It’s the 1st of January, 2013, a year I’d silently geared to be filled with gratitude and possibilities, after my epic 2012. I’ve put into practice all sorts of things to change my mindset, to think and say only positive things…to see the good in everybody, and everything. Of course reality comes home to roost, so I tweaked those principles to see the silver lining, when the dark clouds come, and through the guidance of my sponsor, I have also started to consider that sometimes people aren’t nice. In fact, they can behave like the biggest bunch of moronic assholes, ever. And that’s OK, because nobody’s perfect. You deal with it, and move on.
I’ve learned over time that my rants and my rages are often based on not enough information, and the louder I shout, the more wrong I am, and the more apologies and humble pie I am forced to eat. I am fortunate enough to have people like Goblin Queen Kitty who often checks the rants and interjects with sanity, reality and logic, before I get myself completely twisted in a nightmare of anger and misinformation. Woolworths and guns are just two of our stables of vociferous discourse.
Tonight, however, a post was made on Facebook, about Vodacom’s shocking refusal to help a customer, who was set to lose money and data. I weighed in with my thoughts and advice on how to use the Consumer Protection Act as it should be, with some additional info on contacting one of their brand management agencies, who actively get involved (in my experience) in helping clients – or at the very least pointing them in the right direction. More comments came in, commiserating with Rosalie about her plight. And then came the corker…
“Do you want his number? …he is white.” Posted by Irma.
Seriously? In 2013? We’re implying that because someone is white, he will help (in my experience, bad service comes from all shades, all nationalities, and BOTH genders!)
Irma, Facebook tells me, attended Hendrik Verwoerd high school, and graduated in 1969. Just in case you didn’t know it, Verwoerd was the misguided idiot…sorry…Prime Minister who conceived and implemented apartheid. But just because Irma was at a school named after a racist embarrassment to this country doesn’t mean that she is a racist herself. I am sure many of her fellow 1969 graduates are not racist themselves, despite their advanced years (if all went well and they weren’t kept back, Irma and her classmates should be about 62 now…)
In fact, I can’t quite tell why Irma is such a racist. I don’t know her. Does that give me a right to denounce her racism here? No, but her posting her bias on Facebook, in an open public forum does. I know she’s only human, and makes mistakes. I make many mistakes, for which I am reminded every day, but this does not give me the right to denounce Irma either. I may get flack for taking on a woman of pensionable age, and be told to “Live and let live” but I won’t silence myself to mediocrity so that she can get away without the rightful criticism of her blatant racism.
You could say “She’s old, and set in her ways” but that’s absolute bollocks – my late mother would be 79 this year, and was a) not a racist, even though she grew up in the same time and in the same place as Irma, and my mother had her paradigms challenged during the late stage of her life and shifted accordingly, when she was wrong. You GO, Mum! See? It can be done, and Irma should.
Some trite hippy statement comes to mind, about “Tolerate everything, except intolerance” and I think to myself, who am I, to tell Irma anything? Am I not as intolerant as she is, just of different circumstances?
“Yes but…” comes to mind. No. I am not. Where she is intolerant of the existence of others, and denounces them as human beings with the same rights and right to live as she has, I am intolerant of her attitude. There is no place for attitudes like hers…in the past, I’d have said there is no place for people like her, and then I would be no different from her. So, yes, I too, can have my paradigms challenged, and I can evolve for the better, and shift them.
So, Irma, here’s to 2013 – a year where there is place for you, in the world, but no place for your rampant, disgusting racism. I challenge you to update your views on humanity, get with the programme (I mean, you are using Facebook at age 62, and that’s got to be a sign that you’re not ALL dinosaur, isn’t it?) and evolve a little, eh?
As for me, I said I won’t be silenced to mediocrity, so I’ll post this to Irma, and see if she accepts my challenge. Of course, out of respect for Irma’s privacy, all you’ll get in this post is her name, and any update or commentary I will post in the comments section here.
I really hate that we have to start 2013 off with such old behaviours, and I hope I get to see less and less of it as time goes on. In fact, I’ll even pray for that.
© Dave Luis 2012. All Rights Reserved.