Welcome to the club
PLEASE ALLOW ME to welcome Muller van den Berg (Letters, 18 January 2007) to the club. As a black man I had to endure, and still am enduring unfair, biased and prejudiced treatment simply because of the colour of my skin.
I’ve had to endure it since I can remember and for some reason or the other it doesn’t seem to go away. Getting into a lift with a white woman I’m at times pretty sure I can see her anxiety about being in a confined space with a potential rapist, molester, mugger or anything criminal in her eyes.
Confirmation of my suspicion normally comes when another white person enters the lift and when the woman – not too obviously, but obviously enough – gives a sigh of relief. At the same time, her anxiety grows substantially if another black man gets into the lift.
It’s also funny how white people, often walking their dogs, become an appendage if I walk around one of those last pristinely white – well, almost – reserved laager type of suburbs in Cape Town. I’m normally not sure if I’m being followed because of my criminal looks or because, as a potential homeowner in the area, the tailing is to discourage me from buying there. Rest assured that whatever the motive was it didn’t work.
Though it doesn’t happen as frequently as a decade ago, being dogged by dubious treatment because of what I think is my black skin still occurs. Therefore, Mr Muller, you have my sympathies.
However, look on the bright side. From the picture of the issue you made reference to you can assume that within 10 years you could retire. So cheer up, Sir. The worst scenario is being subjected to this unfair tagging for another decade.