“You can’t handle the truth!”
This quote is of course from the 1992 movie “A Few Good Men” – an absolute must see if you haven’t. There is nothing I despise more than Twitter news making the “real” news. There will, however, always be exceptions. Unfortunately some of us will learn too late about “online etiquette”. There are certain things you don’t say for the sake of peace. This is a lesson I am certain the FHM model Jessica Leandra, coincidently also born in ’92, learnt the hard way last week. This is, as you may know, not because she was allegedly sexually harassed by some chap, but because she mentioned the beloved “kaffir” word in a tweet about her ordeal. I feel there’s no need to euphemise it – it is what it is.
I believe that we live in a broken society. Racism and racial prejudice is not a black and white thing. It is a people thing. I am certain there exists some people who truly see ‘no colour’ or nationality, but for people to make the biggest meal about a single individual’s utterings is really distorted. We come from a very difficult and painful history – you only need to visit the Apartheid Museum for a glimpse of that iceberg. Decades and decades of oppression and somehow we expect it to be undone in 18 years?
If you think because we cast ballots, moved to the suburbs and have BEE(E) in place is going to rid us of racism then you’re very wrong. I do not remotely condone Jessica’s utterings, but let’s also not act brand new about it when so many of us don’t even like our very own Vendas, Zulus, Ndebeles, Tsongas, Tswanas, Sothos, Zimbabweans, Nigerians, Sudanese, and and and… Light skinned Indians don’t favour Dark Skinned Indians. Even Americans not exactly being fond of Mexicans? This is a trend that you will find in every single corner of the planet where people of different cultures, backgrounds, religious beliefs and skin tone can be found.
Instead of remedying the situation what do we do? We lodge case on case with the Human Rights Commission so we can ‘make an example’ out of one individual. Do you think she is the problem? No. I blame her upbringing. I blame how obscured life as ‘supreme’ and ‘pure’ became for those who brought her up. I blame something that exists inside each and every one of us. The desire to live and be ranked higher than the next person. So some white ladies look at our black ladies and witness weaves, fake nails, make up and think to themselves: “Look at them trying to look like us.” This is a fact. It’s not debateable. Our black sisters associate looking “great” with looking a certain way. Why are we so quick to throw spears and bring the next person down? There is a logical explanation as to why the world and its people developed the way we did. Reasons behind why most of Africa would for a long time lag “behind” the Egyptians. I suppose it is asking a lot for people to sit and think how almost all of the world’s greatest nations and civilizations stemmed from the Mediterranean Sea? There is much to learn about this world.
Can’t we all just get along?
We all have our ideas for ‘world peace’. The world is too complex, but we can try mend our environments. Control ‘the world around us.’ A friend once said to me that ‘perhaps we are already in hell’. I could not help, but agree. We ought to make the best of our stay here. Sitting in our glass houses and throwing rocks? Nigga, please. A form of racial prejudice we use loosely on a daily basis? Makwerekwere? Magrigamba? The mere tone we say ‘boere’ or ‘maburu’? Makula? In a country like SA there is no room for racism, but it exists. Being black is not a disadvantage, but an opportunity. Some will take it and make the best of it to change the mind set of others and, well, others will sadly dwell on ‘the past’ and its struggles. There are truths even in the offices we call our ‘workplaces’, our schools, shopping centres and neighbourhoods where some people there are just not ready to ‘get along’. It is true that there really are ‘A Few Good Men.”
Accept. Forgive. Fix. Move on.