On Coming to Terms with Our Arseholery

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Nobody wants to think of themselves as being a bad person. Bad people are ISIS fighters, child molesters, Shrien Dewani. They do horrible things which are blatant and obvious and talked about in the media. But in the last few months I have found myself in spaces where I’ve had to take a long and careful look at who I am in the world, the attitudes that have formed me and how I conduct myself in certain situations. And to say that it’s been an uncomfortable awakening is an understatement. Because many of you who follow my blog know that I’m relatively outspoken about race issues in this country. I have strong feelings about the socio-economic disparities and the white attitudes that feed them, and while I sit behind my computer screen in my nice study on the Atlantic Seaboard it’s easy to wax lyrical about egalitarianism and the way things ‘should’ be in SA. When I write these words, which I wholeheartedly mean, I can nonetheless distance myself a little bit from the ‘racists’ out there; convince myself that I am better than they are.

But the truth is I’m not. I am as guilty as the man who went up to my neighbour’s friend who was recently walking in a supermarket with his newly adopted baby and said, ‘oh look, a special little kaffir.’ The other man who asked a couple who have adopted two HIV positive children of four and six why they are ‘wasting their time.’ The inhabitants of the shop in the town of Oudtshoorn who openly snubbed our white friends because they walked in with their black baby daughter. I could go on and go – there are so many incidents of this kind of thing that happen all the time in this country. But there’s another thing too, and it’s this that I’m guilty of. The white arrogance and sense of entitlement that follows us wherever we go and is so ingrained we aren’t even aware of it. It’s the tone we adopt when the black teller is taking too long to ring up our goods (my ‘madam’ voice). It’s the secret panic when the pilot is black. It’s the us-and-them way we were taught, from the youngest age, to divide the world. This stuff is in our DNA, and the more we deny it, the less chance we have of making it go away.

I regularly hear white South Africans say the most outlandish things: ‘It’s just a pity when it’s the blacks turning on the blacks’. Blacks who? What homogenous entity are we referring to? My char? The heart surgeon at Grootte Schuur? Oprah? What does the council guy who comes to my door asking for R5 for his daughter’s netball tournament have in common with President Zuma? I can tell you: fucking nothing. I have more in common with Zuma than he does. We are both middle class South Africans with a big, fat sense of entitlement. Or, they say: ‘I’m not interested in politics and race relations.’ Oh, you aren’t? Could that be because you have a big house with a lawn and two cars and eat out a few times a week and go to Bali for Christmas? How lovely for you that you’re privileged enough to be apolitical. And for me. And for all of us who live lives of charm and delight, tweeting about SONA over a second bottle of Beaumont Shiraz because fuck sakes, this country is surely going up in flames in five minutes. Please pass the dip.

I don’t mean to be unfair and beat up on white people. Some of my best friends are white. We are all just human beings doing our best in a political situation which scares us to the very marrow. We love this country and – with good reason – are terrified of what the ANC is getting away with; what this recent malarkey means in terms of our constitution and our future. But we all need to do a big, fat audit of our attitudes and the racism we hide even from ourselves. We need to remind ourselves, daily, that our disappointment in our government has nothing to do with the countless black people in South Africa just trying to get by in a country where the structures of apartheid make basic survival a daily struggle. The legislative bit of apartheid might have ended 20 years ago, but it is not white people living in cardboard boxes beside the highway. For those countless people, apartheid is alive and well – only they have no hope of anything ever changing. For them, the cycle of poverty is as entrenched and ongoing as it’s ever been.

Let us make a point of remembering how incredibly privileged and lucky we are to live the lives we do in this extraordinarily beautiful part of the planet. Let’s stop sitting by passively and moaning to each other over skinny lattes about how messed up everything is. We – the ones who enjoy economic power as a birthright – must start speaking up for those who have no voice. And it starts with admitting our racism to ourselves and becoming acutely aware of how it plays out in the day-to-day; how, on subtle levels, it keeps the status quo in place because thoughts lead to words which lead to actions. Truth be told, we can be a stupid, obtuse tribe of people. The other day a young woman who belongs to the Neighbourhood Watch group I had to leave because of comments like hers said, ‘This whole black issue is such a crock.’ I mulled over her comment for days, and in the end I didn’t have enough words for that level of ignorance and myopia. And the saddest thing of all was that everyone agreed.

So, I propose this for each one of us who grew up during apartheid or at any point in this socially and economically segregated society and has been rendered a little bit mad as a result: we need to stand in front of a mirror, look ourselves in the eye and say, ‘I am a racist.’ Then we need to make a daily decision that we are going to challenge these stupid, retrogressive views which are based on nothing but ignorance and fear. In whatever small capacity we can we need to counter our arseholedom by doing selfless things, spreading goodwill and taking the hand of friendship black South Africa – against all odds and to my ongoing astonishment – holds out to us, its arrogant oppressors. Because we have the power to do so much good if we can look up from our iPads long enough.

The morning after the State of the Nation address I went to Clicks Pharmacy to buy Panados for the red wine I’d gulped down when the sound went off for the seventh time. I asked the (black) woman who was ringing up my things if she had watched the madness the previous night. She had. She started telling me how angry and disappointed she was in our government. Her colleague joined in the conversation. Their voices grew so loud a small crowd gathered to hear what they were saying, and they were much more radical in their condemnation of the ANC than I dare to be. They went on for such a long time I almost regretted asking, but it was a very important reminder for me – and I suspect for all the white people who stood there, listening – that we are on the same side. We all want fairness and accountability by the government and a president who is a leader and not a crook. We all want to live in a country where our children’s futures are secure. Let’s do what we can to stop the divisiveness that’s growing in our society like a cancer, and the first step towards achieving that is taking a long, hard look at ourselves.


221 thoughts on “On Coming to Terms with Our Arseholery

  1. Wow flip Susan. On the nose. Well said. It IS so much easier when the racists are out there because then i don’t have to confront the ones in here. Sigh. Flip we have a long way to go…

    Maybe this is the opposite of what you’re saying [i hope not, although doesn’t address the we are racists bit which is so true] but i was thoroughly encouraged by the comments that followed if you have a few moments to reda:https://brettfish.wordpress.com/2015/02/16/will-the-real-white-south-africans-please-stand-up

    Keep on – this is great!
    love brett fish

  2. Reblogged this on Irresistibly Fish and commented:
    Wow, this piece just resonated so much with me. It is SO MUCH EASIER when the easily recognised racists are out there, but when i see him staring back at me when i am standing in front of the mirror… Wow! And yet so much of truth. How honest are we willing to be with ourselves?

    #Contains slightly stronger language than i normally use, but get over yourselves…

  3. ..stood in front of the mirror a long time ago … only I found I wasnt a racist at all Im a bigot …. I loathe stupid assholes of any skin colour . I also hate religious assholes, politicians generally , but most of all I hate bureaucratic assholes the most ( its more than me jobs worth ) and especially city planners or people who decide what is art or isnt . Body corporates are my next big target of loathing followed by any forum where people ask questions they already know the answers to like parliament .Then I despise people who have the next fad diet solution ( yes that includes you Tim Noakes ).. as you can see as I get older and grumpier its becoming increasing difficult to not only live in South Africa ( which has a fair number of assholes of all colours ) but to maintain my temper and thus my sense of dignity in the world at large . Supermarket check out people along with stray dogs and pump jockeys are now my firm favourites to hold conversations with .Im thinking about seeing if I can one of those one tickets to Mars but I fear Im too old

    1. I couldn’t agree with you more JamToday! I get irritated with the same things by people of all colour. How long do we still have to make excuses for incompetence based on the legacy of apartheid? Also, if there were less people acting in a certain way there would be less stereotypes and racism in the first place. Susan, what is your action plan? After looking in the mirror and admitting you are a racist, what do you suggest we do to make it better for people of all colour suffering everyday on the streets of our beautiful country? Talking to petrol attendants is nice, that won’t change a thing for that person having to go back to his shack tonight. I’m truly interested to know what you suggest we do to reach out and break down the barriers apart from chatting in shops and petrol stations?

      1. Hanna, I have to ask you a question back: what, exactly, do you mean by, ‘if there were less people acting in a certain way there would be less stereotypes and racism in the first place?’

      2. Hanna .. to answer your question is to understand what Susan is trying to express in her blog .. owning our shadows and by shadow I dont mean out dark side , I mean I un-owned side , ie becoming ever more conscious is the way forwards.This doesnt relate just to negatives such as racism or sexism ,,its relates to violence that is in us , an ability to kill , but also those golden things that define us like caring , love , kindness and generosity. Owning the totality of ourselves without judgment is the way to go ..There is not need for us to fix the world or solve its problems .. Doing this for yourself and so being there later for others, being an example for others, is how we can resolve the totality.Susan owning her racism frees others to own theirs. If you dont want to do this type of work on yourself then at least just be kind.. thats also ok

      3. Hanna, I think you are not going to answer my question, so I will answer yours. I don’t presume to have an ‘action plan’, as you put it, but there are enormous amounts of things people like us can do to make a difference to the lives of others. If you really don’t know, off the top of my head: volunteer your time at a home for children; help out at a soup kitchen; find out where the ARV clinics are in your area. Buy government loaf and peanut butter and make sandwiches for the people who will be receiving the drugs without food in their tummies, making the side-effects worse. Go to a shelter and talk to the people you meet about how they ended up there. Sponsor a child’s education. Offer your skills to give school-goers extra lessons in reading and writing. Drive around your neighbourhood and give food packages to people who sleep on the street. Take flasks of tea and biscuits to the waiting rooms of government hospitals where people camp out for an entire day waiting to see a doctor. There are so many ways you can make a real difference if you make the effort. But what’s really important about these options is not the sandwiches or the extra lessons, it’s the fact that you will step out of your comfort zone and make connections with people whom you wouldn’t ordinary know. It will change the way you think about this country and, ultimately, yourself, and in the end it will be you who receives the most.

    2. I can relate to this too…i’m sure I am both bigoted and racist to some degree…just habits unawares…i’m also tend to worry if i’m PC as well…I so want everybody to be happy with me…

  4. Hullo Gorgie! Been awhile and compelled to reply to this in more detail than than just a reblog and a comment…why ? cos it brings up stuff … and will do so later…I hope.
    Love opinionated people with passion. Like you.

  5. Was waiting eagerly for your latest and I wasn’t dissapointed. I am living in London and teach at multi cultural school in inner London. We have around 40’different cultures and colours in our school and I can promise you the last thing on their mind is race … Maybe because this is also the last thing on the mind of their parents and teachers. When adults stop discriminating on whatever grounds then children and the next generation will follow. It is such a pity that we let 2 generations go by without grabbing the opportunity….

  6. A while ago I wrote an article on ‘Aversive Racism’, we are all guilty of it – but don’t acknowledge it. Google it, it’s a telling read. In an odd kind of way ‘overt’ racism is easier to deal with by the recipient, it’s covert -even unconscious, racism that makes us smell. Having said that, I don’t think that only whites are guilty of racism, it is a human condition.

  7. This is by far the best bloody article ever written about us white South Africans who grew up during Apartheid. Spot on. I am racist. Thank you :)

  8. Very eloquent blog. However please take note of the very large, and perhaps even visit them, Zuma has, of the very poor white population who live in Pretoria. They don’t have the comfort of your view, all they want, like the rest of poverty stricken Africa, is a job. any job. and education for their children. As for apartheid, that’s in ashes now, time to stop beating the same drum….Zuma has already moved on….. opening of Parliament made that very clear.

  9. You are so right Susan, and so very very brave! We all need to stretch out our hands to reach those in need. Time will take care of Zuma, sooner than we think!

  10. I am racist. So is Bishop Tutu when he also had a brief heart hop and skip when he found out his pilot was black. If he can own it so can I. I work with it all the time. I know why and I know its unacceptable. I had the same conversation with the petrol attendant- he expressed the same feelings.
    Simply reach out a hand. Every day. Change your tone.Smile. Just cross the line.

  11. Its hard to breed out of you a perspective or reprogram at your age, its near impossible, you will more than likely live out your life as you have pretty much been doing for the last few decades and your efforts, although sincere, will have little lasting effect on the truth you feel deep in your soul…but I applaud your intention!

    You used the word “white” about 8 times and “black” about 10 times, if you’re trying to stop being a certain way, I’d start by not perpetuating that which does not promote oneness through your writing…and if you think you know how to get where you’re trying to be without help, advice or any sort of critic, then you make the mistake of again thinking that you know how to get where you want to be just by making a decision in writing…weave the words the wield the oneness!!!

    Cells divide without your permission

    Enjoy the view

    1. I used to think that way too, Lloyd, and then I read a blog by a young black writer which talked about the damage we do when we don’t recognise race; the way some people have suffered compared to the easy ride others got. It changed the way I think and talk. Now I say ‘black’ and ‘white’ and ‘coloured’ deliberately and consciously. Not using the words doesn’t make the disparities go away; worse, it pretends they don’t exist. Using the words doesn’t create diviseness; on the contrary, it acknowledges the power structures which led to the inequality on the first place.

      1. That’s because you’re taking advice from someone who sees himself as a “colour”, its one of the longest slight of hands I’ve seen in my little life, and was that way when I arrived just a few short decades ago…but I stand my ground, until you can see a human, you will always feel comfortable leaning on some or other form of categorization to form or justify an opinion…that said, I love you Susan and thanks for sharing your point of you

        but…until the colour the of a man’s skin, is of no more significance, than the colour of his eyes, this war will rage and we, you and I both, we feed it, perpetuate it and give it life. We share in the same guilt and the same joys, because we are one love

        but aweh, you mos know

    2. I do get your point. “the less we talk about the difference, the less things gets perpetuated”. Yet in the real world there are definitions. Maybe life is teaching us “To know the difference, and be more accepting of it”. To understand what the difference is about. Perfect example is what’s in front of us. This very comment box. Would we see what is written on the white text, if the deep grey was not in the background? In life we seek for meaning, in order to find definition. Not about judging the difference, but to understand what it’s for. Without the defining tones in life. Life will be meaningless.

  12. I love your blog. It has made me cheer, it has incensed me , it has challenged me and it has saddened me. 15 yrs ago we left for a foreign country. At the end of the day, it was our decision. We left a life of entitlement and took on an entirely different one – one where the wife worked, the husband stayed home to look after our precious children. We were the lucky ones, with qualifications and money to pave our way. Sadly, after a year and a half, my husband’s distress at leaving his home became too great and he took his own life. People asked me if I was going to “go home” . No, this is our new home – we were loved and supported through the most terrible thing we hopefully will ever have to endure. Our lives are not perfect , but we feel safe and nurtured and when my sister in law posted ‘On angry South African ex pats’ on her Facebook page I felt so much rage I was nauseated. I was angry with your flippant , cavalier attitude to those who had left, never to come back. But I have grown to respect your balanced view of a country in turmoil. Keep writing- I love it ! But to those who choose to stay behind, remember , for some of us, our move came at huge cost.

    1. I am so sorry, Maude, to hear of your pain. Thank you for persevering and continuing to read the blog. I’m sorry for incurring your anger. However it is interpreted, my writing always comes from a good place and is meant to heal, not hurt. I wish you every strength in dealing with your tragic loss. Sending you a huge dose of South African sunshine to warm your day. Thanks for writing x

  13. As an American who lived in South Africa 13 years during Apartheid and have returned back to the USA my heart is still in Africa. The answer is for ALL South Africans to bond together for POSITIVE change, but how to do that? The incredible hope with Mr Mandelas initial government has been dashed. What to do now????


  14. Thank you for another honest article.
    As a coloured person living in the UK for almost 17 years I have come to understand that it as much about class as it is about colour. The UK government has broken through or trying to conquer racial barriers (there are racist all over the world believe me)
    However here in the UK there exist a massive class system, working class, middle class and then posh people (upper class). My social circle are more working class people. I am not easily accepted into a middle class social circle because one, I have a South African accent for which I am proud of. Religion another thing that divides people all over the world.

    In SA the class difference exist between races because, there is a massive gap between the rich and poor. I am not at all advocating the use of racist terms or supporting narrow minded idiots view on race however, I believe South Africa has come a long way and we have a long way to go. We are already seeing barriers been broken in schools where children and teenagers do not see race as much as we do.

    We are returning home next year in spite of all the my country is enduring we are leaving this land of “freedom” because I believe in the future generation and I love SA. Thank you for pointing out that breaking down barriers starts with us.
    Let us look pass the colour, religion, the veil, and let us see each other as people who want a good future in South Africa. It will come it’s taking time but we will get there.

  15. Thank you for this Susan! Inherent bias is very much alive and well. So many white South Africans need to read this … really read it (myself included). No one says challenging the lens you look at the world through will be easy but in South Africa, it is vital for our survival and prosperity as a nation… even if it scares the hell out of you! As you say, irrespective of the colour of our skin/size of our bank balances/state of our homes, we all want the same thing. It’s high, high time we saw that and gave each other (and ourselves) a hand to get there. Baby steps!

  16. I need to digest this slowly, Susan, but I agree about it being more a difference of ‘class’ than skin colour. I am encouraged by the colour-blindness I see in our youth, though I would guess that the disenfranchised among them may not feel the same. Every SAfrican is being let down by the recent actions of the government. We all need to stand up to protect our precious constitution and reach out to each other as human beings. Ok. I’ll get off my soapbox now.

  17. I really enjoyed reading this; have been discussing issues of privilege at length lately. I just wanted to put forward something that made me uncomfortable about this piece. Your position is insightful; considerate. But I think sometimes our privilege sneaks in accidentally, like in your statement: “stand up for those who have no voice”. I disagree. I think we should stand WITH people – everybody has a voice, and I’m sure you meant that for some, their voices are drowned out by those of the privileged. One might do better to change the conversation from ‘standing up for’ to ‘standing together with’ and just generally doing the things you are aiming to do, but with an approach more focussed on inclusivity & possibly less accidental othering. Otherwise, great piece – I know you speak to a lot of people who struggle with their own privilege.

    1. Thanks for the comment. Yes, you are right, I’m sure I do this all the time. What I was referring to, in that particular sentence, was the racist images and sentiments circulating on social media platforms around SONA and, previously, the ANC anniversary party. That was on my mind when I wrote that line, anyway. Where the sentiment was so hatefully racist I was afraid to speak out and, in my silence, became complicit. Since then, in my personal capacity, I’ve made a decision to call out racism wherever I see it, and while it’s not winning me any friends, it’s the only way I can live with a conscience in this country. In those kinds of white, privileged spaces black people tend not to have much of a voice. The one or two who tried to defend themselves were bullied and shouted down. In instances like that it is up to us white people to speak up. But, point taken.

      1. Thanks for taking the time to respond. I really appreciate it. And yes, sometimes I do find it hard to speak up for myself when I’m in a minority, so I appreciate it when people get the ball rolling & stand up with me. I suppose it’s just a prickly subject & there’s such a fine line for many people who want to do good and those who want to do good but still don’t quite realise the agency the people they are wanting to stand up for have. As I mentioned, as a privileged person, I try to grapple with this every day. As a privileged person of colour, things get even more tricky as I try to navigate my environment. It’s all a load of fuckery, but hey!

        Also, saw your article reblogged on SAPeople – sorry to see all the wankers commenting about trying to hold on tight to their privilege & racism. Way to go to shake them up :)

        1. I recently read Billy Connelly’s biography, and he said something that really resonated for me: ‘The more idiots I have offended, the more I know I hit the mark.’ I think it has become my personal motto. Have a great day! :-)

  18. Firstly – thank you for another great article; well written, thought provoking, and relevant.

    I’ve lived out of South Africa for 8 years now, and although I have made that choice (for numerous reasons, most important of which is a foreign husband!) and am very happy and content, I still miss it every day. However, with every passing year out of the country, and with every visit back home – I am made more and more aware of all the subtle, underlying race related judgements that are absolutely inherent in those of us that grew up during the 80’s/90’s in SA, and which ultimately dictate or at the very least, influence our interactions with people in our society.

    The fact that we are entirely comfortable with having a black lady come and clean our mess and wash our clothes, but if we were very very honest with ourselves, probably wouldn’t feel quite so comfortable if that lady was – dare I say it, white – or if we were likely to mix in the same social circles as her. The sense of being at best, uncomfortable, or at worst, in danger, when we are the only white face in a big crowd. And those subtle changes in tone which you mentioned, when speaking to petrol attendants and serving staff.
    I struggle with this in myself every time I come home, and it is all I can think about as I leave again for the country where I now live, where nearly everybody is white, and where your book club is just as likely to contain a shop attendant as it is a doctor or engineer. And where everyone cleans their own house.

    After much self analysis, I’ve arrived at the following: I don’t think we’ll every truly be able to erase a lot of those very subtle attitudes which exist in our sub-conscious, and sneak up on us when we find ourselves in certain situations. I am not an expert on childhood development, but I believe they are a direct product of what we absorbed growing up, by observing all the adults around us, and their interactions. They form part of our learnt behaviour. Perhaps in some cases it wasn’t quite as subtle, but more deliberate, in the form of ‘warnings’ for our ‘safety’, or ‘advice’ from a generation who knew no other way.
    However we have the benefit of rational thought, and self enquiry, and I think if you asked any of us what we THOUGHT, we’d be able to give a wonderful, eloquent, liberal, educated answer, including all the right words surrounding equality. And this truly is what we THINK. But we sometimes can’t help what we FEEL. And when we become aware of it, we feel ashamed of what is under there, lurking beneath the skin. So, I think it is an on-going battle, and indeed more like an academic CHOICE we make, in how we treat people, how we react to media images, what comments we make to our friends…. in a constant effort to over-rule those sneaky attitudes which unfortunately may come a little more naturally to us, and which drive our daily choices, without our conscious permission.
    There is a term for this is neuroscience – “plasticity of the brain” – if we keep trying, maybe we can shut down those neural pathways and open up new ones eventually….

  19. Well written. Currently I live in Accra have been for the past four years, and grew up in the apartheid era. Strange how quickly a person’s perspective change when faced with serious “haves and have-nots”. You have no choice but to decide exactly HOW racist you actually are. The over the top racist expats don’t last long. The extremely agh-sorry-boetie-ones marry locals and never leave. The rest come to terms that we all are different races,and come to accept our different traditions, languages, customs and obvious differences. We do eventually return to our home countries being more tollarable and understanding.
    I have always thought that the biggest racists were the unsure ones. Unsure of their sence of belonging. Unsure of their own heritage. Once a serious racist is confronted, you’ll often find they just fear the unknown. A bit if education certainly goes a long way…

  20. Great blog post, but you´re tuning kak (unique South African expression I first saw on FB last week and immediately understood) when you say: “Some of my best friends are white.” Most of your best friends are white :-)

    I also think you are wrong in using “white”, “black” and “coloured” to describe people. Only South Africans do that. I agree that some goals are very far in the future. For example, that only a true political union in Europe will work. I understand that the ability to just say ” a man” or “a woman” did this or that in SA is still far away in the future, but, that is how it is and how it should be – in my opinion.

  21. Well written and has its truths . except that no one is innocent , history tells us that , White , Black , Asians , etc. Please prove me wrong.And as far as shacks on the highways , remember a great number of those individuals have homelands and just have temp dwellings nearest to where they want to work , and when the holidays come they mostly go home to their lovely homeland countryside witch i have frequently visited and found no plastic and shit lying around and cows destroying each others crops witch is very well controlled and frowned upon if disrespect is shown. So come here and break the rules disrespect and i will apologize for expecting respect for my living space. Am i now a racist . then yes.And there is so much more but have a mean headache and will stop making sense .

  22. I usually really enjoy your blog, but must admit that this is the one so far that has made me feel most uncomfortable with myself. Not the best feeling to have, but one that is really needed to force us to learn and grow. I only realised in how racist an environment I grew up in, in my small plattelandse dorpie (I still love the place and the people), when I came to Stellenbosch to study.
    Since that day I must admit that the hardest part for me to connect with people of other races was the language barrier. My English was far from being up to scratch! Once I got over my mortal fear of speaking English in front of people and got to know people I soon realised how much we have in common. Since I have come to believe (and this might be very naive and hopeful of me) that few of us are racist due to hate in our hearts towards people of other races. I think it is lack knowledge and understanding of each others cultures and a lack of being exposed to diverse groups of people regularly.
    So yes we have a long way to go as a country to empower the disadvantaged and being friendly and chatting to people helps to break down walls between us. But to be honest what we need is better education, in classrooms for our children so they can all have a fair chance at a future, but also for our adults so we can understand each others cultures better, I believe that once we understand where each of us is coming from it is much easier to get to know the person. Once we can do that we won’t have to to refer to the blacks or whites, but to people, individuals who love this country and each other!
    I know I personally still need to do some work in this regard, but I hope to see the day when we see each other for who the individuals we are and not the colour of our skins in my lifetime still. I have had glimpses of it and it is glorious!

  23. Absolutely, those of thus that benefited from apartheid by way of schooling, increased opportunities, etc should on a daily basis attempt to redress some of those injustices. Whether it be simple acts of courtesy, kindness, fairness and encouragement. We run a “colour blind” business, leading by example, hard work and good performance are expected from all irrespective of their colour or creed. It is not racist to expect the same from our leaders.

  24. One of the best blog articles I have ever read on the topic of racism. You are sincere in your anger, and you are not alone. While I do not know about South Africa, I know that racism is present in every society, even where white is a minority. There is something evil to the thought that the color of your skin predetermines your life. And the Evil can look as innocent as the prejudice against certain schools or neighborhood. We just prefer to live without getting acquainted with people from other cultures, despite living in a culture that is based on its diversity.

  25. I think this post says some really important things about how people see themselves and it really is important to notice if you feel like you have some sort of entitlement

  26. So wild to read about the state of racism in SA. Thanks for the window into another world, Canada has racism too though nothing even close to this. Bold of you to admit your own racist attitudes, Google Morgan Freeman on Black History Month… his solution is about as blunt as it gets.

  27. Thank you for writing this. Living in the U.S., we have a different kind of racism. I’m sure you’ve heard of Ferguson, and the police killings of unarmed black children and men. Difficult times, sad times. But we can all do our part to try to make it better.

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