South Africa has a racist past, like 50% of the world we were colonised by the British at one point and then by the Dutch, leaving a residual few who still think they’re gods among mortal men. For example, a couple of years ago the news headlined university students who pissed in cleaners’ food and forced them to eat it on camera. We all know who’s who in this story.Thousand bucks for anyone who finds an article on a black person being so evilly racist. Rather, evilly criminal. I’m tired of the word racism being used in place of “criminal”. Racism is judging someone based on their race. For example saying because colonists and people who came up with slavery and the shocking treatment and “punishment” of those slaves were white , means all white people are inherently evil. But assulting or killing someone because they’re black cant be prettied under racism. That person is a murderer. You cant be jailed for being racist but there’s no debate that murderers go to jail.
In addition to the many evil doers who justify their ways by race, there are a couple of over looked everyday racists. Because although they are not criminal, they seem to suffer from a consistant itch to draw a line between “them” and “us”. I started working this year and some 60 year old white guy saw the crown of confidence on my head built by the staff of ownership over this land which is mine and the opportunities I fight for. And my grandparents fought for. And my ancestors died for. So he felt the need to “educate” me on how the company was barbwired with high fences against black people and how he was never against segregation but “good for you guys for fighting. A lot of white people fought with you guys”. As if to say: ‘welcome’ you finally tore down the fence of economic segregation and can work for us from the inside. “You guys” implying we are still living in apartheid times . Not a day goes by when he doesn’t make a joke or comment about “my culture”. With 11 official languages in South Africa and even more than 11 traditional groups, you can’t look at a black person and tell if they believe in ancestral praise or Muthi; kingdoms or parliament; if they are Zionist or Christian. He just assumes every black person is like the “one black friend” he feels the need to mention (world class ignorant dick he is).
The other thing I have to encounter, is with a couple of European students who came to work with us on a student exchange program. They landed on my soil, started spuing ignorant racism and have not stopped since. They search me out to ask “why do black girls wear their hair like that ” “oh wow there are black people even in the richest areas?” ” oh I know alot of black people who vote for the party with white members in it?” ” where do black people learn to twerk hahaha”.Among other dumb questions I should know answers to. And mocking the numerous accents. In primary school there was a joke among us where if we were asked something silly and it included the words “why” and “black” we’d say “teacher, it’s my culture” and every other black student would laugh at how outrageous that was. And… that it would work.
The real answer? I do not know! Im just working out her future, enjoying life. Its exhausting to have to wonder how to answer ignorant questions. Should I call the black association? And where do I get the number to call them. Who is the authority on these things? What if I answer the questions in detriment to my race? Too much pressure! Maybe its not exactly racist (Im not too sure what qualifies)It is, however, the definition of ignorance. Malcome X might have been an extremist but I understand the notion of wanting to rather have this residual seperated from the general population.
Realistically Id settle for genuine people and being speared the fake smiles and b.s small talk and lame jokes. I dont expect my german-south african friend to represent her race, just herself. And she doesn’t expect it of me.
And then, ofcose, there are outright racist insults and name calling. Which is alarming because the comments are intended to make you uncomfortable or most of them believe they can intimidate you. In fact its not intimidating nor uncomfortable, just alarming that someone is trying to intimate you. These people are living in someone elses mother land and walk around with an attitude like they are just tolerating the landlords, and the landlords are suffering them. The 20 year old joke about ‘black people planning to evict them out of south africa’ dipicts this attitude. I have to disappoint a few but you’re not the center of our consciousness, so no: wer not plotting against you, nor thinking about you. I bet u think this song, this band, this whole country is about you.
Finally I say this to say:
There’s a misconception that my entire existance consists of being aware of my blackness- its not. If im asked to discribe myself I might miss out on mentioning that I’m black because, like being female, it isn’t enough for you to conclude on who I am. So Is it really that important that someone doesn’t like me because of the colour of my skin? Nope, hate on. I’m not endangered like in 1984, im not paid less*, I can achieve anything I want on my mother soil. And thats gained me a couple of haters- haters gonna hate.
PS. When you travel to South Africa please note that there’s a huge economic gap between black people and white ( because of the history we’re trying to correct). We* like to sing and dance and the residual share the opinion that they would want aparthied back, the government doesn’t kick that residual out of the country though. Our racial progress is slow (world wide) and thats the reason most of us feel pressured to be active and speak on it because when a fight comes to you, you have little choice but to become a fighter.
* not referring to black people as a whole only anyone who agrees. I can never speak for an entire race, as much as I can’t answer for an entire race.