Dear White Friend

It is important for me to write you this letter so that you and I can relate better. You are a wonderful person and I truly enjoy our engagement. There are so many issues that we relate on and our conversations are filled with much laughter. There is however one serious problem with our relationship- it is when you apologise for racism.

My friend you have a lot of unlearning to do, you and me both. You are going to have to get off your pedestal called white supremacy and learn how to be empathetic. You are also going to have to learn how to LISTEN.

You and I have very different experiences of life here in South Africa: you have grown accustomed to having your ass licked by Africans, something I will never know. I need you to understand that black people do not humble themselves to you because you are a ‘nice’ person, they have been terrorized into behaving in that manner. So where you step into a world where everyone must grovel at your feet I as a black person experience the exact opposite of that from your people.

I can and I will go to a rugby game with you but do not insult me by pretending you do not feel the ‘vibe’ from your people. I understand that you have been socially engineered to think you are superior to me, please don’t pretend that shit doesn’t exist? Respect me enough to call a spade a spade and racism is racism.

This thing of yours where you create scenarios and stories for why a white person treated a black person like shit is very offensive. Stop feeding us both your fairytales and call racism by it’s name. And have the guts to call your fellow whites out.

I am not here as your token black friend, to soothe your ego and make you feel like you are not racist. You have been brought up to be racist, stop pretending and start unlearning. It is VERY possible to have black friends and still be racist, just as it is possible to adopt black children and still be racist.

You have never taken the time to learn African etiquette and quite frankly many times I have had to take a very deep breath when you say some of the things you say. Thing is, you have westernised me so much that I know how to speak in an appropriate way in your manner. You on the other hand can say such offensive and ungrateful things. Ungrateful yes, like your white paranoia about how black people are murdering you in genocide and other tales you white people concoct on Whatsapp. You really say some really bizarre things about my people and many times I keep quiet to keep the peace, but seriously my friend, you have some unlearning to do. There is no longer any peace to keep, we have reached a point where you need to make some changes.

My friend you are not much different from the other whites, you have all gone through the same brainwash. You think racism is happening somewhere outside and yet here I am facing it in our relationship.

My friend, if you are really serious about having a black friend, you are going to have to allow a long process where I teach you how to treat me. Your ways are not the same as mine. What may seem rational to you may be appalling to me. For this relationship to work we are going to need more than just your point of view. Especially since the oppressor can’t speak for the oppressed- you cannot speak on behalf of something you have never been through. Doing so is an act of arrogance.

 

My friend…when you make excuses for racist white people, I am left thinking that I am friends with an undercover racist, the worst kind of racist.