“I am not a racist, but…”


This morning I was reminded again of how much I hate this statement.

The person who said this, is white.
This person is also Afrikaans.
With this in mind, how would you understand a statement like, “It goes against my being not to help my nation.” I guess that alone can be okay. I’m a South African. My “nation” is South Africans.
But when the statement “I’m not a racist, but…” preceded that statement, it can only be understood in one way, right? Or am I being childish and overly touchy in this regard?

I felt frustrated when I heard the statement. I immediately wished I wasn’t desperate for a quick lift. I wanted to stop the person and ask her to let me out at the next stop street. Maybe I should have done that. But I didn’t. So I kept quiet. And I promised myself that I would write about it on my blogs. (It was said in Afrikaans, so naturally I will also blog this on my Afrikaans blog…)

So there it is. Need I say more?
I hate that statement!!

And can I also add one other thing? Whenever I hear that kind of sentence, I find it hard to hate the sin and not also feel some kind of hatred toward the sinner… (There are people who say “Hate the sin, but not the sinner.”)
When something similar happened a few months ago, which caught some news, I phoned into Radio702. I spoke to Aubrey Masango, and told him how frustrated I get when a white Afrikaans person says something like this. He tried to convince me not to let it upset me. He found that he prefer people to speak frankly, rather than to hide their true feelings. I find it difficult not to get upset. My idea is this: how can I remain calm when a white Afrikaans person say something like this? At the core of that person is racism. I am white and Afrikaans. What are at my core? I think that is why I find that statement so repulsive. Maybe I am to hard on myself…
I told my story of this morning to one of the black ladies I know. She told me not to let this upset my whole day. I will try…

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