I woke up on election day, my thumbs ready to be inked and itching to say something to challenge people to get up and vote seeing as a friend of mine had just expressed disinterest in politics and thus voting itself.
As I lay in bed contemplating if it would be better to sleep the morning away and vote later, my brother sent me a message; a speech allegedly delivered by PW Botha in 1985. In a nutshell, the speech ( which turned out to be fake) justified why apartheid was good, how whites were superior to blacks as God intended ( yes, God) and how foreign countries supported this concept.
The stuff about black people only being good enough to make a noise and have sex really got my blood boiling. I got so angry that I immediately got up and went to vote in an attempt to prove myself better than what that speech was saying about me as a black person.
In an attempt to cause the same stir in my fellow darkies, I posted the speech to my Facebook. BIG MISTAKE! An Afrikaans friend of mine politely pointed out that the speech is fake and that it was released during the last elections. I didn’t realise that and I admitted as much. We went on to talk about how sad it is that there are still people who carry these principles in our society and concluded that we had no time for racists.
What followed was a heated comment from another Afrikaans friend who was clearly offended by my loading the speech without verifying its authenticity and social irresponsibility at posting something that had little to do with our country’s current issues of corruption etc.
It didn’t end there. This friend went on to post a status on his own wall ( in Afrikaans) in which he encouraged his friends to read what I posted and expressed his disgust ( again) at my irresponsibility. We had some words and I realised something. This guy, underneath it all, felt guilty about what apartheid did to [all] of us. He hated that I brought it up because it triggers something in him as though he played a role in what happened. He had me for a moment; until a number of my [white]friends came to my defense pointing out the white guilt that had reared its ugly head. These guys were not angry about what I’d posted and saw his reaction for what it was – A white guy trying to appear good to everyone so that they don’t see what he hides in his heart.
In a nutshell, I think its time we throw this ” I don’t see colour” rubbish out the window. I am black and you are white and we are friends and most importantly, we see it! Whether you were part of apartheid or you reject its principles, you don’t need to prove yourself worthy to me. I don’t want you to speak my mother tongue and listen to house and kwaito music. I will not be afraid of you because you have a thick boer accent and you prefer your veldhoed and boeremusiek.I, in turn am not going to strive to be polite, or use my inside voice or speak fluent Afrikaans to prove that I have been tamed like a chimp. These are just the masks we put on so that we can survive a night out on the other side of the fence.