I SYMPATHISE WITH Al-Ameen Kafaar for enduring “unfair, biased and prejudiced treatment because of the colour of his skin”. He describes how a white woman becomes anxious when a black man gets into the lift alone with her, and then how she almost invisibly breathes a sigh of relief when a white man enters. His observation is 100% accurate and does reflect an example of the reality of prejudice against skin colour.
However, he is wrong to ascribe the reaction only to white women. All genders and races have similar reactions. I often run along the Braamfontein Spruit in the evening after work. When black women hear me approach they look around, slightly startled, but when they see a white man, they relax. Andrew Young, a black man and the champion of black rights in the USA, once admitted that, if he was walking down a street at night and heard footsteps behind him, if he looked around and saw a white person, he automatically relaxed too.
So, however sad it might be for society to react in this way, one must be careful not to ascribe racism to the natural self-preservation behaviour of individuals.