Yesterday I met two racists. En route to Cape Town from Johannesburg, I made a pit stop in Bloemfontein for refreshments.
I went to Steers, parked my car outside, bought food and came back. Walking back to where my car was parked, I noticed two white boys staring at my car. I suspect them to be in their upper teens and by the clothes (khaki shorts and shirts) I also suspect them to be from a farm.
I was always taught never to judge anybody by the colour of their skin, but whilst walking back to my car I could not help having uncomfortable thoughts. I mean, this is the Freestate I’ve heard the stories, these boys are quite big, they were two I am one.
These thoughts were amplified by the big Toyota standing next to them, farmers’ kids I thought. I saw them playfully hitting each other as if they were excited or something. What will I do? What will they do? By the way they were looking at my car I expect them to say something about it, especially since I’m a coloured guy driving it.
I know myself, I will not be silenced by them, I will rebut what they say and there may be a fight. I am not scared, but these guys were HUGE. Nevertheless I walked a little slower preparing myself for the conflict to come and can even remember telling myself I will not back down for any racist.
But then I reached my car…
I looked at them, nodded my head and opened the door. Before I could actually enter my vehicle one of them approached me directly and said something to the following effect:
“Jammer Meneer, maar die is mos die nuwe @#@ (I am not going to disclose the type of car I drive). My oom het ook so een en PJ wil my nie glo as ek hom sê hoe die beast se enjin klink nie. Kan Meneer hom gou ref net om vir hom te wys.”
I stood there bemused at what I just witnessed, more so at my preconceived judgment of these boys. I just looked at the one, gave him my keys and told him to ref it so his friend could hear. They just laughed and told me to have a nice trip. I got in the car and when I was reversing an oncoming vehicle almost hit me.
Yes it was my fault I should have checked. The guy jumped out of his car and started screaming, I remember these words as I was getting out of my car again:
“Julle BEE hotnots wil blink karre ry dan kan julle nie bestuur nie.”
Before I could actually say anything, one of the two boys, still standing outside their bakkie just laughed again and said, “aag moenie jou steur aan Vrystaat boere nie.”
I then just got back into my car and drove off. I was so angry whilst getting back on the N1 that I even lost my appetite. I was angry at myself, more than the guy that called me hotnot because normally I don’t care about someone being racist towards me, but yesterday I was angry. Yesterday I met two racist and I am sick to my stomach to have to admit, that yesterday I was the other one.
When I told my father about the incident, he was angry, not angry at how that guy spoke to me, but angry at me for not apologising to those boys. I therefore had to write this article, not knowing whether they would read it or not, but to apologise to them.
Yesterday, I was racist and I humbly apologise for that. I was what I always fought and there is no excuse and no other words would suffice as to humbly, sincerely and unconditionally say sorry.