Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Most Egregious Example of Racism I've Yet to Encounter in South Africa

While I was in Tanzania, I had a conversation about race with a South African woman who tried to put a smiley face on our uncomfortable discussion by insisting that things are getting better in her country and my adopted home. I didn't know how to break the news to her: That's not saying much. So I let it go. There are some things you simply aren't going to be privy to or understand unless you are black, a point that a friend just reconfirmed when he sent me the short and not-so-sweet Grindr exchange he had with "Wild fun" in Johannesburg.

Hmm... I wonder why "white jock" didn't tip off my friend that he might be dealing with a racist jerk. Maybe the American Indian on the guy's t-shirt canceled out the implication of that specification. Whatever the story behind the celebrating of one oppressed people while damning another, if this is pat-ourselves-on-the-back "better," what a low bar we've set.

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