Two startling contributions to the raging race debate – from below and slightly behind, so to speak.
White (male) drivers
The first is a letter to the editor of the increasingly excellent Business Day from one Oscar Mosito in Rosslyn
His issue is with white male drivers.
What is most endearing about Mr Mosito’s letter is his calm restraint that profoundly fails to hide his seething stew of road rage with a racial twist (or perhaps race rage on the twisted road – or twisted rage in the race … no, that’s enough … sorry.)
“For years since the dawn of democracy,” Oscar calmly begins “I have observed the behaviour of white (male) drivers on our roads, particularly on the freeway.”
“I am not sure if I should call it frustration by white people and their difficulty in accepting that black people are in power,” he continues “… or whether it is caused by the fact the Democratic Alliance is not opposition enough to defeat the African National Congress in elections, but there is a lot of frustration in most white male drivers. It is directed towards taxi drivers or our leaders …”
There follows a delightfully unconscious diatribe against white male (drivers) not respecting black political leadership, driving in the yellow line to prevent noble taxi drivers getting past on the inside lane (?) and continuously showing disrespect to “ministers, MECs, the deputy president or the president himself.”
I have even noticed that every time they see a black person driving a luxury car, they give him a certain kind of look, but when the same black person is in a taxi, they hardly look. So, it is my plea for all white drivers who do not want to accept change to respect our leaders, whether on the road, boardroom or in sports. It’s time you accepted change … I just hope that next time you see a convoy of BMWs, you give way and know that those are your leaders … Please set a good example for your innocent children.
It is so perfect I fear to say anything more in case I break its spell. Let’s just point out the innocence of the “convoy of BMWs” … which made me think for a while that it was a DA hoax, but then the rest convinced me otherwise … but maybe it’s still a hoax … I dunno? Maybe I am naive, maybe I am too hopeful …
In the hope that this is not a hoax (and that Oscar is a real black man and not a clever white racist trying to cause trouble) I would just like to take this opportunity to agree with him.
The white male drivers that I encounter on the roads of Cape Town are ignorant, unreasonable, arrogant, entitled oafs that I feel deeply homicidal towards.
But then so are the white women.
And the coloured men? Don’t even start me.
Oh, yeah and the black men and the coloured women and the black women … I told you, don’t get me started!
And the occasional Indians – of all genders – that mistakenly find their way here … where did they buy their licences, I ask you?
Okay, there – I feel better now.
Cape Town drivers are enough to get the blood pumping. They are a wonderful example of multi-ethnic unity – they all drive like Oscar’s very own vision of white males.
Catch the full text of Oscar’s spirited letter here.
The other example is even more delightful.
“Do not be friends with white people – they will Satinise you”
(My spell check keeps trying to change that to “Sanitise” – which is a racist little wordplay joke in itself.)
But anyway …
Stalwart Sadtu (South African Democratic Teachers Union) Chairperson Moss Senye who is also the principal of Meadowlands High, addressing 1000 teachers in Soweto in the lead-up to his trial for assaulting a 17 year old pupil said (and I pull it all out of this Sowetan article but I indicate how I have stitched it together with the dot … dot … dot):
Whether Barbara (Creecy) likes it or not, we will have our meetings. Despite Barbara, we will vote for the ANC during the elections and they will remove her. Let us not embrace satanic people. Down with Satanism. You cannot be friends with white people, they will Satanise you …The bank called and asked when I would pay for my car. I cannot pay and I do not care. They can repossess it. We must show strength as a region. Barbara is trying to destroy us. Angie (Motshekga tried and now she is gone. Mary (Metcalfe) tried and now she has vanished. People have tried to destroy the union and failed. At no stage should you be friends with white people, they will satanise you … Our region has 10,000 members and only 75 of them are white. This is a non-racial union. We welcome everyone. We have never had a problem with Indian teachers. They have always been our members. There are two white learners at Meadowlands High. Barbara is not happy about this. She wants them to go to Parktown and other schools in the suburbs.
Again, what could I add to that that would make it any more hilarious and horrifying than it already is?
7 thoughts on “Race you to the bottom”
The only thing you forgot to mention is that black people can’t be racists. By definition. QED
I was obviously hugely tempted … but I am irritated enough already, and I wanted to keep a laconic good-naturedness going … if that is possible – thanks Glen
Larry’s a hater. A mean-ass motherfucking hater. He hates everybody. He hates blacks, Latinos, Asians, he hates women and gays, he hates Jews and he hates Arabs, he really fucking hates those Arabs. Larry is white. Unlike most white racists, Larry is not a white supremacist. He hates whites too, hates them as much as he hates anybody, sometimes more because he’s one of them. When asked about hating whites, Larry says – If I was given a choice between shooting a white motherfucker and some motherfucker with pigment in his skin, I’d line ’em up back-to-back so I could shoot ’em both with one bullet. The first time his mother heard him make the remark, she commented on how intelligent she thought he was. He told her to shut the fuck up, that he hated her too.
– James Frey : “Bright Shiny Morning”
you’re a star Anthony … what a wonderful quote … Larry is my man … just less worried about what people will think than me. Now can you help me fix the line spacing in that middle bit … WordPress WILL NOT put lines between those paragraphs no matter I stand on my head and whistle out my … belly button? (I owe this whole blog to Anthony’s technical skill and wise counsel … but more about that in my memoir)
AHA! fixed the paragraphs …. it was driving me crazy. The text button was on “format” instead of “paragraph” for that section …. for anyone who might be interested.
You have no idea how much I enjoy driving around Cape Town. Courtesy and generally sound driving skills prevail; fast cars stay in the fast lane and slow ones in the slow lane (sort of); you’re allowed into lanes (courtesy of other drivers); the CBD is intelligently managed (the freeways take-up the excess numbers, not the CBD – you can drive around town and even find parking just about anytime). OK, we won’t talk about peak hour and the freeways. That’s real Babylon, unsanitised. So Cape Town drivers don’t indicate and the taxi drivers drive crap (but less crap than elsewhere).
Now try Mthatha: once you negotiate the shock of an elaborately maintained pothole system with the occasional piece of road in-between; you’ll probably notice that most robots generally (but not always) do not work. Which is a good thing, as a red robot may mean red or green or both at any given time to any given driver. Peak hour? No problem. We’ll drive on either side of the road, in either direction. Construct a footpath for pedestrians – beautiful: yet another opportunity for drivers to mow down obstacles.
I couldn’t dream of suffering road rage in Cape Town (except for the little nagging irritation that Capetonians are just too …law-abiding). Obviously I drive like a thug in Mthatha (how else could you survive); but I don’t exactly enjoy it. [For the record: I generally dish Cape Town as a racist, colonial and pretentious enclave; and consider Mthatha as a place where I’ll maintain a home, even if ever having to live elsewhere; for one, I associate it with warmth and humanity.]
As for the main theme of Nic’s blog – well, that’s our little tectonic plate rupture in the making, isn’t it? Its a bit of retro fantasy to expect 400 years of relentless grinding to suddenly fuse into a molten paradise of happiness. The real miracle is the amount of peaceful and constructive living that occupies the space above the fault lines. The ‘miracle’ is called adaptation – an essential element in the evolution of homo sapiens. Senye and Mosito are neanderthals; just like the overwhelming majority of white business owners, industrialists and managers who continue to turn daily employment into a paternalist (read racist) hell for black South Africans.
I spent a week in Lagos a year or so ago and I was blown away by the driving and the traffic and the chaos. Every few kilometres different uniformed groups of people (cops, army … whatever) would draw a spiked pole in front of the car and demand to inspect the vehicle and ask for a bribe. This is in the city centre, on highways, it didn’t matter. Our driver would just put his foot down and drive at them … AK 47s flying and people diving out of the way. I was travelling with a really good friend from England … he was so English! …shouldn’t be a surprise I s’pose… he would never notice what was going on, just look up to see a soldier flying one way and a rifle going the other … how strange. This same driver was taking us to an important meeting via a double carriageway … there is one in Lagos- and we just couldn’t get to where we were going within the usually acceptable 2 hours late zone. He just pulled across to the highway going the other way and drove against the oncoming traffic like we were in some over-the-top action movie. Even the locals were impressed by this bit of bravado.
Well, the point I suppose is how much I loved Lagos and the people and the atmosphere and everything about the place … including the driving and the traffic. It was because it was not my home … it was not my real life, that I have to traverse every day. I have driven most places in South Africa and I am fairly sure that Cape Town drivers are an average bunch … just slightly doffer, less likely to indicate than Gautengers, more likely to wander from lane to lane as they look at the beauty and think their vague and faintly happy thoughts … oh, oh here we go again …. The point is I think Cape Town is probably a holiday/visit/jol destination for you now … after all this time. You treat it with the forgiveness we all treat places we visit.
On the race stuff … I will be endlessly discussing that, so thanks for the contribution.