I read an opinion piece yesterday, which strangely enough was posted on Women 24 under the "Wellness" tab. The author of the article (http://www.women24.com/Wellness/BodyAndSpirit/You-are-a-racist-20130918?ref=RHS) has very relevant points in her article, however, it's a blanket generalization on all whites being racist whether we know it or not.
I'd like to respond to this article by saying the following:
There is no denying that racism is alive and well in South Africa and has become a powder keg waiting to be lit. The prevalence of racism from whites is very disappointing.
My problem with blanket generalization however is, it's a dangerous and naïve way to approach the topic. If I were to write a post with the headline "You are a criminal" and I generalized the entire black population as criminals, I'd imagine that the black population would be up in arms and severely offended. And rightfully so!
By the same token, the mere fact that ALL whites are painted as born and bred racists is just as offensive.
I also agree with the author that apartheid is to blame for the current living circumstances of the empoverished and dis-enfranchised. I'm not so sure we should still be copping the blame for what hasn't changed since then.
The author goes on to acknowledge that racism is not specific to whites only and that even the suggestion of that is racist itself.
Agreed, but a rose by any other name is still - a rose.
If the topic of white racism is not meant to make the readers of this article "feel guilty" for being white - as stated at the very beginning of the post, that sentiment went straight out the window when it became a complete generalization.
It is mentioned how racism under apartheid was even acceptable in the eyes of the law. Again - this I cannot dispute. Does that however, make it acceptable for racism to be a case of tit-for-tat in our hard fought democracy? Are we to swallow hard and say, "shame, whites stripped away the dignity and pride from people of colour with their racism for so long, so I guess it's justified if the blacks do the same now"?
Racism from any ethnic group is counter-productive and an easy way of attributing blame for past or present mistakes or failures based on this.
Let me be more specific. When Jimmy Manyi exclaimed that there were too many coloured people in the Cape and that they should be "redistributed" (like cattle) amongst the other provinces, what happened to him? A civil servant spewing bile and blatant hatred for another race and it went totally unpunished.
My next example, the student body head for WITS university incited racial violence at the beginning of last year. This happened when he grew restless while waiting for his comrade Malema, to address the supporting crowd in a hall. To pass the time, he modified the song Dhublu Unbhunu - "kill the boer", to "kill the whites". Everyone there sang along in blissful harmony. What action was taken against him?
The amendment of law recently passed that states that any NGO that donates to charities or orphanages that aren't 100% black recipients will have points shaved off their BBBEEE status.
The lack of consequence for the governments employees being publicly racist is pretty much the same as being "acceptable in the eyes of the law".
I'd like to know if the author feels that I am being "overly sensitive" about these things now.
Deviating an inch from what is acceptable political correctness gets you branded as a racist.
Heaven forbid we actually call things in this country as we see them because that makes us "whitesplainers" (did I get that right)?
I agree with you on a whole that this country needs to stash the racial BS in order for us to move on. But that goes for EVERYONE across the racial divide.
What point is there of magically eliminating racism from one group, only to have it dealt out by another?
The sooner the people of SA realize that the racist rhetoric isn't building any bridges, the sooner this nation will heal together and grow from there.
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