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.




In a Genderless world…

Swedish Neutral Ad

Indeed, we are all aware that our dearest 21st Century is filled with gender equality problems. The perfect balance (is there such?) between both sexes in society hasn’t yet been achieved. Women and Men both suffer from constant discrimination, for multiple reasons, from domestic to even broader spheres of life.

But there are good news! Sweden has been given the title of the most gender-equal country of the world, by the World Economic Forum in 2010. And thus it is no surprise that they strive to become even better, and so breaking the conservative boundaries should be no problem in such a “politically correct” country.

The concept behind it is simple. Eliminate any form of gender discrimination from the earliest stage of a human being. So, children are now referred to as “hen”, a combined, genderless personal pronoun. Seems like the eradication of gender difference does not limit itself to the swedish language. A popular idea is that of a “genderless change room”, which many schools are starting to adopt. Its concept is auto-explanatory. A changing room that is not defined by gender boundaries.

Of course, at first, this sounds like la vie en rose, but there is always a con side to is, and fortunately, that is my job here.

What will become of this “hen” generation? These children will eventually reach puberty, and when they do, will they not be a bit confused? Pulling all the gender stereotypes away is not the world’s most terrible idea, however, generations have proved that stereotypes do not always define people. Examples are that we have male chefs (some of the world’s greatest), female truck drivers, the head of South African Police is a woman, and she didn’t grow up looking at adverts of girls with guns!

Hence, despite the stereotypes that seem to attach themselves to our gender, we have proved that it is possible to outgrow them.

So then again, what will happen to these children who grow without having their genders acknowledged? Does that mean they are free to “pick” a gender, when they feel like? Looking at the long-term consequences, it is quite a feasible possibility. First the gender neutral ads. Then the school adaptations, and soon the clothing brands advocating genderless clothes. Well, it is an idea. Shops stopped tagging “boy” and “girl” sections. Suddenly it is ok for a boy to wear a skirt and a girl to wear boxers. Not that is isn’t done now, not that it hasn’t been done before. The only difference is that now it will be acceptable, it will be “politically correct”.

Confused adolescents with identity vacuums who define themselves within the silhouettes of “politically correctness” is what I think this whole concept will produce.

I wonder what’s next… !