Racism Is A White Problem

2015-01-05 04:29

Being stuck between Mandela and a hard place. What does that mean anyway? Simply put; Mandela was openly supported by white South Africans because of his ability to “transcend race“ which implicitly meant to transcend to his blackness), to “make white people feel good about themselves,” and the fact that Mandela appeared to have left the “baggage” of the civil right movement in Robben Island and was about peace and unity. In other words, many whites liked Mandela because he was “different” from other blacks. He was an exception. His blackness wasn’t problematic.....and so went with the Mandela way instead of the hard. Well Done All.

But anyway, Apparently we not supposed to speak of race related matters anymore because it makes others feel uncomfortable to know that they are secretly racist and they hide behind “I don’t see race, I only see the human race”. If white people are tired hearing people whine and rant about racism, then imagine how exhausting and burdensome it is to directly contend with racism almost every day.  We get it, some white people don’t want racism to end but the least they could do is to listen to us, close your eyes and try and understand for 2 min why it’s hard to be black and racially oppressed.

It’s not working right? Trying to put yourselves in our shoes, you can’t, you know why? Because it’s impossible for a white person to understand racial oppression in a context where white people do not experience racial oppression. I understand and I am sorry I had to make you try and understand how it is like to be black and be racially oppressed 20 years into democracy. I am sorry I tried to make you understand what it’s like to listen to white people speak of race at our workplaces and I cannot say anything because I have too much to lose, the “black tax” has me locked down. (black tax: the notion that black people have to work and perform regular tasks twice as well as white people). I am sorry I tried to make you imagine how it is like to be told that you need to stop speaking about racism when you not on the receiving end; I imagine how hard it must be.

But who cares anyway. The incident that happened in Camps Bay recently.  It’s actually not surprising anymore. So what happened was, A black person tried booking for a table of six at The 12 Apostles in Camps Bay and was calmly told that the venue is full. A clever person here thinks “hai khona” let me call a white friend to call The 12 Apostles in Camps Bay and book a table for 6 and surprisingly the white person got the table. Are we shocked yet? By now I suppose you don’t see anything racist here right? Anyway, so the black group goes to The 12 Apostles in Camps Bay for their table only to be told “Sorry, no one in that name here” and so they called the white friend to use her white privilege again, well to some it all up, they got an apology and were offered a free meal. Amazing. Is this shocking to you yet? I believe not.

Now, here’s my problem black folks, they don’t want you but you continue to support them. This is a huge problem with black South Africans, we cry racism here, and support the racist with our money, I guess we have been engineered in such a way that we forgive and forget, thanks to Mandela. When will we learn though, If white people don’t want you to eat with them, stay away. Stop supporting racist establishments.

But anyway, moving along, remember Djavan Arrigone who urinated on a black taxi driver and went on to say that “I don’t see anything wrong with urinating on a black person”. He later claimed that he was not racist and our lovely media went on to find a friend of his, who is black to defend that Djavan was not racist. Clearly Djavan pulled a “I am not racist, my one friend is black”. You see, this is the problem with white liberals and the problem of “enlightened exceptionalism”. For years, the insistence by whites that “some of my best friends” were black is perhaps the most obvious if unintentional way for these whites to expose their broader racial views as anything but enlightened. Whenever white folks felt the need to mention their close personal relationships with blacks, it’s usually after having just saying or doing something racist.

But anyway, back to The 12 Apostles in Camps Bay, South Africans have been so active in calling for a Woolworths boycott because of selling products from apartheid Israel. Why can’t we make such calls against racism in our country? Against places like The 12 Apostles in Camps Bay, The answer is simple, No one and when you’re black and you speak about racism, you are seen as a rebel, it will limit your opportunities of growth in your work place, if you still studying, looking for a job will be a problem because you are disgusted by racism and you want to speak about it. The white bosses reading this will agree with me here “you can’t speak about racism and keep your job” Sounds familiar? Yes. I pray that one day we will also be extended the privilege of being able to address racism in workplaces without fearing that we will be fired or never be promoted.

Dear white South Africans, we have a problem, a racism problem that YOU need to engage with other white South Africans because you cannot rely on us blacks to expend all emotional energy in being your teacher, you as white people need to engage white people. Racism is a white problem. We are simply tired folks because all you tell us is to “get over it”, now you know that when a white person speaks about racism, other whites tend to listen, even if they disagree.

We really not asking for much just listen, understand and engage. Don’t defend what you have never and will never experience first-hand, let’s do it for the future generation.

P.S Please stop telling black people what should and what shouldn't offend them because you are not offended.

Happy New year to All

Follow me on Twitter: @ThembaRadebeer

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