Tag Archive: racist

my friend Tsholo had a bit of a p.s. to her first share on racism and i felt like it warranted a post of its own so it didn’t get lost – this is a 47 minute video but i encourage you to make some time and watch it because it is so powerful. i am a little scared that the choir will get it and everyone else will make excuses so try and watch it with an open mind, especially if you are white and don’t think you are racist.

Tsholo: I watched this video and the saddest part for me, the part that made me cry, was when the biracial guy talked about how he had learned to assimilate into whiteness so that his blackness wouldn’t hold him back, but no matter how close to whiteness he got, he still had that fear that his blackness would cause him to be judged negatively…whether it’s all in his head or not, it is real for him:


[To continue to the next post by Mhlengi Mpongose on Race, click here]

[To return to the beginning of this series, click here]

two days ago my bossman Darin told me about this story where a dad had picked up his young kid in the laundromat and stuffed him in a washing machine and closed the door [presumably as a joke or to teach him a lesson] but once the door locked the washing machine jumped into life and they couldn’t stop it or get him out until someone who worked at the place ran up and unplugged it and eventually managed to save the child. The child was apparently mostly fine [except maybe for the trauma suffered by your dad almost killing you in a washing machine]…

then yesterday i was at the gym, running on the treadmill in front of a wall of tvs and the incident came on two different channels which were showing news. sure enough the dad stuffed the kid into the machine and it suddenly starts and both parents frenetically try to stop the machine and the guy comes and stops it. it happened just as i had been told, except one thing really took me by surprise.

i decided to test out my theory on two people as we walked to the office yesterday and so i mentioned that i had seen the story on the tv and asked what colour the parents were. without hesitation they both answered “white” which is exactly what i had imagined. only thing is i had been wrong. what surprised me about the video was that it looked like a so-called african-american family [athough definitely a family of colour] and what surprised me was that in my head only a white family would be stupid enough to do something like that.

does that make me racist? it definitely would if it had gone the other way… but that made me think along with a lot of this Brett Murray ‘The Spear’ painting stuff that has been going on in South Africa and this amazing article which called a lot of it for what it was.

Four lines from that article carry the heart of where this whole racism-calling thing has gotten a little bit out of control:

I’m not shouting at you because you’re black, I’m shouting because you’re a maniac on the roads who is a danger to society.

I’m not complaining to your manager because you’re black. I’m complaining because you’re an incompetent moron who is incapable of doing her job properly.

I’m not firing you because you’re black. I’m firing you because you’re a thief.

I’m not confronting you because your black, I’m shouting at you because you’re a messy pig who expects other people to clean up your mess.

Each of those incidents [maniac on road, incompetent at job, thief, litterer] if they had occurred with someone of the same race calling out someone of the same race it would have been an incident of whatever is in brackets [parenthesis to the americanese] but because it was a white person calling a black person that [and i’m guessing vice versa] it suddenly becomes a race thing.

there is a lot more to say on this issue but hopefully this incident has at least got people thinking about it. are stereotypes racism or do they exist, much like cliches, because they are true a lot of the time? and while it is unfair to generalise with a stereotype or cliche and judge everyone as that thing, it is maybe not necessarily racist to be aware of or mention them.

i don’t think it was a big deal that i assumed the washing machine dad was white. i think it just was what it was. we could progress a lot further in this world, life, country if we started looking a lot more at what is as opposed to what could be suggested/read into/taken as…

your thoughts?

[late add: found out today that it was a babysitter and her boyfriend and not the kids parents who put the baby into the machine – story is here]

why i hate cars

cars are stupid – i can prove it – they have been used to kill people – drunk drivers in cars have recklessly taken thousands of innocent lives in our country alone – old cars get rusty and dangerous because people often can’t afford to give them proper maintainence and take them off the road when they should go – don’t get me started on woman drivers – or men drivers – in fact we have broken it down to this very generalised generalisation – that when women drivers drive badly it is because they drive badly (or on occasion too carefully and slowly and so cause accidents) – when men drive badly it is because they drive recklessly (usually too fast and without taking decent enough consideration of others) – i have had a number of really bad experiences with cars even just this week (overtaking on the left up a hill when there was one lane, taxi overtaking four cars in one go on a solid white approaching a corner, countless people driving right up my bum metaphorically speaking, and so on…) – a car killed one of my friends in school on his eighteenth birthday when he went out for a cycle – cars break down and cost so much money in repairs (money that could be better spent on the poor and needy) – people have been highjacked and raped and murdered in cars – my uncle drowned when his car went off the road and into a river – and i could go on and on about bad things down by car, in cars, in the name of cars…

on the other hand, i have found that when i drive my car properly it gets me from one place to another, i can use it to give other people lifts, i have had some cool chatting times to the beautiful val in the car, i have driven kids to camps and visited people in hospital and offered complete strangers a ride and and and…

and all this is not really about cars at all, but about the church and Christ-ianity… just because stoopid people have done stoopid (and hurtful, and abusive, and racist, and damaging, and thoughtless, and and and) things in, through and with church and in the name of God or a specific denomination or the church, doesn’t make it a bad or stupid or useless or ineffective or abusive thing – it just means stoopid is as stoopid does

because i have seen the church in action and i have seen Godly men and women doing incredible revolutionary life-transforming things in the name and through the power of God and His Holy Spirit – i have seen people fed and clothed and visited and prayed and cared for and xenophobia-attacked people welcomed in and looked after and and and…

so my good friend megan – who i used to watch bad movies with (not bad as in naughty, but we used to on occasion find something that would more than likely be awful and watch it and usually have one or two classic lines that would be private joke humour and that i would occasionally sneak into a sermon in church so megan would just break into raucous laughter and everyone would think she was a crazy lady – ah good times) samessed me the other day to say let’s go watch the latest Leon Shuster movie ‘Shucks Shabalala’s Guide to um something something safety South Africa something’

now just to set the context i used to really love LS movies back in the day but ever since he started combining genuinely pranking people with a scripted movie it has never worked for me and movies like Mr Bones and so on have been incredibly painful (when he was just doing candid camera type movies they rocked but the combo always has you wondering how much is scripted) so i was not super amped but i hadn’t seen the trailer so i didn’t know quite how bad it should be expected to be being so i said yes (cos hanging with megs is always good for a laugh or laughs of the plural variety)

and so we saw it and the candid camera stuff was absolutely flippin brilliant and you should really go and see it. and the scripted stuff was absolutely painfully awfully bad and was like someone rubbing a cheese grater against a black board (if that is worse than just nails – it seems like it should be worse). It was just horrible… but fortunately the candid camera stuff (which included taking on Helen Zille, Alan Boesak and Rob van Vuuren) was top top class. getting people in to apply make-up to a dead person who turned out not to be quite so dead… just go see the movie and go pee during the two songs.

but the one part of the movie that was really horrible to watch was the intense racism. the candid camera stuff where people get scared (giant snakes, ‘dead’ bodies, out of control wheelchair-bikes, traffic cops) was fantastic. but then Shuster got dressed up in his trademark black or Indian person disguises and some of it brought out some intense racism in people. then at the end he reveals it’s him and the person laughs and they hug and it’s all good and fun and whatever… but i’m sitting there thinking ‘dood’ (in my best dj Fresh impression) – you just showed to the whole of south africa and maybe the world (cos somehow in SA this movie is going to do better than Avatar, Alice in Wonderland and Sherlock Holmes combined – ai!) what a complete and utter racist you are and a smile and hug at the end (with a guy who is not actually black) doesn’t change the fact of who you showed yourself to be

yeah it was really sad actually and i am embarrassed that people like that still exist in that way and wonder if someone could actually give them the opportunity to leave…

“it’s my way! there is no highway option” – Vin Diesl in The Pacifier

%d bloggers like this: