Essays On Prejudice

Essays On Prejudice-20
So when Jack said I was common I squirmed in my seat because it was both true and not true, and because I had begun to espouse politics that wanted it to be true for no one, while still hoping that I was a little bit special.

So when Jack said I was common I squirmed in my seat because it was both true and not true, and because I had begun to espouse politics that wanted it to be true for no one, while still hoping that I was a little bit special.

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The stories my roving reporter told me later in the north of the world began to plug my teenage ignorance and make me realise how cut off I was, past and present, from the country I called home.We boasted and lamented that the Born Frees – those born after 1994 – were not even interested in politics.And then, in March 2015, just over a year after Mandela’s death, the youth woke up.After my five years of solo soul searching, I too had had the idea of setting up an “apartheid café” in which South Africans could come together to heal emotional scars, and Keke and Anisha – black and Indian respectively – had welcomed me as the white face of the Consciousness Café.We began collaborating in 2015 when dark clouds were visibly gathering over the Rainbow Nation.magazine, I was awarded a journalism fellowship from the philanthropic Open Society Foundation to return South Africa and write about what democracy had brought to the rural Xhosa tribal lands where Mandela had grown up.I harboured a hope that it would patch the holes in my head and heart, but as the day for my departure grew nearer, a deep gurning in my belly that wouldn’t go away, no matter how much I tried to reason with it, forced me to confront that there was something else lurking, something darker and more shadowy – something that I had never wanted to admit to myself. And although I had gone to a mixed race university during Mandela’s presidency, lived with black and Indian friends and was sure that I had shrugged off the mantle of social conditioning, the increase in violent crime in the post-apartheid era – more often, though not always, committed by black men – had hardened that fear, and my so-called liberal consciousness had pushed it underground.It is not easy to write about a Damascene conversion. I documented this journey in a book, , which although has the backing of a respected London literary agent, has been turned down for publication by major publishing houses because, as one editor put it: “The book has a moral weight to it that is inescapable and very affecting…[though]…the very honest truth is that I think it would simply be very hard to persuade a large enough audience to engage with it, even though I’m sure that those who did so would find it very powerful.” It might not be en vogue to be a racist, but nor is it profitable, fashionable or palatable to publicly undo these knots in your white self. The Wozobona Cultural Centre is on Phiela Street in Orlando East in Soweto.For the first 21 years of our democracy we had attempted to do as Tata Mandela instructed: forgive, smile, dance.We collectively pretended that we had not been scarred by the shadows of apartheid.

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