Time for white people to say: ‘not in my name’

2018-05-11 06:00

IN 2003, Natalie Maines, the lead singer of the Dixie Chicks, said the following at a concert in London: “We’re ashamed that the president of the United States is from Texas.” The small clip went viral and those 12 words cost the group very dearly. Christian and independent radio stations boycotted their songs, sales of their albums plummeted, sponsors withdrew, concerts were cancelled, and their lives were under threat, all because the three women (who are also from Texas) dared to say: “Not in my name”. What really depresses me, is that every time a Penny Sparrow, or KFC drive-through incident happens, it is taken as typical of all whites and particularly Afrikaners. But here’s the thing: a huge number of whites and Afrikaners are deeply ashamed of what these people do and say. The problem is that very rarely do people say it out loud, possibly because they fear the reactions of family and friends. I know it is not easy to speak out. Over the years I have lost many friends, I have been on hit lists, family ties have been broken and hate-mail became a daily companion. But if there is one thing I know for sure, it is that it is time for whites to be brave and to say in large numbers: “Not in my name”. As whites and as Afrikaners, we have to let our fellow citizens know that we despise these actions. Importantly, we have to let the perpetrators know that they do not represent us. They are a minority despised by all of us. If we don’t, we will carry a large burden of responsibility for the ever-increasing gap between the different races in our country. Have a look at the documentary Shut Up and Singabout the Dixie Chicks who went back to London after three years. Their concert was as big as ever and at the end, Maines said bravely: “We are still ashamed that our president comes from Texas.” — News24 (Shortened)

• Melanie Verwoerd is a former ANC MP and South
African Ambassador to Ireland.


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