RACISM: WHITE ON BLACK ENDS IN PUN­ISH­MENT, WHY NOT BLACK ON WHITE?

Sunday Tribune - - NEWS&VIEWS -

WITH ref­er­ence to Dennis Pather’s col­umn, I found it in­ter­est­ing read­ing.

With all due re­spect, though, my views on racism are worlds apart from yours.

I al­ways main­tained racism is not only a colour is­sue. Colour is se­condary to cul­ture. In South Africa it is per­ceived as white against black. What about the coloureds and In­di­ans? Are they not af­fected?

The rea­son racism is still present all over the world to­day is be­cause peo­ple of dif­fer­ent cul­tures have been un­able to in­te­grate for cen­turies.

Ex­am­ples are the French and English, North and South Korea, In­dia and Pak­istan, Rus­sia and some of its neigh­bours.

To thank Vicki Momberg for her act of naked big­otry, which had the un­in­tended con­se­quence of help­ing to unify the coun­try against racism, is fu­tile.

It might be that racism starts and ends with each of us, but as long as we are un­able to in­te­grate on a cul­tural level that is un­likely to hap­pen in our life­time.

Have you ever at­tended a so­cial or a meal at some­one’s house in a town­ship? Or had blacks at your house for a braai? I have done it, it was an ex­cep­tion and not nor­mal prac­tice. And I think not even 1% of whites or blacks would be able to con­firm that they have done it even on one oc­ca­sion.

So al­though it would be a good start­ing point, I do not be­lieve it is as sim­ple as us com­mit­ting to start look­ing at one an­other not in racial terms but as fel­low cit­i­zens.

One of our big prob­lems is the pre­vi­ously dis­ad­van­taged want the pre­vi­ously ad­van­taged pun­ished, while the whites are caught in a catch-22 sit­u­a­tion. What can they do to re­deem them­selves? An­other span­ner in the works is that dou­ble stan­dards are prac­tised after each rev­e­la­tion of racism. White on black equals con­dem­na­tion as well as pos­si­ble pros­e­cu­tion. Black on white hardly elic­its crit­i­cism and sel­dom even an apol­ogy.

In the apartheid days the mi­nor­ity’s rights were un­justly pro­tected. Now the rights of the ma­jor­ity are pro­tected. Do they need pro­tec­tion?

I am against any form of racism. But it makes it dif­fi­cult as a white per­son to ask a black per­son nicely to con­sider the disabled by not park­ing in that zone as in sec­onds I face the ac­cu­sa­tion: “It is be­cause I’m black?” I see no light at the end of the tun­nel for years to come.

JO­HAN CRONJE via e-mail

I COME from a dif­fer­ent an­gle with re­gard to views of racism.

It is al­most 25 years since apartheid ended. Sure, mis­takes were made by the pre­vi­ous regime. But in the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion, why do whites need to be blamed for ev­ery­thing and be pun­ished while blacks walk away free when do­ing the same?

Why do whites need to pay for the words they ut­ter dur­ing a sit­u­a­tion when they are ob­vi­ously in shock?

If a black per­son says

“kill a Boer, kill a farmer”, is it law­ful?

If a black per­son wears the same slo­gan on their T-shirt, is it ac­cept­able?

If a black per­son uses hate speech on so­cial me­dia, why are they not pros­e­cuted?

If a white per­son uses the k-word, he or she is branded a racist and can be pros­e­cuted.

Yet a black per­son says “we must use white chil­dren as fer­tiliser for the ground” and that is not con­sid­ered hate speech. Is that law­ful?

The way things are, this only pro­vokes more anger and ha­tred than ever.

NEELS WELSH Dur­ban

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