themselves afterwards about that and would say to me: "Sean you don't honestly believe what those South Africans just said about Apartheid do you? And I would say maybe they just felt too embarrass being associated with a country like that who's government did all those things back then and now being a foreigner in a new country they would probably say what they did as they don't really know you people that well that is here tonight and that's all to it. I think if some of them did see what still goes on in everyday South Africa now that "I am a racist" article has had time to digest into our system and we can look at the flipside of it all it is quite something else to behold.

Oh and by the way I read the article, mikeoerder person, and the writer didn't point out in her article that both races should see past the obvious fact of a difference in colour, instead she only highlighted what black people did.

Here goes,just 4 of so many scenarios out there in modern South Africa:

1."my squeeza"...

A very young white girl called an old Black Woman behind the bread counter at the Pick ‘n Pay in Killarney,Johannesburg, "my squeeza". For those of you that reads this and that are unfamiliar with what a squeeza is, it's a word used for when a black person is a cleaner that is mopping your floors. This young white South African girl has never met this black woman that's behind the counter nor has her mom that accompanied her ever spoken to that black lady before this incident. And yet the little white laughs as she and her mom leaves the mall because in her eyes what she just done was so very cool!

Racist? Well let's ask TheFridaFactor person that wrote the article about being a racist. Oh I almost forgot her article was only meant to highlight what certain black people do,thank goodness such a relief,and as she puts it "Today I’m angry and today I’m sick and tired of it. But then again its only you right? Can't really imagine black people feeling like that, especially the one behind the counter must surely feel just the same towards our kind. Would it be wrong then,TheFridaFactor, to call such a young girl as some of the commentators on TheFridaFactor had the nerve to say:"but alas we shall be long gone and pushing daisies and so our children and grandchildren, and the future generations shall be labelled racists for just being who they are, sad real sad", a racist or not? I am just wondering. Calling someone a squeeza/cleaner when clearly they not, surely can't be racist in your humble opinion, right. Not if it involves a second or third generation post Apartheid individual as some commentator wrote in his comment above.

2.South African Universities-the halls of prejudice...

Here is what freelance photojournalist robinhammond,who is white by the way, wrote in 2011:"South Africa's universities are so rife with racism today,which is one of the recommendations of a government investigation into discrimination which followed the emergence of a video of WHITE undergraduate students from the University of the Free State who tricked black cleaners into drinking urine. A  back woman was left humiliated by white men in one of South Africa's biggest race scandal in post Apartheid history.

Shoulder to shoulder the white Afrikaans speaking teenagers would sing as one in one of the common rooms of the University. With their right hands clutched to their broad chests, tears of nostalgia wells up in their eyes: 'On a mountain in the night we lie in the darkness and wait,' they boom. 'In the mud and blood I lie cold, grain bag and rain cling to me and my house and my farm burned to  ashes, so that they could catch us. But those flames and that fire burn now deep, deep within me. De la Rey, De la Rey. Will you come to lead the Boers?'

Invisible as ghosts the elderly black cleaners move in afterwards and silently fill the empty room after Afrikaner boys had left, the voices of these undergraduates still hanging in the air. So TheFridaFactor can we also expect the same words from you on this particular incident if you please:" "Today I’m angry and today I’m sick and tired of it".

3.The Rosebank thief...

In Rosebank ,a woman had put something in her bag that she didn't pay for but was it not picked on. Nobody,not even the cashier on duty thought of just stopping her and to have a look at the contents of what was in her bag. Instead, he apologised humbly for inconveniencing her as she smiled and walked away.

4.The abusive BOSS...

At the Hillbrow police station,a young black woman started chatting to a woman next to her as to why she was there. She had told the other woman how her boss had slapped her in her face and she came to report him. She had done no wrong she claimed, but he slapped her for no good reason. She had the courage to asked him why he slapped her and his response was: "Oh its nothing to do with you or anything you had done or failed to do,its just because I am so stressed out today that's all,all because his coffeshop in an upmarket part of Braamfontein wasn't that busy that day and that's why. Not enough customers were coming in and he chose to slap one of his workers for it. By the way this was not the first time or the first person he had done this too.In fact this man has done worse things before to other employees before like throwing hot porridge into another woman's face. She, unlike the one that came to the police station,was too afraid to report her "baas" for fear of what he might do to her later.Disbelief? Racist? Just an isolated case of an abusive boss? He was a white Afrikaner by the way. So you decide based on the case evidence!

As I wrote on this News Forum before that SA is too complicated to be understood. Is everyday South Africa still shaped by the ways in which apartheid made people to think and behave. Whites with a chip on their shoulders moaning on webpages that certain black people call them racist and certain black folks that are just as racist now as some of us whites when their leaders in he ANC are still only speaking of "our people" when addressing any issues in South Africa to do with going forward in the country.

Someone's gotta give and yet nobody wants to go the extra mile for the other race. Are we not flexible enough? In the tug of war between our races, do we have to wait for the "ROPE" to snap first before we get along completely with each other without the fear or suspicion of what's coming next? Its always you whites are just racist bigots or you blacks are to stupid,corrupt,wanting something for nothing, to understand anything let alone running our county.

The South African constitution speaks so beautifully of the commitments to non-racialism and equality but the sad realities of everyday life in South Africa are far from it at both sides of the coin. Not just whites and not just blacks but both of us. Sadly it looks like there will never be a world where racism and equality will cease to exist. That world simply does not exist.

References:

1.www.wordpress.com

2.The halls of prejudice by Robin Hammond.

3.The Daily Banter>Race Card.

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