Tag Archives: Race

Racism: Alive and Well

A racist attack on a young black student whose ‘crime’ was to attend a city night club with a white girl.  He was beaten up by half a dozen white thugs who also insulted the girl; “monkey-lover,” they called her, a visitor from the USA.

Politicians and others play the race card in this country every time they need to deflect criticism.  As a result we often hear the complaint, “Can’t we move on already?  Seventeen years into our democracy, are we still crying about race?”

Clearly we are, and clearly there is much to cry about.  Fortunately thuggery like this is relatively rare and condemned by all.  More pervasive and insidious is the racism that fuels our generalisations and lack of respect for each other.  Someone pushes in front of us in a supermarket queue or on the road and, if he or she happens to be of a different race or culture, we generalise the rude behaviour to all of that race or culture.  We don’t call people “monkey lovers” of course; our words are “they” and “them”, which are just as effective in keeping us apart.

I hear it often and it’s easy to criticise; then I hear myself say it.  Oh, no, I don’t say it out loud; I’m not like them…..

And the thought in my head is just as loud, just as destructive, and just as effective in keeping us apart.

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Ladies, Confused Males, and Coffee

Spar Ladies Race 2010

From the sublime to the, well, other extreme.

The start: looking forward The start: looking back

Last Sunday, after attending the opening and dedication of the Seth Mokitimi Methodist Seminary the day before, we went to the Pietermaritzburg Spar/Weekend Witness Ladies race.

Jen & Kath: Before

Something between three and four thousand ladies and “Confused Males” (their  official race-day title) took part in a five or ten kilometre run or walk. Jen and Kath return each year for the ten kilometre run. It’s their one formal race per year, and it keeps them pounding (or gently patting?) the streets week Jen & Kath: After!after week. I don’t know whether it is the fun of running, or the “goodie bag” supplied by the sponsors at registration, or the breakfast pack supplied at the finish? Perhaps they like mixing it with the confused males?

And me? Well someone has to carry the coffee and take pictures. It’s a tough job………

All in all it’s a fun day and the camaraderie is  great. Oh yes, and the coffee is good.

A confused male There was fun for all A pretty pair of confused males

Some more confused than others


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