Just the fact that the call to speak went out over a month ago and I have been able to continue on my life largely unaffected speaks volumes about my privilege.
South Africa is hugely schizophrenic around race relations. We all tiptoe about it. We use cries of racism to divert from real issues. We pretend that race does not matter. We pretend to be unaffected.
But the truth is we are all affected. Hatred poisons us all. Racism is institutionalized hatred.
The biggest problem with racism is that it diminishes humanity. It reduces people to the other, and justifies reprehensible behaviour.
I wish that I could be more eloquent and make a more compelling argument. But it is something is so wrong that I really cannot begin to express myself on the issue. Perhaps it is because I am in a position of privilege. As a hetrosexual cisgender white female I am still close to the top of the privilege chain. (Yes, even with affirmative action and black economic empowerment).
So, I cannot truly understand what it is like to be on the other end of the spectrum. And I cannot make assumptions. I can’t imagine what it is like, but I can speak when I see something that is not right. I might not be able to speak eloquently, but I can speak.
But I can tell you this: Prejudice is never cool. If you see prejudice in action…don’t turn a blind eye. Say something.
Love and speaking,