Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Subconscious Racist?




There is huge sensitivity in our country at the moment regarding anything to do with skin color.  Recently, university students blacked themselves up and came as the tennis sisters, Venus and Serena Williams, to a fancy-dress party.  All sorts of protest ensued: black people hurt and offended. But it was just a bit of fun -  no offence intended (or was it?) Surely, no-one could think these mega-wealthy and successful sisters would take the slightest bit of notice of a minor party in a South African University? The students are curreyntly under threat of being expelled. When I was a teenager we had a musical show on BBC called "The Black and White Minstrels" - a choir of white men 'blacked up'.  We enjoyed the music and certainly, as a white teenager, who had never seen a black person in our provincial town, I thought nothing of it. The other day, my husband and I were eating at a Wimpy and the colored waitress messed up the order a little.  I was full of excuses for her viz: shame  - she is a local, perhaps new on the job, maybe English is not her first language. To my surprise, my husband said I had a racist attitude. In his view, she is in a job and must do it properly:  in my secret heart I must have been making allowances for her disadvantaged background, her probably poor schooling and (in an even more secret place) was I not thinking that she was probably not as intelligent, energetic or possessed of the same work ethic as 'us'?   Shame on me. The attached 'joke' about Eskom (our national electricity supplier) highlights the state of our nation at the moment.

4 comments:

  1. Well perhaps you were making excuses for her and then again perhaps you were not. Maybe you picked up on subtle signs that she was indeed new or inexperienced. I think women are more sensitive to social cues then men. Giving someone the benefit of the doubt does not a racist make.

    I took an internet survey for sexism about two years ago. I was shocked to find that I am what is known as a feminine sympathetic sexist. That is a person who treats women to a gentler standard than men. In other words if a female waiter screwed up my order, I would not be a critical as if a male waiter screwed up my order. All I can say is that if given a choice, I will go to an older female sale representative, checkout person, or clerk. Sexist? Maybe, but I also have found they are by far the most efficient.

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    1. We do generalise do we not? Still, I am much comforted by your comments. Pause for thought - the male/female thing. Banish the day when there will finally be no differences between the sexes or races.

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  2. All in all it is good we are thinking about such...



    ALOHA from Honolulu
    ComfortSpiral
    =^..^=

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    1. I guess it what puts us above the animals.

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