Tag Archives: Racism

Spotlight fever

The stage is dark. The curtains have just been raised. There we are. An echoing thump jolts our heart to full alertness. Standing there completely alone, you are not aware of me. I’m not aware of you. We are not aware of us. The blinding light seems to amplify our thumping chest. Sweat drips down our forehead. The sound of the plummeting moisture seems to be amplified. Our voice – there is no sound. An inaudible squeak. Suddenly, the light in the dark auditorium is switched on.
We can see the audience. But there is no one there. There is no we. I am alone. And no one cares that I’m afraid. No one saw the blunder. Witnessed only by the light, which passed me no judgment.

Social Media seems to have amplified, those who can see our mistakes. The other day a thought passed through my mind. What if that post goes viral? It certainly had all the makings of a viral post, and for a second my heart jolted into full alertness. And in that moment I knew. The post won’t go viral. Not only does my blog not have that kind of traction, but I’m not ready. Not my writing is not ready. I’m not. And I’m also not saying my writing is flawless, cause it is defiantly flawed, but it’s not horrid either. I took a deep breath and relaxed.

It never ceases to disgust me, what kind of poison goes virtually viral, these days – especially in these parts. Children being abused by their Nanny – caught on a Nanny cam. A drunk young woman … I’m not even going to finish that sentence. What’s even more disturbing is the reaction people have. The way we blame and shame. We judge as if we were flawless. Perhaps my content just does not have that shock factor. But if something did go viral, I know there’d be trolls that come knocking.

Painted_Face

The other day a white lady posted something on Facebook. I only mention her skin-color because it is pivotal to the story. I’ll call a spade a spade and not call her Caucasian. While she certainly is Caucasian, here we’d refer to her as a white lady. Apartheid was still within my lifetime. Some of my peers can still remember the UNO coming to their class declaring, “everyone is now equal”.

The white lady posted something on Facebook which caused a big up-stir. In a status update, she mentioned that she had just witnessed a black man taking a white person’s dog for a walk. i.e. She thought this dog to be stolen. She put on her number so that anybody who was missing this dog could ask for more information. I never saw this post myself, but it was big in our local headlines.

Obviously, the first question to ask would be, how does she know the dog belonged to a white person?

Here’s the thing – she never meant to hurt anybody or make such a racist remark. She was guilty of ignorance only and perhaps having experienced something traumatic.

What went viral, was not her Facebook post – it was the recorded call a woman made to her. The other woman who had a British type of accent, called the white lady to ask about the dog. Firstly the British accent woman asked the white woman, how she knew the dog belonged to a white person. When the latter responded that one could simply see it, in that the dog seemed well cared for. The British accent woman referred to the “missing” dog as a Bitch throughout the conversation and ended the call by calling the white woman a Bitch. Honestly, she was very mean and seemed only to want to ridicule the white woman. Goal achieved. Everyone was laughing. The white woman later needed to switch off her phone due to all the harassment she was receiving.

Online bullying at it’s best!

If you read the article in the newspaper, you’d  find out why the white woman made such an ignorant post. At one point, some of her pet dogs were stolen. They only found the paws of these animals – whom she assumed had been eaten. Still no sympathy?

Yes, I hear you. We should be sympathetic to the people who have not enough food and thus eat dogs and cats. Poverty, it is a huge problem. But can you spare no sympathy for this woman, who happens to be married to a colored man (that’s someone of mixed heritage)?

In the newspaper article, the white lady apologized for her blunder. I doubt anyone was listening or reading for that matter. The article, after all, did not go viral. Only the phone call was broadcast to everyone—thanks to WhatsApp.

lettingGoSilouette

Which brings me back to the spotlight fever. What are we shining the light on? Sometimes an issue is much larger than the one part we highlight.

In my example, there were many issues. I mentioned: poverty, racism, online bullying, ignorance and a lack of general empathy. Depending on our own life experiences, we may have focused on only one of these. We may have been enraged at the white woman’s audacity. How could she think, people of a dark skin tone can’t take good care of their pets? It served her right to be treated by the British accent lady like that. It served her right, to be harassed. She should be, belittled for her mistake.

Or perhaps like me, you saw the lack of empathy people have shown. And you hope to all that is good, the spotlight which accentuates all your flaws, never falls on you. Just be careful what you say.

I was so afraid to even use the terms “white lady” & “black man”, even though they fit the frame of this story. Obviously, I still live in a world with many racial divides. I tend to see the cultural differences as beautiful, something to be proud of. Treat everyone with respect, is the kind of value I try to model to my children. However, in this world, you need to be politically correct – always. Or rather just keep your mouth shut.

What gives you the right to speak? Except for the light. It demanded something more than an inaudible squeak.

*above images credit to pixabay

 This post links to a month’s long daily blogging challenge, during November. See who else has signed up to be a Little Pepper HERE. It’s called NANO POBLANO.

NanoPoblano 2017

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

Find her here:


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Welcome to an imperfect world. And that’s okay …

I love tomatoes. My husband, not such a big fan. Guess what? We still live in the same house. We hug and kiss, a lot.
Sometimes I drive past a house in my neighborhood and see it painted in some ghastly pink color. Guess what? I don’t go throwing the house with mud or shooting at it with a paint-ball gun.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Style is a matter of opinion. We can’t choose the skin or class we are born into. All of these things, don’t make any of us any less human than the next person.
Variety is the spice of life. Everybody is different. Our opinions and likes differ as much as there are food choices. We are a tribe of multiple races, religions, and whatnots. There are some whacked up crazy folks – who do the damnedest things. You know what? As long as they aren’t hurting anybody I should be able to deal with it.

Here’s the thing; just because these people are different from me I don’t need to dislike them. Just because we have a difference in opinion, I don’t need to get up on my high horse. One can learn a lot about the world if one can respect the viewpoint of another.
And even if I do dislike them – for whatever reason, I don’t have to be cruel. I’m not going to throw some house with mud. Nor would most others.

So, why oh why, do we think it is okay to do the online equivalent by leaving malicious comments on a facebook wall, blog post, website or other social media platform?

woman-looking-at-bridge

In addition, I don’t need to like you to live peacefully in the same neighborhood as you. We don’t need to be the same race or religion to live next to each other without killing each other. We don’t need to belong to the same political party to be civil.
In my street alone, we are from at least four different types of racial/cultural backgrounds. While we don’t sit and barbecue together over the weekend, we are polite to each other when we pass each other. I’d greet my neighbors as I drive past them. Moreover, as long as they don’t plan on opening a shebeen (informal bar) next to me, I don’t sabotage their plans to extend their house etc.

We underestimate the power of words. We miscalculate the destructive power words on an online forum can have. Let’s build bridges not create wars.

I leave you with this YouTube video by Waylon Lewis from Elephant Journal as he speaks about – how to win those Facebook arguments. May it be of benefit!

 

 

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

Find her here:

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