Personal demons

 “Fear is a vital response to physical and emotional danger—if we didn’t feel it, we couldn’t protect ourselves from legitimate threats. But often we fear situations that are far from life-or-death, and thus hang back for no good reason. Traumas or bad experiences can trigger a fear response within us that is hard to quell. Yet exposing ourselves to our personal demons is the best way to move past them.”


Eternal sunset of what we are.

“The feelings that hurt most, the emotions that sting most, are those that are absurd – The longing for impossible things, precisely because they are impossible; nostalgia for what never was; the desire for what could have been; regret over not being someone else; dissatisfaction with the world’s existence. All these half-tones of the soul’s consciousness create in us a painful landscape, an eternal sunset of what we are.”

– Fernando Pessoa

Race card


Some thoughts on race, from the US

By Ruth C. White, Ph.D., M.P.H., M.S.W.

“In this country built on the most ugly forms of racism, specifically the genocide of indigenous peoples, and the enslavement of imported ones, race is a word spoken very gently and quietly – though with passion and intensity – among friends, if at all. Polls show that white people rarely think about race and non-white people spend a lot of time thinking about it and they think about it in different ways. This imbalance creates a hostile environment that leave non-white people raging and white people either scared or indifferent. Because in their eyes, for non-white people it’s ‘always’ about race. And perhaps it is.”

“The problem with the race card is that noone is allowed to use it. When a white person suggests that a black person is using it, the white person is accused of being ‘in denial’ about race, racism, discrimination and history. When a non-white person uses it, they are accused of defaulting to race as an ‘excuse’ for whatever it is that transpired. Noone can win with the ‘race card’ and yet there it is: Ready to be ‘played’ and everyone in fearof what will happen when it does get played. A stand-off much colder and more volatile than the Cold War.”

Bongani Mbindwane, CEO of mining company Platfields:

Those of us who have a voice are duty bound to sensitise our fellow countrymen to understand that some of the acts they do are, in fact, racist and injurious.

“After saying this, we hope the perpetrator will take a step back, will not argue and will hear the victim out,” Mbindwane said.

He said that, unfortunately, victims of racism are shut down, told to keep quiet or told they are playing a game – a card game, the trump card being the “race card”.

“The use of the term ‘race card’ is offensive, racist and harmful. It aims to shut the victim down, rob the victims of a voice whilst delegitimising their complaint as worthless. Black lives are not a game, there is no trump card. There are real experiences of abuse, oppression and there are great anxieties,” the columnist said.

“It is not easy to live in a black skin across the world…The hardship is racism. Blacks are regarded as ‘black savages’, ‘coup plotters’, ‘thieves’, ‘backward’, ‘lazy’ and ‘corrupt’ among many other very negative stereotypes.”

“Laws have been passed, with our Constitution being supreme, abolishing all discrimination. However discrimination persists and suppresses the black body,” Mbindwane said.

He said that it now operates in a form of economic, media and education segregation. “This combination leads to many writers and the media being desensitised about what they publish. It should be a simple thing to settle if one person says you have offended them and have racially stereotyped them.

“Explicitly racism is gone, however, the victims of racism are still the experts in identifying racial undertones where they exist, be it consciously or unconsciously.”


‘In a follow-up column, du Preez said he was becoming concerned about the phenomenon where some black commentators, intellectuals and politicians give themselves license to insult the white minority.

“I sometimes get the idea that some of the gross insults dished out are the result of a form of bravado; saying, look what a brave African and militant I am, I fearlessly tell whites that they are evil intruders, rapists and murderers who should go on their knees to thank us for not taking their property or chasing them into the sea.

“It’s as if black people aren’t the overwhelming majority in South Africa; as if the political power hadn’t shifted into the hands of the majority 21 years ago,” he said.

“I believe there is a duty on politically aware black citizens to continue to challenge ‘whiteness’, to assert themselves, to take the lead and tailor our society into something that acknowledges and represents them fully.

“I’m asking whether it is reasonable and fair to expect the white minority to just take more and more extreme and generalised abuse in passive silence,” du Preez said.’

Sources and further reading:

Why it’s hard to be black in South Africa

If you are a white South African…

If you are a white South African, please read this”

by Lisa Golden, freelance journalist based in Johannesburg.
This was first published on

(Read also the responses to this article – one of which I have posted in full below – thank you Warren G!

Warren G, February 25, 2016 at 4:03 pm

“It seems many people still don’t understand the concept of ‘White Privilege’ thinking that it implies some guilt on the part of the individual. It does not. You are not guilty of white privilege, you are merely a recipient of it. What it means is simply the other side of the coin of ‘Black Disadvantage’ and you’d have to be insane to try and deny that to this day, and pretty much everywhere in the world, black people are at a disadvantage. Their disadvantage is your privilege. That does not mean you are racist, or nasty, or evil, or even responsible. The system of white privilege has its roots in countless facts of history. Colonialism, slavery, apartheid, imperialism. These were devastating to so many communities around the world and are the processes that built the world we live in today. A white man’s world. No you did not actively contribute or support slavery, colonialism or apartheid. You did not directly build this white man’s world that rides roughshod over the rights and basic humanity of ‘non-whites.’ As such, no you don’t have to feel guilty about it. However, you SHOULD at the very least RECOGNIZE it. Accept that the world was built on the backs of other races, under the watchful gaze of white masters, for the white masters. Recognize the fact that black people in South Africa are still struggling in abject poverty, in communities that were absolutely devastated by colonialism, by apartheid. At least admit that in America even today white police officers are murdering innocent black men and getting away with it! How can you deny white privilege when there are videos showing the blatant murders all over the Internet & still they get away with it? You don’t have to feel guilty, but just for the love of God admit that the game is rigged in your favor. You don’t have to worry about security guards interrogating you when you try to enter a gated community. You’re not the one people immediately suspect when something goes missing. You don’t have to wake up at 3am to catch a taxi into the city so you can get to your job which is cleaning someone else’s house. You don’t have to feel guilty about white privilege, just recognize it. In fact, own it! It’s great to be white. Admit it. If you can see how lucky you are, maybe you can stop being such a miserable idiot so focused on yourself and recognize that the privilege you were born into just might be used to do some good in the world!”