Thank you Penny

A preamble: just as Penny Sparrow does not speak for me, I do not speak for any of you. But I am hoping that some of you will at least listen, and think, and reflect. As a white South African, I’d like to say thank you to Penny Sparrow. Without her, we wouldn’t be having…

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I am white and privileged. Now what?

By Tamsyn Woolley I recently blogged about why white people struggle to “get” white privilege. But what if, as a white person, you do manage to “get” it? What then? As far away as I am from understanding all the nuances of what makes me privileged, this morning underpinned just how truly privileged I am….

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Devil’s advocacy for decolonised curricula

Shouting fire in a crowded theatre may not always be accurate, but it will typically get one attention. Such is the analogue regarding those who bemoan the “whiteness” of university curricula. The terms used to diagnose the problem are frequently emotively charged and difficult to understand. If “the curricula” shall be Africanised then, one may…

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‘Racist’ black South Africans who kept their jobs?

From Dianne Kohler-Barnard to Chris Hart and Penny Sparrow, the rallying call has been for punitive action, namely remove them from their jobs. In addition the discovery that Sparrow is a DA member has prompted the ANC to lodge a complaint with the South African Human Rights Commission pleading the commission to investigate racism within…

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Those who control the mind control society

Those who write what people read control the public mind. Those who control the public mind control the present and future. If you want to control society, you must control information and knowledge production. All that the average man knows, especially in the historically disadvantaged communities, is what he or she reads in the media….

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White people must stand up against white racism

When I was in high school, my headmaster used to say that evil triumphs when good people do nothing. It was not till I matriculated and grew older that I could fully comprehend and appreciate the gravity of his words. Racism, of any nature, defeats the ends of the reconciliation project we’ve been working towards…

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Penny Sparrow saga: Forget the outcry – racism is here to stay

Four days in, and South Africa already has its first bit of racial controversy for 2016. Penny Sparrow’s Facebook post — where she referred to black people at the beach on New Year’s Eve as “monkeys” — has surely got to be one of the fastest, and most bigoted, blunders we’ve seen. The post has…

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Of black people, empty bottles and a body on the beach

I don’t quite see empty plastic bottles in the same way I used to. Two developments brought this about. The first being an initiative to create small businesses recycling empty soft-drink bottles. One that I called “Hanging Hope” and please go ahead, copy it, or tell someone else about it and give him/her a potential…

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White privilege: The more things change…

I gaped at the size of the property. I stood with the owner, Peter, on a side balcony of their spacious, slightly dilapidated home. Down below, the tennis courts were dwarfed by the ring of woods surrounding its fence. Some were sagging from the cascade of trees pushing through wires or pressing down the horizontal,…

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The Mazda CX-3 advert — slick, stylish and sadly sexist

Have you seen Mazda’s latest advert for their new CX-3 model? It’s an animated production that the company describes as “telling a true African fairytale story”. It begins at the scene of a beautiful wedding. A beautiful bride-to-be, Thandi, approaches her traditionally and somewhat royally dressed groom. But, something is wrong. She cries tearfully indicating…

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