Showing posts from 2014

Do we really need more white people to say fuck you?

Ferguson makes me angry.
And yes, closer to home, black bodies being beaten, humiliated and dehumanised make me angry. Driving around in my comfy car, leaving my house in the suburbs, joining the traffic made up of mainly white people doing the same, I am silently seething with anger at all the complacent faces around me. But I also realise that these are  people who would in all likelyhood join me in my righteous anger. Some of them might even stand up and shout fuck you with the best of them  and thus make it appear that the likes of Darren Wilson or even Tim Osrin, Jan van Tonder, or the as yet unnamed UCT students are all abberations and nothing to do with us other good white people.

Is my sudden anger, I have to wonder, really a feeling of pure outrage at what actually has been happening for centuries or is it merely masking my shame at being part of the master-race, the institution of whiteness, which continues to allow, facilitate and white-wash systematic abuse of black moth…

Dear Black People

Dear Black People

I am a nice person, who does not want to hurt anybody.

I believed all my life that I am not a racist. Growing up in Germany, I had struggles like everybody else. Our family wasn't rich by any stretch of the imagination.

I am an over-used cliché.

I am your worst kind.

I am the white liberal, privileged middle class woman with the German accent, who has lived most of her life blissfully unaware of her privilege.

To tell me that race matters would have raised my eyebrows and my defences, because in my world, it didn't. Race was for dinosaurs, race was for racists. Skin-colour was something I did not need or want to think about.  And to tell me that this was of course the big red flag of my privilege would not have made any impact other than to alienate me.

Then, to top it all, I adopted black children. I did not specifically want to adopt black children. As I said: Colour did not matter to me. So I would happily chant with the best of them white liberals: Gre…

The pain of Being White....after almost two years of dialogue

I think we all left this last dialogue caught up in our feelings and thoughts.  Emotions ran high, feathers got ruffled and opinions clashed.  I can not and don't want to give an accurate and full picture of everyone's contributions - as this would go against our safe space and confidentiality agreement.

After sitting with all my confusing, difficult, angry sad and also excited feelings for a couple of days, I finally just sat down trying to summarize what this evening meant to me.

There was one overriding question: is there an "acceptable" pain inherent to whiteness that needs to be acknowledged by black people? 

If the answer is no,  it is followed by the question: is not all individual pain equally important and worth acknowledging?

If the answer is yes: how can today's white pain be compared to, set off against or even be named in the context of the incomprehensible cruelty of hundreds of years of black suffering? And how can it not be addressed in that c…