Dear white people, stop doing these things!

October 30, 2013 § 34 Comments

Extract from my book, In My Arrogant Opinion

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Greetings my melanin-advantaged and melanin-disadvantaged brothers and sisters. The haves and the have-nots; melanin that is. I write this in order to create greater harmony among the races in this beautiful country of South Africa. As you know, it has been torn asunder by the violence of forced separation. Nelson Mandela tried really hard to mend the divisions but we have gone back since. That said, in many ways we have moved forward and Mandela’s dream is lived by many on a daily basis.

For example, more blacks can swim now than pre-1994. Those were dark times, my friends. Dark times. So few of my brothers and sisters could successfully carve and part the waters for fun before the era of the great Casspirs in the townships. I shall attempt to enlighten those of you who are too young to know what those are. Casspirs were not friendly white ghosts. They did carry white people into the townships, however, white people with guns. Soldiers, if you will. Casspirs were military vehicles that caused great fear in the 1970s and the 1980s in the townships. They were sent to quell the ‘restless natives’.

When schools were opened to black people in 1991, I’ll never forget learning to swim, because as soon as I learned, I could swim faster and further during physical education than two children of European descent in my class. I was the only black kid in my class at the time. The two kids were both Portuguese. They were so bad that sometimes I’d feel like getting into the pool to save them because they beat the water so hard as they swam that I believed they were on the verge of drowning. I used to imagine the Daily Dispatch in East London featuring a massive headline with the words, ‘Black boy jumps in pool to save two white kids’. I would be a hero. One: for swimming. Two: for swimming and saving lives. I had visions of winning the Nobel Peace Prize for my incredible feat. Hey, I was young, so it was allowed. The Nobel Peace Prize for Swimming. Alas, it never happened.

Unfortunately, black women are taking us back with the swimming thing though. And this issue needs to be addressed. The obsession with their hair, whether it’s a weave, braids or simply normal straightened hair results in seemingly sophisticated black women downright refusing to swim. Few black women with weaves have had the pleasure of being kissed in the rain. They don’t see the romance in this. Perhaps I should invent some sort of weave that remains unaffected by water. This would make me immensely wealthy. I hope I didn’t just give away a multiple billion-dollar business idea here.

One of my plans to guarantee greater integration between the races is to encourage cross-racial intercourse. The breeding that would inevitably result would lead to the formation of the largest nation of mixed race people. But there is a problem with this. We’d still have the oldest running war in the history of humankind: the battle of the sexes. As Emo Philips once said, ‘The battle of the sexes will never be won as long as we keep sleeping with the enemy.’ In this case, I think sleeping with the enemy is a good thing. After all, there is that saying, ‘Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.’ What’s closer than sleeping with the enemy?

Alright white folks, let’s talk about these things that you do that annoy us immensely. Sometimes you’re not even aware that you’re doing them.

Black accents when talking to black people

First up is using a black accent when talking to a black person. We know you think it’s funny. In the history of white people using a black accent, no white person has ever used it to say something really intelligent. Every single time a white person speaks in a black accent, it is to demonstrate the stupidity of whatever black person is being spoken about. White people, stop this nonsense.  It demonstrates a lack of sensitivity and unwillingness to explore the real reason you’re using this accent. It’s not to show how fond you are of a black person when you do that. Sorry. Actually, I take that back, I’m not sorry.

A white person using a black accent to demonstrate a black person’s ‘stupidity’ is a subtle and more acceptable version of the ‘N’ word. Can I get an ‘amen’? Oh, yes, it is.

A former coloured colleague once pulled that stunt on me, speaking in a black accent to emphasise how stupid some black person was. This was when I lived in Cape Town (sorry, Aunt Helen). I spoke back to him in a coloured accent. Everyone laughed. At that point he realised that what he had done was not kosher.

The person of colour being spoken to in this accent usually has a debate running in the back of their heads – do I punch this idiot for speaking to me like this? Does this idiot think I’ll understand him better? Does she really believe that I’ll be able to follow what she has to say simply because she’s speaking slowly to me? Unfortunately, they don’t actually act violently, they just smile and pretend that they think what has just been said is actually funny. White folks, stop this rubbish.

You speak really well

Second up is saying, ‘You speak really well.’ This is incredibly annoying. Someone who speaks well speaks to be understood, not to be patronised. If you’re going to comment on anything, comment on what great ideas have been presented, not on how articulate the black person speaking to you is. Let’s face it, you would never say, ‘You speak really well,’ to another white person. Let’s get over it now. Black folk have mastered the ability to express themselves in English. There’s nothing to see here. Move along.

The aircon

Third up is the aircon. The next race war will be fought over the aircon. Those of you who think that it will be over the economy, land or something serious like that are mistaken. There needs to be some sort of negotiation process between the races because we can never agree on the correct temperature in our boardrooms. White people want it cold, black people want it a little more like room temperature. I believe that the aircon is a conspiracy by white people to keep blacks out of the boardrooms. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Not making eye contact with the black person in the room during the meeting

The fourth bugbear happens in meetings. Not addressing or looking at the black person in the room while you are presenting to a room full of people is not okay. To be fair, it’s not only white people who do this; I’ve noticed that some black people do this too. They maintain eye contact with the white people in the room and skip the black as though he or she is invisible. At first, I used to think that it was because I was short (well, I’m still short, actually). It’s because nobody thinks that the black person in the room makes any decisions. Including the blacks. Of course it becomes really embarrassing when, after the presentation, they realise that the one person they weren’t looking at is the decision-maker.

Make eye contact with everyone in the room because you never know why they are there in the first place. Treat everyone the same because you never know what influence they may have now or later. It doesn’t matter if they seem junior to you. They might be junior, but they may have the boss’s ear.

Fifth up is the statement, ‘I’m into white women’. Black women hate it when they hear a black guy say this. And so do white guys.  I’m an equal opportunity dater. I like women of all races. I’ve dated across the colour bar and the height bar. The one barrier I haven’t crossed is the weight bar. I must say I have struggled to cross over to the heavier portion of the dating side. This probably makes me a bad person. I’m okay with that.

And white people never ask if you think a white person of the opposite sex is attractive. Ask me about all women because I like all women. Why assume that I am only attracted to black women? This seems petty but it’s highly annoying.

These five things just scratch the surface of annoyances that white people assault us with every day.

You can thank me later, I’m here to help.

§ 34 Responses to Dear white people, stop doing these things!

  • “The next race war will be fought over the aircon.” – The struggle continues daily as we battle over degrees in the office

  • Malesedi says:

    So true – Courageous and thanks for putting it out there!

  • Xolisa says:

    Very funny. Enjoyed reading this.Siyaphela maan

  • Malulu Mbele says:

    Aay bandla u r a writer of note. One in a million. Can’t help but be impressed. #hope u don’t take offense coz its not meant to petronize afta ol. Wish I could get more of yo ‘writings’…

  • tysonjopson says:

    Haha! Thanks for this. I’d like to add ‘Complicate the hell out of simple activities,’ it’s something we’re really good at 🙂 >> http://blog.getaway.co.za/travel-blog/why-black-people-dont-go-camping/

  • Buntu Mfaxa says:

    This is sooo true & very funny too, I should get a copy.

  • Hlatsi says:

    I’ve been a “victim” of and absolutely despise the “you speak well” statement.

  • I can’t afford an aircon. LOL. But you are very right about the black accent thing. I wanna klap people when I hear them do it.

  • so true. Loved and enjoyd reading it

  • malusipakade says:

    The motherf*ckin’ aircon

  • Bev van den Heuvel says:

    I agree with Gaynor. I cringe when I hear white people doing the black accent thing!

  • Helen says:

    As an English person, I would like to report how communicative and generous Africans can be. I regularly receive e-mails from people in Africa I have never met, who kindly share intimate details of their lives with me and offer to help me in various ways. How unbelievably wonderful and kind! Today again I received yet another email from a friendly African. Never mind the Nobel Peace Prize, I am starting to think that your whole continent could soon win awards for congeniality and magnanimity. You are the motherland, the cradle of civilisation, the birthplace of humanity, and now leading the way in creating bonds of everlasting friendship, fellowship and international fraternity. You are truly champions of the brotherhood of man. Please allow me to share the most recent heart-warming missive received just today:

    Urgent and Confidential.

    I want you to patiently read this offer. I am Mrs.Karistina Yaron, the wife to the deceased former Head of Delegation to the World Bank in West Africa. My husband was the linkman between the Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries – OPEC and the petroleum sector in a West African country.

    He also attends OPEC meetings constantly in Geneva before his death caused by cardiac arrest in our home town.Through the sale of our allocated oil quota in OPEC, he was able to make $12.million. (TWELVE MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS) I want you to assist me to claim this money as i cannot claim it directly because he made the deposit as a fund belonging to his business associate in order not to raise eyebrow since he was a civil servant during that time, and the code of conduct bureau forbids him or his wife to acquire such amount of money.

    It is on this basis that I am contacting you for assistance, if you will be interested, claim documents will been processed and sent to you. The documents with which the fund is deposited will be amended to reflect you as the beneficiary so that you will be eligible to collect the fund as his business associate.

    You shall be entitled to 30% of the total funds while the rest will be given to me on arrival in your country for the up keeping for my two children for further investment under your kind control there in your country as I can not be able to do any investment here in West Africa due to the origin of the said fund.I will not fail to bring to your notice that this business is risk free and doesn’t have any negative implication.

    You should not entertain any fear as all modalities for the smooth and easy transfer of this fund have been finalized. If you can conveniently assure me of your ability to keep this business very secret and confidential, .

    You should contact me on my private E mail address below karistinayaron001@gmail.com for further details

    I will be waiting for your fast mail as soon as you read this mail for more informations

    Best regards,
    Mrs.Karistina Yaron

  • Stanley234 says:

    I love how some Black folks make ridiculous sweeping generalizations about an entire race of “white” people but act like it’s oK.

  • MikeyB says:

    So its oK to make laundry lists of things we don’t like about other “races” as long as we put it in the form of a letter?

  • bella56 says:

    Dear Black People.
    STOP SHOUTING AT EACH OTHER!!!

  • styleandstylability says:

    Aircon is a major story hey, as for “you speak so welllllll” nxa one of these days I’m gonna say something that makes somebody take that back for life! awesome peice!

  • joc guest says:

    I happen to be fluent in a black language so get the comment you speak my language so well my frequently. I never thought I was being patronised. Mind you I can not say I remember complimenting someone on how well they speak English.

  • Zizi ka Jama says:

    History tells me that white people claim to have discovered other races. They(whites) say they brought about enlightenement to other races. The question I have is ” isn’t it appropriate to call them racists”. Also it should not be surprising to find black people practising racism/falling into racism trap, simply put black people have been taught by racists, hence racist.

  • Athena says:

    I don’t know why I get so shocked & amazed every time I hear another “melanin-disadvantaged brother or sister” describe their experience at the hands of our “melanin-advantaged brothers & sisters”.

    I guess it’s the disbelief that something as inconsequential as the amount of melanin one possesses can be the make or break point of the character or intellectual analysis that will be placed upon them.

    Take for example my learned friend “Helen” in the forum of comments who begins by sarcastically “embellishing” African people with praise on how “communicative and generous Africans can be” then goes on to describe African peoples astounding nature to want to offer their assistance to people they have never met. WOW!! …..I guess when Helen began her comment she was one of those melanin advantaged individuals who has an IQ her shoe size and assumed that if she began her e-mail in this way non of the melanin disadvantaged individuals would be any the wiser to her camouflaged insult.

  • Mpho says:

    You forgot the fake smile they always pull on us rather than greeting. I’m happy for any white person to confidently walk past me with a straight face than give me that annoying grin that makes them look constipated. If you want to acknowledge me, a simple ‘hi’ will do.

    • lib says:

      Are you sure this fake smile is to acknowledge you? Because I think I pull this smile at black and other non-white people sometimes and what it is, is that I’m staring at them because they look different and/or have “exotic” fashions and mannerisms or are otherwise out of the ordinary white blueprint that I’ve been raised with and am accustomed to. If I think I may have been caught staring, I realise fuck I’ve been staring and that’s rude, shit what do I do, better smile or they’ll think I’m racist!

      The fake smile is an attempt to not have to acknowledge you and to avoid a confrontation, we don’t want to open conversation with you, you might feel comfortable to confront us about our rudeness towards you if we did that. Sorry I think it’s racism but in my case it’s not on purpose, I don’t want to be racist but I have racial biases that I’ve absorbed from the culture I live in, I took an online test for automatic racial bias and it told me I have moderate automatic preference for white people over black people, so basically I’m racist subconsciously even though intellectually I know racism is wrong and a horrible injustice that should not even exist at all. Hopefully I can un-learn this bullshit, hopefully all white people can un-learn our prejudice.

  • Helen says:

    @ Athena, I wouldn’t say it’s a camouflaged insult, more a humorous observation. After all, we do receive these sorts of e-mails regularly.

    Of course, melanin advantage or disadvantage does not determine the character of a person. It is the colour or purity of the heart which matters most.

    Having been conned out of substantial amounts of money by two Africans and also raped by a black man, this is my way of speaking out. After all, it’s not only melanin advantaged people who suffer at the hands of melanin-disadvantaged people.

    We need to get beyond black and white, oppressors and oppressed, perpetrators and victims. We are one human race after all.

  • Shona Salver says:

    Really funny and kind of sad at the same time. Absolutely LOVED the aircon comment. My theory is that it was invented by men to keep women out of the boardroom ; )

  • Funny. I disagree with your thought of encouraging cross-racial intercourse though, I mean if people want to do it its fine, but to encourage it no, it would be the demise of the black race at the hands of the oppressor, sex is another weapon of white supremacy.

  • dineo says:

    I totally agree with u Khaya. On the hair issue, black women need to understand that its ok to get ur haor wet, weave or not. The hairdryers and conditioners are not for white folks only. I used to rock weaves, and I would get into the pool without any hesitation, cos I knew I’d wash and condition my weave, blow-dry it and straighten it back to its gorgeousness. Frankly the idea of not washing your hair for months on end, I find very disgusting(so much for not being savages).
    As far as dating across races; here’s the thing, the idea that white men have small dicks is absolutely a myth. I’ve dated across the races(except Indian: unhandsome), and have realised that human is human, regardless of race or size of endowment. I give props to white men who aren’t ashamed of being with black women, who aren’t ashamed to admit that they love our thick asses and beautifull thick lips.

    With all that props given to white folk, they do still act like they are superior. Its quite stupid for a whute person to still be shocked at how well black people speak english. The “where did you learn to speak like that” or the “where are u from” questions, goes to show how small minded you are. Here’s my answer: I learnt to speak such good english from school, and I am from South Africa…remeber that country? Where white people used to kill black people and force them to speak afrikaans, and segregated themselves from them? Yeah, that country…where are u from? And where did you learn to think that way?

  • Black people, stop doing these things:

    I’ll start with an easy one, stop shouting, its called noise pollution for a reason.

    Stop thinking every white person is rich and benefitted from apartheid – i don’t own a slice of a mine nor do i own a square meter of land. Probably because I was fluent in the wrong “taal”

    I don’t need others to pump gas or pack packets, they’re purely for job creation, stop acting like you are doing me a favour.

    Stop asking me for a job just because i’m white – news flash, I’m unemployed too… and not the right kind of white.

    Their are 50 countries in Europe, so 50 different cultures, stop assuming all white people live the same. Yes, there is a difference between Italian and Portuguese, like a difference between Xhosa and Zulu. Do you even realise that in the UK I’m not considered white? Africa makes those visual distinctions a little easier.

    Stop thinking traditional leaders and AWB leaders were/are different, as a homosexual I feel the same oppression from these two ‘different’ leaders, discrimination is not a white thing but a human aspect. And yes, us gays were tortured during apartheid no matter the colour of our skin (but you don’t hear “its apartheid fault” from us).

    Stop saying I am cool for a white guy – I’m cool for a South African. Can you not see how offensive it is to partake in a witty conversation with another human being only to see their skin colour in the end? If you want to compliment my whiteness then talk about my soft, lush hair.

    Stop pretending as if South Africa’s worst problem is racism, its sexism, and with rape being the number one crime in South Africa I find it hard to believe we are all still crying about the colour of MEN’s skin. More women are raped on a daily basis than hate crimes are committed. But yeah, racism is the problem…?

    But I will end by saying that I had no idea about the aircon situation. I prefer the aircon off (some white folk are tree hugging hippies) and I always had fights with my black colleague over the heat. I guess this fact points out how generalising can be wrong – so what i just wrote is wrong… hmmmm… silly queer me then.

    *thanks for the article, I had a good laugh, I hope my rebuttal can do the same…*

  • walkthecape says:

    Black people, stop doing these things:

    I’ll start with an easy one, stop shouting, its called noise pollution for a reason.

    Stop thinking every white person is rich and benefitted from apartheid – i don’t own a slice of a mine nor do i own a square meter of land. Probably because I was fluent in the wrong “taal”

    I don’t need others to pump gas or pack packets, they’re purely for job creation, stop acting like you are doing me a favour.

    Stop asking me for a job just because i’m white – news flash, I’m unemployed too… and not the right kind of white.

    Their are 50 countries in Europe, so 50 different cultures, stop assuming all white people live the same. Yes, there is a difference between Italian and Portuguese, like a difference between Xhosa and Zulu. Do you even realise that in the UK I’m not considered white? Africa makes those visual distinctions a little easier.

    Stop thinking traditional leaders and AWB leaders were/are different, as a homosexual I feel the same oppression from these two ‘different’ leaders, discrimination is not a white thing but a human aspect. And yes, us gays were tortured during apartheid no matter the colour of our skin (but you don’t hear “its apartheid fault” from us).

    Stop saying I am cool for a white guy – I’m cool for a South African. Can you not see how offensive it is to partake in a witty conversation with another human being only to see their skin colour in the end? If you want to compliment my whiteness then talk about my soft, lush hair… hell if i wanted to compliment someones blackness i would compliment their soft, supple skin – its like butter.

    Stop pretending as if South Africa’s worst problem is racism, its sexism, and with rape being the number one crime in South Africa I find it hard to believe we are all still crying about the colour of MEN’s skin. More women are raped on a daily basis than hate crimes are committed. But yeah, racism is the problem…?

    But I will end by saying that I had no idea about the aircon situation. I prefer the aircon off (some white folk are tree hugging hippies) and I always had fights with my black colleague over the heat. I guess this fact points out how generalising can be wrong – so what i just wrote is wrong… hmmmm… silly queer me then.

    *thanks for the article, I had a good laugh, I hope my rebuttal can do the same…*

  • collyblom says:

    Khaya, please help me to explain to a bunch of kids I teach that it’s not OK to use the N-word. They don’t believe me when I tell them it’s deeply offensive and racist.

  • kim says:

    Everyone on this God green earth is African. I’m so sick of society labelling us as “white”\”black.” The only people who would be African American is someone whose parents are from Africa, migrated to America, and had a child, which is African American.

    Folks: please stop referring to yourself by the color of your skin. If you were born in America, you are American. Point blank. Please stop being brainwashed by society. And all people on this earth should know that Eve is from Africa.

  • Buyisile says:

    O, my goodness! I love the way you (Khaya) approach these real social issues many people across “cultures” deal with daily but make an effort to avoid confronting. People seem comfortable with not rocking the boat which must be rocked if we are to rid our spaces of “unnecessary” prejudice.

    I have taken note of the bigoted way some people have chosen to respond, mostly in defence of the appalling behaviour you’re exposing in your posting. I am convinced, therefore, that that kind of response further strengthens your point and has boosted my resolve to never accept nonsense merely to gain fragile peace in my space.

    Thank you for wearing those eyes. Our country needs them.

  • SNAFU1 says:

    Hey man,

    i read the intro and the first 2 “DONTs” and then i stopped reading.. i really liked the intro.. it was honest, educational, informational, fun to read and left the overall impression of a VERY sane and intelligent person..

    I guess that’s why i was negatively surprised when it came to the “donts” and i feel i have to comment..
    I can’t speak for white folks in South Africa, yet i can speak for me, being white in Europe.. And i feel you’re generalizing a lot.. I speak the way i speak, no matter who i am talking to.. i wouldn’t use the N-word unless comparing nowadays society to the legal slavery in the USA [not saying it was morally legit or something because it was legal by law], pointing out nowadays managers are nothing better than what they used to call house-n****** over in the USA back then [in Europe racism was largely exchanged for classism and most ppl are too blind to see].. However, i see black folks calling themselves the n-word all the time.. i think if you want something to be stoppedp, you should lead by example and stop using that yourself.. seriously, a black friend of mine sometimes calls me the n-word, just because he is used to calling his friends that way [i feel a bit strange when he does that tbh but it’s ok, i know who he is and vice versa.. maybe i’ll call him a cracker nxt time he does that lmao].. 2nd point was ‘you speak really well’… i sometimes say that, because it’s applicable.. and sometimes ppl say that to me as well.. and i’m cool with it.. i mean, if someone tells you that you’re articulate, it has something to do with you being educated and knowledgeable [sub-consciousness telling you that], so i don’t mind hearing that compliment every here and then.. yet i get the point you are making somehow.., i usually use such phrases [hear them] when speaking foreign languages [im german, so german is my mother tongue, but i speak english and a bit of dutch as well] with foreign people [really i have friends from nearly all over the world]….
    Now, that i wrote away my anger towards the ‘generalizing character’ of the 2 points mentioned, i’ll continue to read because i am sure you are intelligent enough not to generalize, even though it sounds different..
    As i said, i can’t speak for anybody in South Africa but only for me, and i figured that there are racist assholes in every community, as well as there are people fighting for “equal rights and justice for all” in every community..
    Let’s do away with racism and be one! i’m not saying forgetting our heritages, cultures or believes [yet i call myself to be a free thinker and dont believe in any religion per se], rather learn from one another and live together in peace.. There are few things that give me as much pleasure as cultural exchange.. and what i learned is, that everywhere it’s a WE vs THEM.. but it’s not a race thing anymore, but a “we, the people, vs them, the rulers [oppressors]”… and as you say “Dear White People”, you generalize and put me in the same bag as the people i dislike as much as you do most likely…

  • SNAFU1 says:

    part 2:
    ouch… the aircon is a conspiracy by white folks to keep black folks out of the boardrooms?? really??? fuck not 2 white ppl have the same opinion about how the aircon shall be tuned… you say white ppl want it cold, black ppl want it room temperature.. now, what is room temperature? isn’t that defined different by every person, regardless of color/melanin??
    i skimmed through the rest only, hoping to find something i could agree… and i actually did… what you said about interracial dating is true.. i’m into all women as well [as long as i find them to be attractive, but being of a certain race is absolutely no criteria at all]…

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