Tag Archive: prejudice

Race is one of the big issues we are dealing with in South Africa [and in Americaland, and most probably in pretty much every other country in the world, right?] and there is still a lot of work to be done.

The idea of this series came from my understanding that most of us have some kind of racism or prejudice towards other people, particularly those of other cultures or race – some are quite overt and others are more subtle – something that is obvious to you might be a blind spot for someone else… and sometimes until we know, we don’t know… so i am thinking this will be a light Dummies Guide to being Less Racist for those of us desperately trying to be so.

racist graph

A more obvious example might be referring to your fifty year old gardener as ‘boy’ and a less obvious example might be something like ‘asking to touch someone from another race’s hair’ – this might overlap with the ‘what i would love my white friends to hear’ series on my blog and i feel like it could really be helpful for us all to learn from.

We look at the big issues of racism and prejudice and they can sometimes feel completely overwhelming. But maybe a helpful place to start is with the smaller things some of us may not be aware of that we do or say on a regular basis.

Until you know, you might not know.

How can we help those around us to be one bit less racist? If you have an idea you’d like to share as part of this series, drop me an email at brettfish@hotmail.com and i can take a look.

Megan Furniss posts some helpful questions

Calling someone ‘boy’ or ‘girl’ when they clearly aren’t

Taking a step back from the small aspects to view the bigger picture

When we refer to a specific group of people as ‘they’ or ‘those people’



Here are simply a collection of stories from people who have lived in countries or areas of diversity and have a race theme to a part of their story which they have so graciously decided to share with us:

Meet Deborah Dowlath [Trinidad and Tobago]

Meet Kevin Lloyd James Lok [South Africa]

Meet Caley Daniels [South Africa]

Meet Susan Hayden [reblog of ‘Disco Pants & a Mountain’ post]



What makes a person?

What makes me, me?

For me I’ve struggled with identity for my entire Life – one of the biggest struggles I’ve had over my identity is the one over ‘race’ (now many would consider it strange for a white guy to struggle with identity over race and don’t get me wrong – I’ve never thought I am not white) the reasons being that I was brought up (My mom assisted hugely by our Domestic worker Vivian Mogotsi, who I would often be left with when my Mom was busy sorting out household business, fetching or dropping my brothers off from extramural activities etc. nearly until the end of my primary school education) in a home where though I was not taught to hate people of a different ‘race’, I observed as my parents who didn’t hate people of colour made comments that did not show a love for them either.

At primary school race was not an issue for me as my group of friends represented a large portion of the rainbow nation and would often hang out with my mates regardless of colour. My notion that colour was just that – colour- didn’t last long into High school as friends started to separate themselves into cultural and racial groups, and soon after people began to discriminate (not always openly) against those that were different (while those of the same ‘race’ who dared to venture against the norm being classed as ‘coconuts’, ‘wiggas’ etc.), for me I couldn’t fit into any one of those groups and was thrown into a friendship with three guys (one white and two black) who for a time also did not fully fit into the mould that was pressed upon us. After grade nine we started integrating into different groups and though still friends, walls started being built as the groups of friends’ views and opinions started having an impact. It was in grades 10-12 in my History class that I saw the class divided by ‘racial’ lines in discussions (sometimes more like debates) about apartheid and discrimination – and we learned of how people (across the ‘racial spectrum’) had been taught by their parents/families/elders/communities to either hate, fear, manipulate and look down upon(or up to as superior) ; or befriend, respect, take time to know, understand and view as equals those of other ‘races’.

I have throughout my life struggled within as I’ve had conflicting messages from parents, friends and society telling me who I can love, be friends with or respect; and who should be by enemy, despised and looked down upon. For a time some bad experiences with friends of different ‘races’ helped me choose the easy path (that of lumping all people of a ‘race’ into a stereotype) of being a racist (if that of a closet racist) for a time – until I realised I had been hurt by people regardless of ‘race’ and been loved by and loved regardless of race.

Now I see colour, but I do not make assumptions or judgements on a person because of ‘race’ but I also understand that there have been hurts and wrongs inflicted upon those of other ‘races’ by white people, I admit that some of my ancestors (not all – my heritage is as mixed as they come) probably had a hand in some of that, I admit to the fact that those who still suffer from the effects of Apartheid, I admit that I to some degree have been privileged by what has happened in the past (regardless of the fact that I was born toward the end of apartheid).

But I choose to stand apart and not let how others may view me (whether it is with hatred, resentment, disgust or fear) change me, I choose to love others and help where I can to right the wrongs – even if I did not have a hand in causing them (as best as I can on a personal level and with others), I choose not to fight only the injustices and hurts inflicted by my ‘race’ upon other ‘races’ but to fight against those seeking to cast down, enslave, hurt, or discriminate against anyone.

The reason I am able to choose those things is because of Vivian Mogotsi and other people who not only showed me that love has no borders but pointed me towards a love that I still struggle to comprehend at times (The love that God has for all of us) and have helped me find my identity in God, in whose image we are all made, and who loves all of us so much that He gave His only son to die so that ALL who believe in Him will have eternal life John3:16 (and that not for some or in differing levels according to race) and so that there would no longer be division Colossians 3:11

All of these things (whether good or bad), all of the choices I’ve made and will make, all of the people who have cared enough to look deeper than the skin, how God created me and continues to lead and grow me – that is what makes me.

So if there are some points I would like you to take from this here they are:

#Skin colour does not make anyone less or more of a human being

#Hurt-people, hurt people (No-one can end pain by inflicting more – things need to be spoken of and dealt with in love)

#Love knows no boundaries

#God Loves all – so should we (note God is love, but Love is not God – He is way more than love, and our definition of love can’t even begin to fit what He is – 1 corinthians 13)

#What makes a person is who they choose to be (circumstance determines your viewpoint not your choices)

[For other stories and conversations on different aspects of Race-related things, click here]

yesterday as we drove to park our car before work, tbV and i saw some traffic cops putting a white piece of paper on a parked car…

immediately we jumped to the conclusion that it was a parking ticket and went to that place you go to when you see a cop sticking a ticket on a car [even when it’s not yours] – Urgh, shtupidt cop! or some rendition of that…

as we drove closer, we realised that the cops were putting the papers on every single car that was parked in the area we normally park our cars [and it did seem a little early to be fining people in 2 to 4 hour parking zones]

and as we walked up, having parked the car, we realised that what they had been sticking on to cars was in fact warning notices that read ‘Keeping Windows in Your Car’ [so yes, they could still use our literary help] and a whole list on the back of Prevention ideas and then contact details for Reporting incidents that happen.


quick lesson in stereotyping and prejudice…

and generally the reason for stereotyping and generalising is that there has been something modelled that leads you to that place…

but the problem with generalising and stereotyping is that there are always exceptions and times where you will get it completely wrong

[and times when it will be good for all personkind for you to let go of the stereotype and generalisation altogether forever]

so i tend to lean towards an INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY mentality [although clearly don’t always get that right]

which looks to say: I will expect the best from you until such time as you give me reason not to

this sometimes means we have to fight against the stereotypes that have been passed on to us from family or culture or even country…

i imagine a lot of the time this relates to race… [which we have been talking about over here]

religion must be another one – all muslims are… all atheists are… certainly all christians are…’

and so on… is this an area you need to work on? 




i don’t know if this is the right place to begin this conversation on race, but it is a place and so will hopefully get the ball rolling and then we can see where it goes from there.

i think we would be foolish to believe that this conversation will be easy or comfortable all the way through – i am hoping we will be able to get to a place where people can be really honest [maybe in a raw and rough and edgy in-your-face kind of way] even if it does not feel good to hear and i am desperately hoping that we will really make an effort to listen. much grace and love and forgiveness and patience is going to be needed and i believe i know some really quality people who will be able to bring all of that to the table.

the place i have chosen to start this conversation [well, this is my second go at this, my first attempt a few months ago was an epic fail and so hopefully this question will go down better] is by asking the question to my friends who are not white, ‘What would you like your white friends to know/hear/be aware of?’ and i am hoping that a number of you will email me at brettfish@hotmail.com if you have something to say on this…

Sarona Reddy shares one Indian woman’s perspective on some aspects of race

Tsholofelo Mpuru speaks into the issue of white privilege and more

Mhlengi Mpungose shares one black man’s perspective on some of the fears and prejudices black people face

Hulisani Khorombi’s shares some of her story and specifically her take on the term ‘Coconut’

 Siki Dlanga speaks about the idea of ‘the better black’ 

Tshego Motiang shares some incredible insights about the need for open communication

Tasha Melissa Govender speaks about Indian accents and why you shouldn’t ask her to cook you some spicy food and more

Juliet Paulse talks about having her own racism exposed and pursuing deeper relationships with white people

some more Erwin McManus from the book ‘an unSTOPPABLE force’ – From the chapter ‘Friction Traction’

On Multiculturalism:

‘The gospel, as presented in our time, has been crafted in such a way that would only bring Christians to Christ.’

‘Evangelism for much of the church has not been among unbelievers but focused on receivers – people who already accepted our worldview.’

‘The “great sociologist” Rodney King once said, “Can’t we all just get along?” The answer, of course, is no. We can’t all just get along. We’ve proven it time and time again in history. And it’s often not because of our extreme differences. One of the peculiar realities of crime and violence is that there is far more white on white, black on black and brown on brown crime than there is across colours and cultures. People who outsiders view as similar, whether it’s the Hutus and Tutsis, or the Bosnians versus the Serbs or the North against the South, often carry out the greatest conflicts. Civil war is as difficult to stop as international war. Multiculturalism has only accentuated the human inability to bring peace on earth.’

‘Jesus came and destroyed the dividing wall that not only separated man from God but also Jew from Gentile. God is about destroying walls that divide. The church will gain traction in the multicultural environment when she begins to dismantle the walls created not by the hands of God but by our own hands. Sometimes this will require nothing less than confession of the sin of racism and prejudice and the kind of repentance that leads to change. It isn’t enough to go to church with a diverse world, God calls us to embrace those who are different as brothers and sisters.’

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