Black Privilege


In a dream, one of my lecturers admitted to be promoting an extremely biased and racist syllabus.

Of course I thought, “well, if it’s indeed racist, it can only be promoted by a white lecturer”, only to have reality confronting my folly logic, upon the realization that even my (so thought) most esteemed black lecturers were, too, disturbingly biased in their presentations.


In rolling my eyes and shaking my head, with my ears I listened to what my lecturers had to say.  Good words and good concepts that, mistranslated, presented themselves in my everyday surroundings.

White friends would be accused of being racist by referring to that black girl who was really funny, but a black fellow would join us in laughter, contemplating that white girls’ inexplicable obsession with wearing shorts on a winter’s day.

From my mouth, the laughter never ran dry. Indeed, I’d laugh at my friends’ compilation of “white people things”, at every seemingly abnormal action related to “white people”, and life was fine, until I heard a lecturer claim that white people aren’t Africans, that, in order for them to become Africans, they must do a, b and c.

Then I knew that two things were wrong.

First, I. I was, and am, wrong each time I play along blaming “white” people for the shorts or for the lack of rhythm or whatnot.

Second, the lecturer and all those who, in his presence, proclaimed Amen in their agreement.  How can a representative of knowledge, of education, stand before I, a brain ready to absorb from its source, claiming that white people are not Africans on the mere basis of their skin colour? And more, that discrimination is “fair” in some cases? This monstrous paradox almost made me stand and scream! (were it not for the unrelated work I was doing in the classroom, and my general apathy towards such issues in a lecture hall)

I remember repeating the slogan, “Say it out loud, I’m black and I’m proud!” countless times, after having briefly done American history, but what if a white person decides to take pride in his/her “race”? Then, it’s racism. But not if black people do it.

And the point is, we are all so quick to tweet our deepest and falsely knowledgeable thoughts on white privilege, that we fail to consider its counterpart, black privilege.

I am of the opinion that in this country, South Africa, the black person has it best. It is such a great platform to be a victim, that everything, regardless of the parties involved, becomes the white man’s fault, or a reason to call upon those slave ancestors we all seem to be related with.

As black people, we are immensely blessed to carry with us this burden of a past abundant in suffering, that will forever justify the need for us to appear as victims, instead of emerging as survivors.

Yesterday, oppressed by men; today, enslaved by our conveniently put together past: a perfect collage of all events that shall aid us in solidifying the need for “fair discrimination” as a vehicle to equality. What equality in “fair” discrimination!

This, amongst many, is one paradox that irks me in my classes. But then again, the gods have blessed me with great apathy, and a blog to rant about such things.




The Justice Delusion


People study Law because that’s where the money is. At least that’s the most frequent answer I’ve heard, and I thank them for their honesty.

Although, I always confront them with the same question: Is Law as just as it claims to be? Is the court really a temple for the veneration of Justice, or is this just a theoretical, overly romanticized fantasy?

The truth of the matter is that evidence is what really matters. Clever criminals seem to use this fact to their advantage brilliantly, as they hire the “best” attorneys who are formidably skilled at destroying every trace of incriminating evidence. Where does this leave the innocent man, who, now, will appear to be a complete fool in front of His Excellency, since his accusation does not seem to have any substantial foundation?

The clever man, not accused of being a criminal anymore, happily hops out of the building, leaving the innocent man in ruins.

It is not a beautiful picture I have painted, and I can sit here, ranting and raving about it, but that wouldn’t help. S0 perhaps it would be more productive to ask questions and try to seek their answers.

What if there is simply not enough evidence to prove someone’s innocence? Yes, because being innocent isn’t what matters, proving it is what’s important. In this sense, the court isn’t there to defend someone, au contraire, the person in need of defense must prove to be worthy of it, again, by presenting evidence.

Evidence seems to be the currency in this community of Justice-makers, and like any other currency, it can easily be corrupted.

Witnesses can lie, and they can lie successfully, as long as there appears no evidence to prove otherwise.

Justice, then, can be attached to such clever lies, fat checks on the hands of the attorney, and freedom to those who cause harm to others.

I may hate the idea of this necessity for evidence, but the truth is that our senses have not proven to be so reliable as to judge whether someone is guilty or not. This, however, doesn’t mean that morals should stop at the door. After all, it is people’s lives we’re dealing with, not mere paperwork.

“Everyone is innocent until proven otherwise (vice versa)”, goes the saying. I, always on the con side, disagree. Being should be not be dictated by proof.