Whingeing whiteys

November 11, 2013 § 131 Comments

rant ahead

So, Cyril Ramaphosa said a Racist Thing. Well, boo hoo, white South Africa. Boo hoo.

Let’s just get all the other crap out of the way and then I’ll get into what I really want to say. Let me save you the trouble. I’m a libtard, I’m a fucktard, it’s not okay to polarise South African society any more than it already is, I’m a bleeding heart lefty pinko liberal, and I’m clearly as stupid as all hell. Anything else? Feel free to add your insults to the comment box.

I’m not going to debate the merits of what Cyril said, because enough of that has been done on social media, and it’s just giving the story more traction than it deserves, in my view. (And I have strong Afrikaner roots before you start on that little jaunt too.)

I am going to point out, though that it’s an election year and politicians are going to be saying stupid things left, right and centre. Strap yourselves in until the votes are counted. There will be empty promises, empty platitudes and empty heads aplenty. It’s the nature of the beast. And if you get offended by every little utterance, you’re going to get ulcers and have a stroke.

What I want to tackle is the whining from white people about racism against them. You have no friggin’ clue what it is to experience racism. Nor do I. But a lot of you (yes, I know not all of you) practise it on a daily basis without even realising it. And that’s what really gets my outrage index climbing at an exponential rate.

Let me give you some examples. You are racist when:

  • You tell me in the school car park that you couldn’t park your massive 4×4 properly because an elderly black woman was standing slightly over the parking line and “they don’t move out of the way”. Yes. True story.
  • You send out emails to all your white friends with jokes about Sipho or Jabulani’s stupidity.
  • You talk about “these people” and the mess “they’ve” made of the country.
  • You use words like zot, darkie (I’ve been guilty of that one), non-swimmers, raghead, churra, goffel, etc. And if you’re still using the k-word, even in supposed jest, then please piss off to Australia or some other godforsaken place that will have you.
  • You still talk about your “garden boy” or “girl”. And while “maid” isn’t precisely racist, it’s bloody insulting. Who do you think you are? Lord fricking Downton?
  • You call black men ‘Chief’ and black women ‘Sisi’. No, just no. Stop that right now.
  • You “can’t pronounce black names”. Really? And then you mock the newsreader for saying “cowntry” or “vowlence” on TV? Double standards much? Make the effort. The orthography (the spelling system, so you don’t have to google) of black languages is far simpler and far more consistent than English. Show some respect and find out how to pronounce people’s names. It really isn’t that hard.
  • You lower your voice to refer to someone as black.
  • You automatically assume that all criminals are non-white.
  • You tell people that you don’t go to certain places because “it’s become very black”.
  • You talk to white shop assistants like people and non-white shop assistants like they’re retarded and/or deaf.
  • You remark that Gugu or Mpho or Lebo is “such a lovely” person in that patronising tone that clearly indicates the unspoken “despite the fact that they’re black”.
  • You say “I’m not racist, but…” or “This is going to sound racist, but…”

I’ll stop now – there are examples aplenty, and I encounter this kind of thing every day and it incenses me. But here’s a newsflash in case you hadn’t noticed: South Africa is made up largely of people who are not white. I’m sorry to break it to you like this, but that’s the bald truth.

And actually, you should be rejoicing if your kids’ school, or the CBD, or your favourite shopping mall (gasp) is becoming very black. That’s what it’s supposed to be like. That is what South Africa looks like. Suck it up, princess, or go and build yourself a fortress somewhere else where the scary black people can’t get you. FFS.

And let me say one last thing. Cyril may have been wrong to say what he said. No doubt he’ll say he was quoted out of context – it’s our government’s favourite excuse. But given the institutionalised racism that still exists in this country, I’m not surprised when things like that happen, particularly during election time, and actually, I’m not even offended.

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§ 131 Responses to Whingeing whiteys

  • Wonderful, thought-provoking article. But I’m very upset with your “bald truth” comment. Will have to get you trending on twirrah.

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  • […] Whingeing whiteys. […]

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  • Ystun Moore says:

    Brilliant!!! Absolutely love that.

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  • To add to your list:

    * Talking in a faux-black accent when talking to black people.
    *When someone complains about their boss, or anybody else, and the hearer asks if the person is black.

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  • Peter Badenhorst says:

    Can’t find a thing wrong with what you’ve written. Contemporary white SA in a nutshell…. The NP did a brilliant job. There are friends of mine who have no idea what actually went on under the cover of censorship in the old SA. So indoctrinated that half of us honestly don’t realize that they are being racist at all

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  • Di Brown says:

    Hear hear, well said

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  • Alan Mills says:

    Everything I want to say but most of my friends and associates display one or more of those traits/behaviours and I am not perfect. It is difficult to totally disagree with someone you have known for 40 years and has been a dear friend, but we have to change meaningfully.

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  • Kev says:

    Haha! Not going to feed into a self serving social networking promo stunt. Seriously? The antagonistic liberal angle? FBeen done. Overdone….and more eloquent than this. Come on Mandy, there must be better stuff in your head than this drivel.

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  • Thank you Mandy. Your outrage is very welcome, and articulate.

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  • Lungi says:

    Thank you Mandy. Great read indeed; and you make very valid points.

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  • Joslyn Walker says:

    Nail on head.

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  • Monique says:

    Hear, hear. And can I add bitching about AA, and, even more galling, faux-concern about tokenism and its being demoralising/otherwise damaging to the self-esteem of black people.

    Also, those people (white whingers) desperately need someone to explain to them that *there is no such thing as “reverse racism”*.

    Racism is a societal problem of systemic, institutionalised discrimination on the basis of race. Our whole society is structured and runs in a way that favours white people over blacks in innumerable ways, big and small–with a few small exceptions here and there.

    One black person–hell, even a group of black people–can say something discriminatory towards a white person, but it still fails to be racism because it doesn’t tap into and gain power from that entire social structure that supports and advantages white people, gradually accrued and entrenched over centuries.

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  • Geoff Stroebel says:

    Get off your high horse, Mandy. 99% of white people in this country would NEVER wish for apartheid to return. And please go and spend a week living in Khayalitsha and check out the racism from the other side too. Your story is biasedly based 90% on the “old school” of white SA. The youngsters do NOT have the attitude that you speak of!

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    • Three things, Geoff.
      1. I never said anyone wished apartheid would return.
      2. I note with interest a tweet on your TL to Julius Malema and EFF, which unfortunately I’m unable to post the screenshot of: “@EconFreedomZA @Julius_S_Malema you people are barbaric. It’s 2013 so stop living in your tribal past. Breitling ppl dont slaughter cattle”
      3. It’s Khayelitsha, not Khayalitsha.

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  • I am glad you got your rant off your chest but you totally miss the point why many South Africans are upset with the speech – it is not why many WHITE South Africans are upset – many South Africans of all shades are upset because he was taking advantage of an uneducated audience.

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    • Hi, Andre. I’m afraid to say I saw a lot more pearl-clutching from white South Africans because they were so INSULTED, than any concern on their part for the audience of that utterance. But I hear you.

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  • Cagey says:

    Now that you’ve got it off your chest, can you go make me that sandwich already?

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  • inferencial says:

    The ANC are doing a very good job. Keep it up Rama……..

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  • Peter Terry says:

    Yes, entertaining and pithy article. I went through your checklist, and realise that I am definitely getting the upper hand over the racial conditioning I grew up with in the 50’s and 60’s. Yay me. What pisses me off about Cyril is that he is being entirely inaccurate. And he knows it. So why say it? It’s just cynical.

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    • I suspect, Peter, that like many politicians, he underestimates his audience. And he was addressing a group of Afrikaners just a short while later in Afrikaans, telling them we are all one. It’s silly season.

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  • Mandi Kraft says:

    Enjoyed that, and agree thoroughly. But can I make an appeal to my fellow South Africans? If I, as a whitey, pronounce your name wrong, please, please, don’t assume it’s because I’m an effing racist who just doesn’t respect you. I’ve tried twice to learn Zulu and got almost nowhere – major blow to my self-esteem, I can tell you. My tongue battles with names with clicks in them. After much practice, I do get them right, but I’m going to battle for a bit. And in return, I don’t mind if you call me Mundy, Mendi (both very common interpretations of my name) or Wendy (for some reason, many Afrikaners translate my name into Wendy!) Ok?

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    • I think most decent people can tell when you’re genuinely trying to pronounce names or words in a language that is not your own, even if you don’t succeed. Most people appreciate that you make the effort – that’s certainly been my experience.

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  • Danielle says:

    Love your article… just one thing though, referring to people as “non-white” is probably THE most racist reference you can make. Speaking as a ‘non-white’, in my opinion, it implies that white is the alpha and omega, the ulimate… and everyone else just falls into the “other” or “non” catergory…too unimportant to mention. Just call it as you see it 🙂

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  • meganthebird says:

    Could I ask, What is the politically correct way to refer to a race which is not your own? I had this discussion with a friend I wile back and her argument was that there shouldn’t be a difference and that everyone should simply be referred to as people. It should be irrelevant which race you are.
    In many instances I agree, but simply calling everyone people strips one of all cultural identity?

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    • I’m afraid I don’t know. Maybe someone else will have an answer?

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      • robin says:

        Black people are black, white people are white. A man is male and a female is female. You should be able to describe a person as they are, it’s when you have a viewpoint that one or the other is better that there is a problem. We are all people and we are all different and our differences are awesome. It would be terrible if we were all exactly the same. If you describe a situation and say ” a black man” and people say you are racist, they are racist because you never said being black was bad and then you should also be called sexist for describing the person as a man. There are a lot of stupid bigoted people of all races and that’s just how it is.

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    • Koos says:

      just call them Mandy. BUT they must be black rich and very successful. otherwise call them according to their country of birth.. Africans!!

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  • adriaan says:

    So the fact that a ‘lot of’ people practice casual racism immediately invalidates the gripes of their entire race?

    Personally, I wholeheartedly agree with your opinion that Cyril’s statement shouldn’t be taken too seriously. But the notion that ALL whiteys now need to quietly accept it because ‘a lot of’ their neighbours still harbour a harmful colonial mindset, is beyond ridiculous.

    If ANY person of ANY race takes legitimate issue with such statements, shouldn’t a conversation be had about it, regardless of whether it starts out as moaning? And who is going to draw the line between what is moaning and what is a legitimate attempt to discuss the impact of such statements on race relations in SA? You? Our politicians? My dad?

    Also, you might be comforted to know that your oh-so insightful perspective does not make you a lefty, a liberal or a pinko. I suspect that people who have legitimately earned these epithets might take offense that a piece of writing so broad and lacking in substance would earn you the same.

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  • donna riley-plater says:

    whingeing whiteys, desperate darkies who cares! what happened to the fabulous rainbow nation and melting pot sung about years ago? its not happening and is never going to happen so get used to it. Africa is Africa.
    and I don’t want any replies thanks.

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    • Karin says:

      Just couldn’t resist responding. Although your comment barely warrants it. What does “Africa is Africa” men anyway?

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  • spookmoor says:

    It’s a never ending game and one could argue about this indefinitely.Who built what? Didn’t Jan Smuts get caught by the NATS?I guess in the end one has to boil it down to what considers is people? A rapist criminal versus an ordinary working man for example. Where does one draw the line?

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  • Charles. says:

    So what you’re saying, in a quick little paragraph-by-paragraph summary, is:

    1.) What Cyril said is not a big deal.
    2.) I’m a pinko liberal.
    3.) I’m not going get into what Cyril said, or whether or not it’s wrong.
    4.) Politicians say a lot of stupid things in a bid to get elected or re-elected.
    5.) White people don’t know what it’s like to be discriminated against.
    6.) Here are some racist things that some white people have done/said.
    7.) South Africa has a majority black population.
    8.) White South Africans should be glad that integration is occurring.
    9.) Cyril will probably come up with an excuse for what he said.

    Amazing.

    Such brilliant analysis of the issue.

    My bowel movement this morning was more “thought-provoking” than this.

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  • Simon says:

    we will see, you are obviously one of the rich privileged, they will come for you first. No I am not right wing, left wing or any other wing. I was as shamefully liberal as you.
    Enough said. You are just picking a fight with this post

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  • Koos says:

    what a lot of bull dust.. attention seekers.. we have almost 50mil blacks and still few attention seekers will make their voice heard to support our corrupt government officials.. do they mind what u have to say NO!!!! they don’t give a shit. the only thing is the self proclaim dictator ship.. my workers also think the Cyril Ramaphosa announcement was racist. the only thing he consider is the next dictator to sponsor and support (like a Juli ass. why? to insure his millions stay safe..

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  • Izak Kruger says:

    Spot-on article! A couple of months ago I told a lady [?] in the check out queue at a supermarket to go the OZ/NZ embassy and sort out her stuff and start packing for Perth! She was rude to the cashier and used the ÿou people” racist slur! I was livid and in situations like that I can’t keep quiet.

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    • Good for you. I need to learn to speak out more often.

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      • henk says:

        Maybe if they stop murdering,raping and robbing Whites,and blaming Apartheid for everything,they might get better treatment from Whites.I dont see Whites going into Blacks homes to kill them.

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    • Dion Roder says:

      And you felt so good.. Your contribution to build an unbuildable rainbow nation. And you think you are ghoing to change a mindset older than 60 years. I just wonder where all these knights in shining armour were during the heights of apartheid….

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  • Stephen Coetzee says:

    Get used to the racism…it will never go away….

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  • Lily says:

    No politicians should ever and I mean ever be discriminating or threatening towards anyone if they want to come into power, and I think all this slandering of each other is a mindless game and should be stopped, if you want to come into power and you need peoples votes, you should act and speak with great respect to the people and you will get respect back. And you must deliver.

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    • I did say at the outset that what he said was racist. I don’t condone it. I just think the whole thing was a storm in a teacup, and I think he revealed a lot about himself in so doing. I wasn’t surprised, I wasn’t outraged. I chuckled and moved on. I think it’s silly season in SA politics, and will be until after the election, and we’ll see a lot more of this in the months to come.

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      • Lily says:

        I have seen many many politicians have a go at each other Mandy, and not the public. When you sow a weed (I cannot say seed as to me a seed could be a beautiful flower, but in this case it can only be a weed) it starts to grow, and grow and soon gets out of proportion, does it not? Now with all the Zuma, Malema, Cyril and Mandela, who all said racist stuff (songs being sung like kill the whites etc,) now that was a weed sowed and look what is happening by making comments like that. This is serious business, not silly season, what are you thinking, you cannot laugh stuff like that off and let them get away with it, people are being murdered brutally by (as you call it silly season) AGAIN I SAY THAT POLITICIANS THROW INSULTS AND COMMENTS AT EACH OTHER AND NOT THE PUBLIC. AND THEY FOR SURE AS HELL DO NOT MAKE STATEMENTS TO THE PUBLIC ABOUT PEOPLE, THEY TRY AND CONVINCE THE PEOPLE TO VOTE FOR THEM BECAUSE OF WHAT THEY SAY THEY CAN “GIVE” OR “CHANGE” WHATEVER, BUT I HAVE NEVER HEARD OF A POLITICIAN WHO THREATENED ITS PEOPLE, BY USING VIOLENCE TO CONTROL THE PEOPLE, BY CLOSING DOWN REGISTRATION PLACES, I CAN GO ON AND ON AND ON, I AM SURE THAT YOU MUST BE AWARE OF THESE ACTIONS. THE ONLY OTHER GOVERNMENT I HAVE HEARD DO ALL THESE THINGS IS ZIMBABWE.
        AND FOR YOUR INFORMATION THIS IS NO STORM IN A TEACUP. THEY ARE PLAYING WITH PEOPLES LIVES, AND ALREADY THOUSANDS HAVE BEEN KILLED.

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      • There’s really no need to shout.

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      • Lily says:

        I am not shouting, only typing in capital letters as I was not sure if you have good eyesight?

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  • De Boer Boer says:

    Ek is seker jy slaap by ‘n swartman Mandy!

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  • Frik Groenewald says:

    You have no idea what racist is. Racism is defined when you have BOTH discrimination AND the power to enforce that discrimination. Just like hate speech where you need BOTH the hateful language AND enticement to violence.

    What you described is prejudice, not racist seeing that the only real power to enforce racial discrimination in South Africa is with the government for the past 20 years. Examples BEE, AA, EE where discrimination is based purely on skin colour. How in this world can someone from China be “black” ?

    The fact of the matter is that should any white person uttered in reverse what Ramaphosa said there would be a media storm, hate speech case at the HRC etc. It that what our Constitution meant with equality?

    White people are just to afraid to call the black politicians out yet they have no issue doing so with white politicians.

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  • Des says:

    I agree with everything you said except for accepting the bad pronunciation of news readers. My pronunciation of black names may not be perfect, BUT I’m not reading the news! If it was my job to do, I’d do it well! In fact I wouldn’t even attempt to read the news in any language other than my home language(although I speak 2 other languages).I’m sure we have enough people in this country who’s home language IS English, who could be asked to read the news.

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  • Evan says:

    Ditsim! Nail on the head, Mandy.

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  • wklokow says:

    I like the piece and I am jealous for not always being able to convey that level of truth.

    South Africa is an infected sore afraid of the puss. We see where people are by what they discuss around the braai fires. Braai Fire Conversation determines where we are as a society at the moment.

    I appreciate all who are trying to open that sore and heal us. I fear that if we do not talk it open we may end up having to open it in some other way when it is more infected and nobody wants that.

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  • I have a stupid question for this writer. It`s OK for them to utter racism and stand on stages and tell people to kill the whites…that`s OK ..they where oppressed 20 years ago!!! The kids was`nt even born then and don`t even know this until it is brought up by these Dickheads.

    Racism, my dear liberal friend, is both ways, make no mistake. The only difference is, if you call a spade a spade, your`e labelled a racist.

    Stop being sorry that you’re alive and stand up for your rights!!!

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  • pieter says:

    so for instance if i am not guilty of any of the above but prefer not too be robbed raped and killed in my own house am i still a Racist? since you such an expert on it. if i meet with a member of parliamentonces , jacob zumas brother or some royal prince and they treat me like shit because of my skin color and i
    object against it does that Make me a Racist ?

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  • Cagey says:

    See what you’ve done now? If that was a conversation we needed to have, why then the bitter aftertaste, huh? Lets just grow into each other without the fucking home spun analysis. It’s just widening the gap, and not getting anywhere except regurgitating itself amongst you drivelly lot of flotsam. Can I have me sandwich now?

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  • Suzanne says:

    Usted se encuentra en su propia y espero que tenga una buena vida y que sus seres queridos no sufran. Mostrar un poco de respeto para quienes no han tenido el mismo privilegio. Boo hoo a su estúpido, ignorante, farisaica artículo que dista mucho de estar ya sea verdadera o loable

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    • jonahboat says:

      So, Suzanne, Google Translate gives this: “You are on your own and hope you have a good life and that your loved ones do not suffer. Show a little respect for those who have not had the same privilege. Boo hoo your stupid, ignorant, self-righteous article is far from being either true or praiseworthy”

      A few points. She is not on her own, she has a good life (probably better than your apparent toilet brush of one) and if her loved ones suffer it will not be because you wish it so. She has shown a lot of respect, as opposed to you who hides like a spineless coward behind ineloquently stated drivel. Shame on you.

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  • iona minton says:

    Actually Mandy, it does not matter what we write in a public forum we will always get flack due someone having a different point of view. I welcome all critics because it forces me to think in a broader context. However, the people that use vitriol and personal slights to get their point across are the ones that cause us to wince and recoil and even question our view points. So I have learned and accepted that these individuals are so hopelessly bound to their beliefs and so ineffective at defending them that they have to resort to gutter talk to mask the fact that they rate low on the Dunning Kruger scale. Give them the treatment they deserve-treat them like they don’t exist. They thrive on conflict and bitterness, ignoring them will send the message that their rhetoric is not even worth of comment. it drives them nuts.

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  • Quinn says:

    I’m a big fan of the human race ! Some pink some yellow etc etc . Enough said on that , I agree for the most part on the broad sentiment of your rant , however to trivialize the fact that our 2ic of the country has racist sentiments and is able to air them in public with little or no censure (barring the trolls so evident on your page ) is potentially very dangerous . I want more for my country than the “ag it’s ok to say that because he was oppressed ” . It simply isn’t ok to make any sort of racist comment and we should expect our politician/leaders to lead and to be held to the highest standard . It simply isn’t about race anymore it’s about accountability and good leadership, if you can’t hack it and have to resort to name calling or past blaming its time to get a new job . I hear that the EFF is hiring ………

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  • LOL!!! Another one wanted to be heard. Well said but in the end…….who cares? Every one has the right to have their own opinion and if you can post yours then others are allowed to do the same, true? Wel, hou op gatkruip jy mag dalk begin ruik. Kragtie mens, nes julle en jul maatjies uitgelos wil word, wil ons ook in vrede gelos word, as julle nog nie deur hul dade betrek is nie, ons het dit al ondervind EERSTEHANDS, daarom kan jy maar jou asem spaar! O ja, so bly jy’t al daardie byname genoem – nou hoef ons dit nie te doen nie.

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  • Angela says:

    Well said Mandy, I have been feeling this a lot lately. I am “white” but sometimes I wish I wasn’t. A lot of people don’t take the time to think that we live in a country where 80% of people are black. With statistics like that of course many terrible crimes will be committed by the majority. Of course it would, just like many crimes in white dominated countries will be committed by white people. Never mind the fact that there is such extreme poverty in this country that a lot of people have to resort to a criminal life simply to get food on the table. When you take the history of this country into account and you actually put yourself into the shoes of someone who has been born and raised in Khayelitsha, who lives in a shack and has to resort to digging through bins on bin day for food and clothes of which most belong to “white” people, can you not understand the level of contempt there? I am not privileged by “white” standards. I come from a middle/ lower class background but I have received a good education (from schools that will probably be sneered at by a number of “white” people), I have never gone hungry (even if it was just eggs for supper) and I have always had a warm bed and clothes on my back. I have never been treated unfairly because of my skin colour, not once. Even though I don’t have BEE on my side I can still apply and get “good” jobs. I am a complete minority in this country but I still live a fairly easy life compared to many, many people in this country who are suffering because of our forefathers. 20 years of deomocracy? It is such a short time in the grand scheme of things and not nearly enough to heal the damage done to this country. If you are white and have issues with the politicians, why not become a political activist? If you are white and are concerned about the violent crime going on in SA why not find out where this is coming from? Why not spend time with people who have so very much less than you? Why not spend a day in Khayelitsha or any impoverished township? Do you even know what that’s like? Why not learn an African language instead of insisting on speaking English? This is Africa! Yes there are terrible things happening here. That is the risk we all take as South Africans in living here. I lie awake at night sometimes because I am afraid of the noise I heard in the back of the house. But what is that to the fear when a parrafin lamp gets knocked over in a shack that can spread as quickly as a forest fire and kill and destroy your children, your family, your home and everything you own? i apologise if anything I have said here is not politically correct or if it offends anyone but it is much of what I have been seeing lately. Why not give white people a good name and go out and DO something to change this country instead of sitting in your warm house, where everyone has their OWN bedroom and a wireless internet connection, moaning about the black politicians running this country into the ground? We live in a violent, impoverished country that is rife with crime, racism, xenephobia and fear but one that is hauntingly beautiful, rich in diversity and full of spirit and hope. There is still so much hope.

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  • Wendy Landau says:

    Another for your list: when you refer to yourself as master or madam when talking to an employee or mentioning your spouse to same employee.

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    • Alan Mills says:

      You must be joking! Excuse my ignorance, but does anybody nowadays refer to themselves as “master” or “madam?”

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  • Jaqueline Dommisse says:

    Thank you.

    I too feel outrage at casual, every day racism. I’m not talking neo- Apartheid, Broederbond and Red October rhetoric. Just the easy assumption of entitlement to privilege. I did not grow up in a pleasant suburb in a nice brick house simply because my parents were hard-working and planned well. They did – but it was also illegal for the majority of the population to own property. I didn’t go to University simply because I was talented and clever and worked hard to pass matric well, I went because the majority of the population was excluded from well-resourced schools and universities. My comfortable childhood and my education puts me so far ahead in the starting blocks that my own brick house and ability to educate my children is a given.

    Monique makes a well expressed point about “reverse racism”. Describing something as racism against whites is a bit like complaining about hetero-phobia. There are some gay people who say very ugly things and overtly dislike heterosexual people, but a concept like “reverse-homophobia” is simply laughable. Like reverse racism.

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  • Hi Mandy,

    Firstly, thank you for taking the time to say the things that need to be said, although I do agree with you that in an election year (and the run-up to it) political issues become exaggerated and “silly”; I do think that certain points you made are incorrect (incorrect, of course being relevant to my experiences and thus a completely subjective thing).

    Ascerting that white people don’t know what racism is, for instance, is incorrect. We do know. Some have been victims of it, some have not, but certainly all people in SA, regardless of the colour of their skin know what racism is. One can argue that AA and BEE (and BBEE / BBBEEE and lord knows how many other acronyms) are “inverse” racism (how silly to use the word inverse, as I see so many white people do, in an effort to explain that they (we) aren’t racist, yet the word itself implies that one action happened and the second is the opposite of that…anyway, I digress); but I think many people do not fully understand the implications of the apartheid regime had on employment in SA and that the idea with AA (a very good idea really) is to equalise the playing field, without actually paying restitution for years of being rendered unemployable based on skin colour.

    I think for the most part white people equate the racism experienced to the employment equity rules in SA – I don’t necessarily agree with the implementation of the laws, but the fact is in almost all cases skilled workers will take preference over skin colour (despite what people think there is a massive skills shortage in SA and THAT is what most companies are basing employment decisions on, NOT skin colour).

    Perhaps the “racism” is sports related….quotas and all that jazz…

    I have however experienced racism in social contexts – although not institutionally marginalised as the case was with black / coloured / Indian (anyone slightly darker than milk) South Africans back in the day – the fact is it does happen (I’ve been asked to pay more when going to a nightclub in town for instance – it was laughingly referred to as “white tax” – hilarious stuff that). So when politicians and people in power start using “scare tactics” based on skin colour it reverberates, in one way or another, through the landscape.

    Although you may not have taken it seriously, that might not hold true for everyone who heard that speech or read about it after the fact. I for one am insulted whenever the “boer” term gets thrown around in a political sense – not because I AM one (lets face it, ‘boer’ does NOT mean farmer here); but because the implication is made that any white leader in future will necessarily be racist, oppressive and basically evil incarnate. This undermines the political process and insults the intelligence of South Africans. It should be addressed, publicly and vehemently – just because a statement is made in a rural area in the run-up to an election, does not mean we should disregard it as silly – that statement could, in fact, have a greater impact on people than we realise.

    I do moan about politicians in SA – not because they are black, but because they are BAD. They are bad at their jobs and they do not deserve the support of the people. I wish we could implement the “no work no pay” rule – wouldn’t it be great if our taxes were based on governmental performance, rather than some arbitrary percentage?

    I salute South Africans who do their bit to make this country work, I hate people who moan for the sake of it, but I am certainly not about to apologise for being white or educated (I find melanin a ridiculous measure of a person’s worth); but let’s not be blind to the fact that people of ALL races have been doing a good job at being outraged about each other. Justified to them, perhaps, but not to me (not all the time anyway). If a white politician had said something similarly stupid, igniting “black” outrage – would we be having a different conversation?

    Anyway, I am rambling (as I am prone to do when I find I have more than 140 characters to work with). I enjoyed reading your thoughts and, although I disagree on some points, I salute you for having the balls to have an opinion (in public – nogal) that would probably upset people. That’s good. Let’s get people talking and thinking and not just drowning in puddles of their own skin colour.

    Much love (and libtardy respect)
    K

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  • Sharon White says:

    Brilliant article, Mandy. And the number of comments, even the ridiculous ones, attest to that.

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  • Kidult says:

    Oh boohoo, another white blogger apologizing for being white whilst condemning the “Racist white people”. I know, instead of wasting your time criticizing what others are doing whilst typing on your little macbook glancing at your Iphone at some coffee shop pretending you’re Carrie Bradshaw, how about you go stay in a black township, see how long you survive, and if you do, type articles about your experiences whilst living in the township. Strange how we accept black families into “white” areas with no incidence yet cannot have the act reciprocated. You sit on your comfortable pedestal using all your European inventions like some perfect holier than thou being whose never committed any form of racism whatsoever… *NEWSFLASH* maybe, just maybe us “racist white’s” aren’t speaking to non white shop assistants like they’re stupid or deaf, and if spoke to you in a Welsh, Scottish, Irish, Cockney, French etc etc accent i would have to speak slower and louder, in which you would suddenly blame me for being a racist right? Wrong, it’s called E N U N C I A T I O N, it means to pronounce clearly and slowly, as to avoid repetitive sentences! Have you ever actually left Johannesburg? Strange phenomenon, whenever you’re in a foreign country where English isn’t a 1st language, you may know some words, but i guess we’re all not as adept as you (i presume you know every language in the world) why is it we automatically try mimic an accent and even resort to hand gestures to communicate? Oh wait, let me guess you already thought of this as that’s your answer to everyone else,s comment. The day the world starts living as one, instead of in segregation being further widened by Hank Moody wannabe hipsters writing blogs, is the day we have half an iota chance of change. I find it humorous and somewhat pitiful, at the irony of reading an article about racism written by a “Whinging Whitey”…..ever thought of “Whinging Human” instead?

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    • You, of course, base your entire post on the fact that you do live in a “black” township and have first hand experience of not being accepted there, right?

      You might want to read your Huisgenoot again – they’re forever writing stories about how white people are finding happiness in townships and squatter camps.

      BTW – here – http://africasacountry.com/township-living-white-people-and-the-limits-of-empathy/ and http://www.sowetanlive.co.za/columnists/2013/04/10/black-white-living-together and http://www.dw.de/white-south-africans-move-to-townships/a-16365582 (I won’t go find more stories for you, because I am not your mother or secretary and I already think you are a tool).

      The sad thing is, you expect people to take you seriously “Look at me – I’m so not racist and I base my argument on the fact that I want to treat my countrymen as a social experiment and speak to everyone with a put-on accent…because they couldn’t possibly understand me if I don’t”…like I said…you are a tool.

      It’s cute how you assume someone is a Hank Moody wannabe hipster, because she has a blog (she’s an author actually…just between us), call for unity, yet hissyfit your way through a few slapdash sentences, calling for the world to live as one, while intimating that the person you are attacking won’t “survive” in a black township (presumably because her white skin will obviously render her completely incapable of doing things like eating, drinking, sleeping or converting oxygen to carbon dioxide).

      Don’t let your white skin go to your head now….

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      • jonahboat says:

        Hahahaha… excellent reply.

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      • Kidult says:

        BUWHAHAHAHAHAHAHA did you just make reference to HUIS GENOOT??? oh lord have mercy! Yes, because everything in YOU magazine is true and every pic you see has never seen photoshop! Clearly you’ve never been in papua new guinea & tried communicating with a tribe that have cannibalistic tendencies! For good measure little super saffa, my career involves a lot of disaster areas, helping people in need, being sent to war zones and yet the only country i’ve had guns terrorize me in a non war zone is ….*drum roll*….SOUTH AFRICA!! I also find it hilarious how you, obviously another Eat Pray Love offshoot probably has an office job with lovely aircon and drive a nice car and help so many people in the process! You think i have no experience in a township? Try get sent to a disaster zone, in South Africa, to EHLP save lives and get stabbed and mugged while doing it! Anyway, i’ll leave you saving the world being the keyboard cowboy you are, must be a great feeling at night!

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      • You know Kidult, you really REALLY shouldn’t go around making so many assumptions. Because all you are proving is what an ignorant person you are. BTW, I have never read or watched Eat Pray Love, don’t drive a nice car and the aircon in my office only works when it chooses to. I suspect it has been inhabited by a poltergeist with a very sick sense of humour.

        As for the cannibals of Papua New Guinea – one can only surmise that they can smell a bitter asshole a mile away and therefore you were never in danger of being eaten (I am of course going with the flow here and assuming you’ve actually been there and somehow miraculously survived to tell the tale. Yay for you).

        Furthermore, I am so very sorry you’ve been terrorised in South Africa. Seriously, how utterly terrible. Was it during those nasty uprisings of the 80s when them pesky black folk decided to not stay in their cages anymore and stood up for themselves? Damned blacks – we’ll have to have a chat with them – that’s no way to treat an exalted white master!

        Oh, but don’t fret, you aren’t the only white omie who’s been through bad stuff. Heck, my own dad was a cop in the 80s and suffered through being shot at, having rocks thrown at him, having his Casspir petrol bombed, being attacked with bricks and knives and beaten, while serving his country in the Townships. Cool hey – to have to go through that because a deranged old fart with a black hat and wagging finger thought the good lord gave him a superior right to life, based on the colour of his skin.

        I do hope you’ll be OK when you go out to EHLP again (I’m not entirely sure what that is, I’ve not seen that acronym before, Google says it refers to Emergency Home Loan Programme – do you go to township and extend emergency loans to people?). I honestly do wish you the very best 🙂

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  • joberry4 says:

    Several things: for everyone who chose to attack the writer, rather than discuss the issues – it’s sort of a tacit admission of guilt.

    I also encounter these examples of racism, but I don’t commit them, ever – and I don’t spend time with people who do. Even the handful of aged relatives that might still have that mindset know better than to have it around me, so I don’t have to attack the writer, or defend myself.

    By the same token, I don’t accept weird ideas based on the ‘unholiness’ of skin from anyone – why would I? Who encourages anyone from anywhere to allow crazy ideas to take root? There’s no healing or freedom in it for anyone. As for the rubbish politicians speak before an election – if they’re scraping the gutter with hate speech or empty promises, good: it shows you where they’re coming from – run.

    Bottomline: don’t allow people, any people, to keep up this form of stupidity – it’s cruel, wrong, and so last regime.

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  • Cagey says:

    Is K(Saffa blahblah) getting fresh? Hey Mands – can you feel it? What if he says something you don’t entirely agree with? Will you let it slide, or possibly alienate your smarmiest fan?
    Oh bugger to be you. I can almost feel him herding you into his clammy laager. Stand up or put up girl!
    I almost cannot bear the tension – will she grow a pair and put him to flight, or meekly accept his shepherding to his naughty place.

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  • Cagey says:

    Oh, and even I won’t be further drawn on ol’ Jonah Boat! Whatever floats it, China.
    Why not write your own article chum? That way you you would get ALL the attention, instead of that reflected off your spirited defence of Mandy Wandy?
    Have you not heard that she is obviously doing the dirty with a black man? Skande!

    Like

  • Chris Deeks says:

    Hell’s bells Mandy,
    Some of the comments you got were pretty . . .ahem, special. Don’t let that stop you pointing out the large pachyderm in the voorkamer.

    Like

  • Cagey says:

    Brrr..

    Like

    • scribe says:

      cagey, if you had any man bits at all you would identify yourself and show us who you really are. its all so easy hiding behind your screen spewing vitriol. If I were Mandy i would get your ip addy and file a case of slander against you. You have made some serious allegations and slights on her name, total cannon fodder for the courts. I will be the first to help her find the meanest bastard of an attorney to get your sorry ass in a sling. Just saying. And don’t bother responding I will not dignify anything you vomit with a reply.

      Like

  • scribe says:

    people like cagey are usually little people with no voice in a normal setting. They are they types that have little lives little brains and little credibility in their social circles- this medium gives them the ability to pound their chest like gorillas but the world is laughing at them. Social misfits with no past present of future they exist but have no purpose or weight in society.

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  • Cagey says:

    Do you even know the meaning of canon fodder in a legal snense Scribe? You’re welcome Mandy 🙂

    Like

  • Clarissa Bell says:

    Er, Mandy, I’ve heard countless black people in JHB addressing black men and women as ‘Sisi’ or ‘Chief’ so I’m somewhat baffled on this count… As for the rest, one has to ask: Do you speak an African language other than Afrikaans?

    Like

    • Yes, I do. I speak Xhosa.

      Like

      • Clarissa Bell says:

        Mandy, then you will know that in kasi speak ‘sisi’ and ‘chief’ are not construed as offensive…

        In fact, to my mind more offensive than ‘sisi’ or ‘chief’ is the street sign ‘Makwerekwere’ in Pimville, Soweto. The sign has yet to be changed.

        Your article, Mandy, is about white habits of “othering” through speech and behaviour. However, I’ve encountered this phenomenon in every kind of community in SA across the racial and ethnic spectrum… I have heard it expressed among some of the San, among TshiVenda speakers, among Indians, Botswanas, Zulus… There is a popular song sung at weddings in Soweto: ‘Come see the bride, she is light-skinned as a coloured’. Our history is replete with these examples of “othering”. Prejudice is not acceptable. And it is not a white thing either.

        Like

      • They’re not offensive when black people address each other like that, no. When it comes to Sisi, nine times out of ten white people get the conventions wrong, and Chief is just Plain condescending. And it’s not me who says that – I checked.

        Like

    • Kidult says:

      Great point, the next “black” person that calls me mlungu shall be labelled a racist…….

      Like

  • Cagey says:

    You asked for it:

    At some point you three sneering members of a little gang forgot about freedom of expression along the way. The fact that this lightweight piece of writing could stir up so much emotion is a revelation unto itself. You three crusading knights are in fact the biggest joke, in what started out as a below average attempt at trying to make some sense of a non event.

    Shame on you dear sweet Mandy, for leaping to the defence of your literary serfs, who just could not handle a little dig at their fawning comments in favour of your little piece.

    I was having fun, which is usually at someone’s expense on public forums, such as your chosen one. You put your article out there. I responded. You chose to ignore my initial comments. Kudos.

    Then came my apparent hara-kiri moment. Three Afrikaner males rode in flying their “don’t mess with our damsel” flag. My mistake? Making fun of their servitude to you, and possibly their carefully crafted online egos. I’ll spare you my interpretation of my freedoms allowed under the title, ‘Freedom of Expression’ but what I will say, is that I am frankly quite perturbed that you would attempt to threaten me by revealing part of my name. That’s just not cricket, is it?

    Are you hoping to censor me and by doing so, scare off any that may take exception to your feeble renderings? And as for ‘Scribe’ – I have had nasty visions of die Groot Krokodil wagging his finger in his Rubicon speech to the volk.

    Whatever you think, say or do, I have got every right, to write what I please, whether you or your minnions approve or not, my dear girl.

    So there. Be nice.
    Oh, and this correspondence is not closed by the way.

    Like

    • Let me be very clear:
      1. I did not ignore you. I have to approve every comment on this blog to allow it to appear. If I wanted to ignore you – tempting as that might have been – I would have deleted your comments before they ever saw the light of day. I too believe in freedom of speech and expression, but I don’t have to like the way you express yourself or dignify it with a response.
      2. Even if I knew your surname I would not have revealed it. Please feel free to point out where I threatened you. You might not realise this, but there are a number of Kevins in the world; hell, there may even be more than one of you in the street where you live. I was being nice.
      3. I’m so glad you have some fun in your life. I’d hate to see you all bitter and twisted.
      4. This conversation is now, most definitely, closed.

      Like

  • Albertus Maree says:

    superficial article and bad journalism

    Like

  • Human says:

    Thank you Mandy for the awareness, its such a good place to start. You are right most of our white south african’s are blissfully unaware that they do half of these things on a daily basis.

    Let alone being truthful about our past to help us move forward as a country.

    Isn’t it funny how we cant find 1 white South African person who will say I supported apartheid? We should all start there.

    What did we do? We ran and had the reconciliation commision. When we should have had a conciliation first. How do you expect a person to move forward? denying their present reality? Let us first deal with our own prejudices that still exist to this day, and then do something about that… And thanx to you we are getting this country talking.

    PS: I live in the far east rand Springs, next to Brakpan and Nigel nogal … I know what you are talking about.

    Like

  • Leon says:

    Love it! Just wish you had added about the kids of the whingeing whiteys who are learning more of the same. Make that fortress in the outback of Australia please, and quickly! FFS!

    Like

  • Cagey says:

    Thanks, but I’ll pass this once!

    Like

  • “All this PC kak is offensive to me.” Siv Ngesi
    In this clip he rants about “his” nigger balls. Check it.
    http://www.co-optv.com/co-op/i-am-siv/negro_balls

    This thinking needs to be encouraged. Any term becomes ugly when spoken with hate & not love.

    Like

  • Comments on this blog are now unapologetically closed.

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