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Racism – Another Perspective on Racism

Updated on December 24, 2013

Racism - A Root of Evil

Racism seems to be the root of all evil in South Africa. It seems to be the alpha and omega of all actions and inactions. Discuss any political and social issue and racism seems to be the main initiator and obstacle to overcome.

  • Crime – racism,
  • Over-qualification and/or incompetence – racism,
  • Political correctness and affirmative actions – racism,
  • Employment and/or unemployment – racism,
  • Wealth and/or poverty – racism,
  • Et cetera.

In South Africa racism is not only discrimination and a prejudice that prevents objective consideration of an issue, but acute, intense hatred, fuming like a foul fire in the souls of too many people.

In an effort to understand this phenomenon called racism, I have to categorize South Africans (again).

  • Avowed racist,
  • Silent racists,
  • The Colour-blind.

 "Multiracial Kids Holding Hands" by digitalart @ freedigitalphotos,net
"Multiracial Kids Holding Hands" by digitalart @ freedigitalphotos,net

The avowed racists are those rude and apparently ill-bred people. Via their words and actions they embarrass the members of their own race and infuriate the members of all other races. They attract each other, form clusters and regard the one with the loudest voice as their leader. Like bees, stuck to their queen, they make an alarming, frightening noise.

Silent Racists are people who never reveal their true thoughts. They treat the members of other races with respect and even allow them in their personal zones as friends and colleagues. But confront them with a serious matter such as marriage and adoption and see how they prove their preference for Self and Alike.

The Colour-blind comprises two subcategories:

  1. Those who are going out of their way to prove that they are non-racists. Just like the avowed racists they like to shock their fellow-man. Instead of trying to rescue their own out of the swamps of ignorance and intellectual poverty, they will illuminate the shame and disgrace of their own and deliver them to the world to be stoned by every Dick, Tom and Harry. They will betray and forsake their own, marry and adopt outside the boundaries of their own with a voluntary or involuntary urge to survive and multiply in a more secure and comfortable environment. To be seen as a hero and saviour by members of a foreign race, or as a victim delivered from danger, seem to be their secret mission.
  2. And then there are those who refuse to give racism a second thought. Members of this group prefer to live and let live. They don't pay attention to their primitive urge to be part of a group; they are free spirits; they are eagles, they don't catch flies. Just leave them alone, let them live in the cocoon of peace they have spun with their faith in whatever they have discovered while flying far above the mundane. Believe me, they are blessed. (I find myself to be happy in this group.)

Bodiam Castle from the south @ commons.wikimedia
Bodiam Castle from the south @ commons.wikimedia | Source

My perspective on Racism

I see racism as a form of emotional fortification. Like a moat surrounding a castle, we have dug racism to protect us against raids by whoever and whatever we are not acquainted with. We are not born racists; we have become racists while we have matured in a home/environment/race/culture that had given us the idea that we are safe and sound and free to survive and multiply.

People raised in a jungle by wolves will not be able to trust people they don’t know, or whatever they regard as predators. As they grow up in the safe environment established for them by wolves, they will become wolfists. Overcoming their wolfism will only be possible when they come to the conclusion that they are NOT safe among wolves and forced to allow a provider of safety to change their unsafe environment into a safe environment, or when they move themselves to a safer environment.

People who have left their country to establish a safer home in another country among strangers have overcome the fortification called racism, and so did people who have allowed a foreign provider of safety in their midst.

And this brings me to religion, and in particularly to Christianity. Ironically, the majority of racists in South Africa call themselves Christians. As if they haven’t allowed God to be their protector and the provider of peace and harmony in their midst. By being racists, racists demonstrate their disbelief and distrust in a god they regard as their saviour. They are demonstrating a total lack of knowledge, insight and vision and a total misconception of life and their purpose as humans on this planet. Their behaviour reminds me of the behaviour of spoiled brats in the home of incompetent parents – those children who are allowed to curse and hurt each other and all others. They have no clear concept of love and respect for themselves and others.

Africa's Big Five

@ commons.wikimedia
@ commons.wikimedia | Source

The Big Five of Africa

I use the Big Five of Africa as a metaphor in order to control my own tendency to be a racist whenever I feel threatened.

In Africa the elephant, the lion, the leopard, the rhinoceros, and the African buffalo are the most coveted trophies of game hunters. They are ALL animals. Beautiful animals. Each and every one of them are unique and each and every one plays an utmost important role in ecology. Does any one of them deserve more privileges than the other? Is any one stronger or weaker than the other? What about discriminating between Carnivores and Herbivores?

And on this trend I will eventually convince the children of racists that their parents are leading them into the dark, stinky swamps of racism where they will never be able to appreciate the entire creation of God.

Races are not like identical twins; each and every race has its strengths and weaknesses. Goodbye to those who prefer to deny the uniqueness of a race, or what uniqueness are left after ages of conjugation.

Imagine life without the amazing technical geniuses of Japan and China, or the physical giants of Africa who were at a time the most wanted slaves due to their physical strength and endurance, or the philosophers and scientist of Russia, Europe and America, who are forever discovering, exposing and utilizing what’s new or overlooked in the past. Today, most of us have acquired the strengths and weaknesses of all races. We are learning from each other and the decent among us have the utmost respect for each other.

I understand my own personality by identifying animal-behaviour inside me. I can see a leopard inside me, but not a lion, a rhino, but not a buffalo or an elephant.... (Mmm, maybe I have some elephant in me - I have not yet forgotten anything or anyone that have made me the person I am today.)

The point I want to make: I was/am and will always be able to overcome the fortification called racism. I have build bridges and I can build more bridges in order to be free and fearless while I have the privilege to live on this beautiful planet called Earth. I know by now that my survival is not secured by my Self and Alike but by a Power far beyond my comprehension.

Racism is an anachronism in my book, like those moats filled with water that were dug around ancient cities and castles by people who have had, just like us, a need to be safe and sound. And yes, I do classify racists as ancient people who have not yet obtained the knowledge and wisdom required for survival in the 21st century.

© Martie Coetser

Why write about racism?

In my blog, where I am allowed to be more personal, I have explained why I had to write all of this about racism today - Why-write-about-racism-when-it-is-the-most-hackneyed-theme-on-earth?

xedos4 @
xedos4 @

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