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Is 2016 the year of the racist?

2016 by all accounts can be called the “Year of the Racist”. We started the year with Penny Sparrow calling black people monkeys. Then there were people like Nicole De Klerk,Matt Theunissen and Vicki Momberg.Even some famous names were caught with their hands in the racist cookie jar,namely economist Chris Hart and media personality Gareth Cliff.

The fact that mostly white people are still comfortable with such blatant acts of racism,is because by and large it is still very much acceptable in the cosy realms of white society.From the braai side jokes to the more politically motivated statements such as “just look what THEY have done in Africa”.It seems that racism is not just alive,it is also running marathons.

A large part of the reason for this racism,is as a direct result of there being no real punitive or criminal consequences for such actions.In the bigger scheme of things the grand crime of apartheid was swept under the carpet under a blanket case of forgiveness and reconciliation.

The question is,have white people in this country accepted a democractic and non-racial dispensation?? I doubt it. Not when you see vile comments on social media endorsing acts of racism with a “them and us” attitude.

How can we speak about racial unity when black people are treated as strangers in the land of their birth.Case in point,then DA Leader Helen Zille,referred to black people from the Eastern Cape as “refugees”.How do we speak about acceptance when black people need to submit to a white version of “acceptability”.Why must a black person change the texture of their hair in order to fit in?

Taking the storm of racism further this year is the debacle at Pretoria Girls High School.A former bastion of white acceptability it now finds itself in a social media quagmire as result of staff members allegedly subjecting black learners to various forms of discrimination because they did not conform to a white idea of acceptable hair styling.

Is this perhaps the pencil test in disguise?

By Wesley Fester

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