Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Quoting We're Learning

Just something that really made me smile - all the way from New York (Times):

Last Saturday, Christoffel Groenewald found it hard to believe he had waited so long before visiting Soweto.

“There’s a vibe here you just don’t get when it’s white people alone in Pretoria,” he said before the game.

By rugby standards, he was modestly dressed, with only wildly oversize blue sunglasses to enliven his wardrobe. He had boarded a bus that morning, crossed the racial divide and come to an epiphany: “Black people are better at accepting white people than white people are at accepting blacks.”

Mr. Groenewald, a 37-year-old engineer, was standing in a stranger’s crowded front yard. He continued his thought: “If black people came to our stadium, white people wouldn’t be as welcoming. White people wouldn’t be selling them beer, inviting them into their yards, grabbing them by the arm and asking them to come meet another white person.”

He paused to consider his conclusion and seemed compelled to add, “White people wouldn’t even do that for other white people.”

Behind him, blacks and whites sat together on benches. A newfound friend, Mandla Tshabalala, ambled over, beer in hand, and said, “Everyone is mingling with everyone here. South Africa is a changed country now.”

Up the block, Louwtjie Bekker, an off-duty policeman, called the scene “South Africa as it ought to be.” He said: “People are exchanging their cultures. We’re learning how the other lives.”

[About the Super 14 Semi-final & Final taking place in Soweto this year]


Cam said...

I like that...

"SA as it ought to be" :D

po said...

It's so true, I think I wrote about it before too. White people are much worse at making an effort in SA than black people. I wonder if white people are just scared, because of the possible resentment/anger we should be receiving?!

Champagne Heathen said...

Cam - :)

Po - I think a PhD could be written on it, and still the answer won't be completely answered. I think some white people just fear the unknown.

For some people it is just not in their culture. It's not like that culture exists in this Aussie town. People are generous to give possessions... but to give of themselves?

And some white people, they really have been brainwashed by past governments. They will always have fear, exist because of it, and see "Us vs Them". They are the lost cause. Funnily enough, I realised, they will also always see themselves as the victims. Even if they were the aggressors.

As for white guilt... I wonder. So much around that concept. I need to read, and have you read, "My Traitors Heart"??