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Keitu Reid, Jason Bronkhorst

Dear White People

by Keitu Reid, illustration by Jason Bronkhorst / 30.06.2011

Rest assured we are not about to heed Julius Malema’s call and eradicate you (though the thought of settling scores has crossed many of our minds). But try to think about the reality behind Malema’s recognition – he appeals to the growing anger of the fastest growing social category in this country – impoverished black youth. And does that poor black youth hate you? Yup. They do.

Africa’s history tells you why. Slavery; colonisation; apartheid. Underdevelopment. Racism. Exploitation. Unequal terms of trade, World Bank structural adjustment, IMF debt financing. I know you’ve heard all of this before. But you really need to know how much history has broken us and goes on breaking us. And understandably you can’t. It isn’t your history, it’s mine.

And that history is very much alive in black lives. Even Sunday lunch isn’t free of the apartheid legacy. You tell your parents you want to be a dancer instead of a lawyer and they lose their shit. “Do you know how many kids would have been lucky to have your education? We did not suffer so you can throw your life away.” The inheritance of suffering often means we need to put aside our own dreams and possibilities. The struggle for freedom makes so many claims on the Children of ’94.

Here in Johannesburg, I love movies, fashion, parties. I have sunny brunches at 44 Stanley and dine at the latest restaurants. One half of me is Cosmo. The other is a litte girl who grew up hearing her mother’s stories about how she lived for decades in mortal terror of being arrested. My father wanted to be an actor but couldn’t go out at night to rehearsals because of the Emergency and its curfews. My aunt had to stand the whole journey on a near-empty train with her daughter on her back and her son on her hip. Just for being black. I carry that pain.

Even when freedom came I felt it. The change was superficial. We are still poor. We are still uneducated. We are still materially unfree.

White people, we do not have your automatic confidence – your uncomplicated sense of entitlement. History calls us names like savage and barbaric. Biko and Sobukwe once tried to get all that out of our thinking, to free us in our own self-relation, but it runs deep.

So we hate you sometimes. You seem to have it so good. Seems like you won an unfair fight. The game seems lost before we’re even born. Rigged and boobytrapped. Going way back to when you replaced our ancestors with the King James Bible.

We envy how lovely it must be to live in a Top-Billing dream-house. Your holidays to the tip of the Eiffel Tower and the Great Wall of China. How awesome it must be to have rocket ships to see stars up close and undersea adventures where you play with multicoloured creatures. This is the fantasy life we suspect you live while millions of African children can’t even spell the name of their own country. Why, we wonder, is blackness so synonymous with disease and poverty? And whiteness on the cover of magazines.

Africa is rich in resources but its people are amongst the poorest on earth. This is not an “accident of history” or entirely about the pitfalls of post-liberation states. It is by design. There are agents behind this. It is not a mystery. But what is done is done. We don’t hate you for it. All the time. White people can’t return us to ourselves. We have made each other who we are. Dialectically.

And right now in this country, we face a mutual enemy.

Too many of our “leaders” routinely choose selfish greed over the national good. This betrayal almost makes us equal. We may occupy the same space yet live worlds apart, but the threat to our democracy that the corrupt elite poses, transcends race, and threatens us all.

*Illustration © Jason Bronkhorst.

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  1. KJ says:

    King James versus ancestral worship. Sorry that either of these crap beliefs got any foothold to begin with.

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  2. We all the same you bunch of twats :) says:

    Just got back from a Fancy shopping mall , majority of people there were non-white .
    All the avid consumers were preened and dressed to the nines as humans from any race do, woman & men as hot as hell , awesome perfumes , perfect hairdo’s , great clothes.

    These up and coming black/brown/indian people don’t give a fuck for their poor black/brown/indian compatriots? They have no reason to feel any obligation to their poor black/brown/indian compatriots, you the same as me , go get your own – I have won my little hoard , go make your own luck or fuck off.
    I have never seen another human give to another human solely based on race.
    Blacks hate Blacks , Whites hate Whites.
    White Irish Catholics will gladly slaughter white Irish Protestants in Europe , in the UK.
    See a little fable here?

    Where does the hard done-by black dude end and the suave consuming black guy begin?

    Seems like we all become the same once we have the means to consume or have the lack thereof.

    What about white people that were abused as children?
    They had their minds and or bodies subjected to the very same instruments of apartheid – you are worthless , I can exploit you , I can do what I want to you , I will fuck you up if you do not obey my depraved rules.
    Can they be classed as Black people now due to how screwed over they were when innocent children?

    I mean is this whole story about being fair?

    I can assure you there are countless people from any walk of life that have experienced truly desperate lives due to others malice and greed . Can they become honouree black people if they find themselves in that position and they are not black?

    Can we make the suave consuming well-to-do black guy an honouree white person and subject to the same ostracisation?

    The only differentiator of people I have ever seen amongst all races is one thing :
    Being born into or being part of a kind hearted & loving family.
    There is no greater gift , it transcends all race , class , anything

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  3. Keitu Reid says:

    Hey guys

    My brother sent me an email and challenged me to the following:

    As my sister, you’ll probably know that a lot of my think and approach to these issues is influenced by my flirtation with Azapo (Black Consciousness). Azapo/BC may lack the solutions to the pot hole problem, but they really had something going with that Steve Biko gospel. A by-product of my BC induction, I found, was a discarding of the victimhood thing. The world is a pretty mean place for black people- you’ve mentioned the ills (IMF, Imperialism, etc.), but my major irritation in all this is why black people rarely ask why is it that these things happen to us and not other people.

    Why is it that other people who have been through the bitter experience of oppression can say “Never Again!” and act upon it, while our version of liberation is eating sushi from a vixen’s tummy and driving gaudy Hummers. Why do we sound like a stuck record, forever lamenting how mean the world is.

    And finally, why do we send such an inordinate amount of time thinking about white people- i.e. I’m challenging your to pen a “Dear black people”.

    For you and for my brother there will be a ’10 things i would tell a black man’ follow up article.

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  4. Honorary Black Person says:

    I’m not earning what I want, my car is shit, my jeans are torn (unfashionably), my house is too small, my whiskey is cheap.

    My fault? Fuck no!

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  5. black chinless fake titted ho says:

    Black mans problems gone away, no more nazi’s just DA, oh happy happy days, your rainbows looking pretty grey … You white emo turds will still taste the panga for your parents sins. /o/o/o/ kisses 😉

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  6. Makhaya says:

    I was excited by the title, but disappointed by the quality of the substance. Very weak. I also glanced through your linkedin profile and couldn’t help noticing the quality of education that you, as author, received. St Mary’s DSG? Tertiary? You describe yourself, inaccurately, as an “Excellent Writer”, who “can see things through”. If your project is advancing the “national good”, step down, sister. Your knee-jerk accusations and veiled animosity is just plain dreadful. You come off sounding pathetic and mean.

    You equivocate continuously, referring to a grouping “you” in multiple, different senses, while suggesting they are all the same. It seems the key idea of your piece is that “corrupt elites”, “regardless of race”, threaten all. Why the enormous dig at the whiteys? Was that even necessary for your conclusion? I just see more baseless drivel that contributes to stunted thinking.

    If your goal really is the resistance of corrupt elites and the upliftment of our people, I’d suggest passing the baton to one more capable, or taking a course on critical thinking or philosophy at your local/correspondence university.

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  7. Mandy de Waal says:

    Hi Keitu.

    Thanks for your piece.

    Yesterday I was in Diepsloot and was thinking how alienating white culture is, how we’ve created the ‘burbs which shut some people out and others in. What it must feel like to be a part of a neighbourhood where you walk down the streets and there’s a rich street life, conversation, and the feeling of being a part of a neighbourhood that sees, speaks, fights and connects with each other.

    In the ‘burbs you could die and your domestic worker, who comes in once a week, will find you when the maggots start crawling out your eyes. I think the emotional pain that umlungus have traded for wealth and the ‘burbs is alienation. This has been such a strong apartheid legacy that even middle class and poor whites largely huddle in ‘burbs surrounded by barbed wire. It is not a meaningful way to live – it breeds fear, distrust and isolation – but for now it is all most people know.

    And the poverty? What does ones say about poverty without sounding trite or insulting? My humble view is that those who benefited from apartheid (people like me) do have an obligation. Part of the burden lies on our shoulders and we cannot simply ride past Diepsloot while turning a blind eye.

    You’re so right about corruption. Vulgar, selfish corruption steals from the poor and it is an enemy we all need to fight, irresespective of what we’re feeling about each other. I have read much research that shows that poverty increases acceptance of populism, authoritarianism and diminishes people’s ability to participate in meaningful democratic discourse. If we don’t join forces to do something about corruption we’re all going to be much the poorer for it.

    I appreciate what you say about black people hating white people. If my parents were subject to apartheid or my brother was killed at Vlakplaas I’d hate white people too.

    At times when I am in shops or malls and I hear white racists ignorantly causing hurt and spewing embittered, illogical rants about a situation that they (we) and their (our) ilk have helped cause I feel shamed and hate them too. When I investigate capitalists who have formed front companies with tenderpreneurs to grab more wealth; or hear about farmers that pay labourers what isn’t even a living wage I feel angry if not enraged.

    I can’t pretent to understand the hatred because I haven’t lived that experience, but I appreciate it and can hear that I am hated because of what came before, even though that makes me uncomfortable, and somewhate sad.

    But let’s face it. I can go back to my home in the ‘burbs, turn on the taps, make a cup of tea. I have electricty. I have food on the table. I have many things that most of the people of this country have to try and live without.

    And though my parents were working class (like I am) and we lived very modestly, they were never discriminated against and we never felt the pain of apartheid they way you and your parents have.

    Thank you for your writing. It has moved me and offered me huge insight.


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  8. me says:

    Wow, al these ‘controversial’ articles must be great for hits and advertisement sales?

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  9. Zam says:

    I think the most important fact here is the finger pointing in this.

    For every white person that says “grow up, move on”. Shame on you. That’s a conceited (and fearful) opinion. That history SHOULD be rectified and rembered. People got hurt and that hurt effects the lives of this generation and future generations to come. But as much as Nero may believe white people are in power (and he may be right) that in no way implies the other white populous is striving or gaining an advantage from it.

    Regardless weather whites are in power, ALL Poor in this country are suffering. If a white poor community has a library, I doubt it’s been taken care of either. Both sides are suffering, the Blake community just got a far poorer hand. The truth though is apartheid disadvantaged the black community, but did not necessarily ADVANTAGE the entire white community.

    Apartheid promoted AFRIKAANERS, not whites as a total. Many families, as stated on this thread and including my own, were never advantaged politically. We were given the freedom to promote ourselves.

    My parents came from Italy after the horrors of the second world war. We had no money to start a new life. My grandparents worked uneducated menial jobs while my parents studied day and night to be first of their class (at public schools). They lived in one room apartments in Yoeville (a whole family sharing the same bed) an studied by candle light (electricity was an still is expensive). They then worked jobs to pay for the tertiary studies. My family worked hard to improve their lives.

    I’m not saying it was easy, but as you can see their situation is close (not exactly the same) as many of the poorer communities in this country today. But those communities now have the same playing field. It’s possible to improve your life regardless of the inadequacies of the current or past governments, provided they do not physically stop you (as apartheid did).

    The major problem is this idea of black inadequacy. A legacy left behind after centuries of beam Tolyatti you were inferior. A problem that cannot simply be addressed by changing laws or providing jobs. Bike, the incredible mind he was, knew this. And knew that was where the real role to freedom lay.

    This is the problem though; NO ONE promotes that idea today. It’s not taught in homes, schools, workplaces or anywhere else. Our government does NOTHING to tell our black nation that they have the ability to break free because they are as equal, smart, powerful and strong willed as any other human. No one has addressed this crucial idea, and the question is why?

    Because it keeps the rich and powerful, both black and white, in power. It let’s them use and manipulate the poor for selfish goals. When the black poor stop feeling defenseless and useless they will learn they have the power to make a change and in that learn to question the power which is so blatantly manipulating them.

    Do not think for a second that if the whites were gone, black consciousness would occur as if by miracle. The problem will always stand, just new “enemies” would be found. Being “Xosa” or “zulu” may make you the next “oppressor” that is the reason for such dismal socio-economic problems. Perhaps your religion. It’s fact. Hitler did the same; an “enemy” is always needed to promote change through Amy means other than actual solution, whether he’s Jewish, a gypsy, or black.

    Don’t look on the white man to rectify the problem we’ve made, because we can’t, even though so many of us wish we could. It’s up to all of us, through action as viable role models to prove that everyone has an equal and fair chance, and all of us have an internal power to become great. And we can only do that by working together and building something new and addressing the problems with that gift. Blaming each other and expecting “the other side” to fix it gets all of us no where and let’s people like mr malema or the AWB to manipulate us.

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  10. I'm white and bored of this now says:

    Up until about two years ago I regularly proclaimed how whites should acknowledge their privilege, do their part for reconciliation and feel bad that they benefited at the expense of black people. You know, guilt and more guilt.

    Fuck it, I’m over it now, I think the time has passed for all that nonsense. We’re at almost two decades of black rule and we’re going backwards faster than ever. I don’t feel guilty any more.

    You can begrudge white people all you like, but guess who pays taxes. Half my salary goes to schools, hospitals, welfate for black people while I see basically nothing for it. I am no burden on the economy, I pay my own way plus private healthcare, private police and through my insurance premiums, I now fix the potholes too because the mayor’s too incompetent to do it.

    Thieves and incompetents run the country and the author still wants to blame Whitey? Open your eyes, I’m not the enemy.

    People fuck people, and in South Africa, black people fuck black people more than anyone else. In an era of Kenny Kunene’s and tenderpreneurs, you’re still cursing white people’s good fortune?

    You’re young and black – South Africa is a wonderland for you. Quit whining and use the democracy your parents fought so hard for to remove the thieving bastards and other leeches in government. There’s your real enemy.

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  11. NOSFERATU says:





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  12. Makhaya says:

    The more I think about it, and having had some time to digest my previous post, I cannot emphasise enough how wrong you are.

    The cynic might say that this controversial piece was inserted with a view to increased page traffic, or, similarly, that you posted it with a conscious view to furthering your own political ambitions. Because, you know, a populist argument is popular, and all that.

    In the tenor of the previous post, quit whining. I see vast opportunity all around me, stifled at infinitely more turns by politically-connected fellow blacks than by the minority whites.

    As a tweeter might say, #thinkbeforeyouink. By posting, you open yourself up to robust criticism. I hope you internalise it.

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  13. I az awesome :) says:

    Cuz …. you left out 1 upper case there ….right at : aLTHOUGH

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  14. Makhaya says:

    *I refer to “I’m white and bored of this now”, not NOSFERATU’s racist invective (which is arguably hate speech).

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  15. NOSFERATU says:


    my point exactly….was cecil john rhodes land grab policy scrutinized by any court of law. Or was it a case of lets grab everything now and let them debate it and toy-toy with it for the next centuries to come. How can the creators of the rights you speak about be the greatest infringers of them as we know it….funny isnt it, they create such shit once they have plundered everything so that you cant reverse their effects. Don’t get me wrong Im not going in on white people, im mad at a class of greedy capitalists who will never give a fuck about me or you. we cant talk of corruption coz politicians of today are just people without any economic means who are feeding off the state, why do you think there was little or no ‘corruption’ during the Apartheid days, coz all the politicians were economically powered and hence had an economic interest in making sure the roads (to and fro their farms), hospitals(for their workers) were in order. And now people wanna come with this corruption story. People need to open their eyes, and stop being pacified. Aluta continua

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  16. You're so Fucking Wrong says:

    This is your point of view- remember that some “blacks” have “hate” even worse than you, and some “whites” even worse than those “blacks.” All with good reason.

    Apartheid still exists only in the minds of people, once everyone born before 1994 dies- then will Apartheid be over- because it will be forgotten.

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  17. binaries endlessly entrenched says:

    While I want to puke all over my fellow white South Africans, and while I despise them for their sheer bigotry in failing to understand this stuff, there remains the problem of… what happens with white people who DO get it? Who CAN wrap their imaginations around how it is, and take it in? I think they are loathed even more than abject racists. They don’t fit the pattern, and so they are thrown out of the picture. Their desire to work together to build a non-racial nation is treated with scorn and derision, or simply tossed aside.

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  18. Just Saying says:

    @NOSFERATU Damn, them’s fighting words.

    “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” Voltaire

    But sheesh, that is bordering on hate speech. Bring it down a notch, before someone loses an eye!

    @Keitu Interesting to hear your point of view, and I can relate in a lot of ways, primarily in the way that I am human, and empathy is a pretty innate emotion to our race. But I’m also not the biggest fan of people who play the victim, which I get particularly from lines like ‘Seems like you won an unfair fight.’

    ‘History’ is synonymous with people winning and losing ‘unfair’ fights. Who decides who’s right or wrong? What’s fair and what’s not? If humanity were defined by being fair our human race would have died out a long time ago.

    Do you know that Africa was the only nation that didn’t invent the wheel? Just saying.

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  19. arnaud says:

    Didnt bother to read through this shit : who has got the biggest chip on his/her shoulder debate. Well , Africans seem to get the most mileage out of suffering by far.

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  20. i agree with arnaud says:

    Africans love to ride the BEE train. Statistics: SA is ranked 4th among the countries with the fastest-growing millionaire populations – and these are mostly your BEE candidates.

    Africans are not the only individuals being discriminated against. As a white girl I can’t even get into state. “you are over-qualified” is the reason they give me. WTF? when they complain everyday they are understaffed. they rather could just have told me “you are to white”

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  21. Rainbow Nation??? says:

    Lets look at history. I am using Wikipedia.com as a reference as it is the most accurate.

    Wikipedia: “Apartheid was a system of legal racial segregation enforced by the National Party government of South Africa between 1948 and 1994.”
    Me: 1948. That was 63 years ago. Many of the people who were around when it was implemented were at least over the age of 20 then, making them at least 83 now. If people wronged by apartheid need to blame somebody, find the people of this age group and go and shout at them and tell them they are wrong. Yes, apartheid carried on for 46 years after that. I am sure many people just followed like sheep, definitely not all of them. There are people in government who have ‘power’ now that we can’t control. It was the same back then. There were people back then who could not be controlled.
    My point: The implementors of f*cked up apartheid are stupid. It was a dumb move. No real benefit. Pity they didn’t realise that before it was too late.

    Wikipedia: “…in 1990 President Frederik Willem de Klerk began negotiations to end apartheid, culminating in multi-racial democratic elections in 1994, which were won by the African National Congress under Nelson Mandela.”
    Me: Well, look at that, FW De Klerk (an ugly old white guy) took over when PW Botha had a stroke, and what did he do? He initiated negotiations with the ANC and CODESA to end apartheid and start an undivided South Africa.
    My point: FW De Klerk had realised, after growing up in apartheid, that apartheid was, is and always will be useless and racist and demeaning. So he went ahead and joined forces with the segregated people and ended it. The fact remains, FW De Klerk chose to end it. I am more than half his age, but that would be the generation I would class myself as. A hater of apartheid.

    Yes, apartheid affected everyone, white, black, coloured and Indian. Yes, apartheid was started by white people. Yes, apartheid was ended by white people, black people, coloured people and Indian people. Yes, white people are still to blame for starting it.

    No, there is no problem between coloured people and black people. No, there is no problem between coloured people and Indian people. No, there is no problem between black people and Indian people. No there is no problem between coloured people and white people. No, there is no problem between Indian people and white people.

    Yes, there is a problem between black people and white people. That remains the fact.

    Perhaps a nationwide anonymous vote should be held for all white people. They should vote on whether they supported apartheid and thought it was a good idea. The result of this would surely shock South Africa and the world. There would most likely be less than 5% who would vote that they supported apartheid.

    I cannot seem to find any other way to find a solution to proving to black people that white people are committed to change. Indian people and coloured get along with black people and white people. Why can’t black people and white people get along? I feel the answer to that is that black people are holding a grudge (which is understandable) and white people are scared.

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  22. C. Moon says:

    Every despot needs a scapegoat, and every scapegoat can be (by some insane system of cherry-picked logic) ‘justifiably’ blamed for a situation. For a while now it’s been whitey’s (or, perhaps,the Western world’s, aptly represented by whitey). Hitler did it with the Jews (an easy target due to centuries of anti-Jew sentiment), Idi Amin the Indian populace, etc etc, now its whity’s turn.
    We can build laagers and hide behind them- as many have done in the gulag-like enclaves that have sprung up or bloody well join the party. Discussion, talking, having a couple of beers, tweeting,Facebooking, whatever – communication. That’s what diffuses the despot, who’s major piece if artillary is divide-and-conquer. As was said in the piece there, this is in fact a class-struggle, don’t let the despots manipulate the classes against eachother(again!).

    (Fellow) Whitey, it’s time to man-up, don’t fall into the trap of justification, (but I must stress here, hand-wringing liberal guilt is equally as stupid), we all have to move on from this point, Black,White and all shades and creed inbetween.

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  23. Anonymous says:

    The yoke was removed by a white man. It was not thrown off.

    There was no ‘revolution’. The leadership of this country was handed over.

    ‘Struggle heroes’ were pimping themselves to their oppressors in Europe and elsewhere, raising funds for the ANC by being the party trick in banquet halls.

    How much longer will we blame the past for our own inadequacies?

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  24. NOSFERATU says:

    everyone on this site is too overcome with emotion on why races need to get along as so forth. Call me stupid/racist/crazy but i seem to be the only one here who is proposing a solution (revolution) , however inadequate you may brand it. Any person in their right mind knows that the status quo is unsustainable,this facade that we live in, is on its last legs. Government plundering state resources while big business continues to get even bigger. The gulf between classes is astronomical, and true revolution (something we were deviated from in 94) has yet to be achieved. The money that should be used to educate the people who will eventually run the country, is being guzzled by the gov’t which is merely the face of an inherently corrupt machine , in any event its not in their interest to have the people educated so they can see through the b.s. The harsh truth is that most of us including me are too scared to try and start any such movement, but as with all revolutions, it is only impossible until it has been carried out. What we need is a complete social revolution. Not this so-called democratic revolution that the ANC feeds us, one morning the people are just gonna wake-up and decide to end it.

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  25. Lizzy says:

    @Rainbow Nation – no problem between indian people and black people? been to Durban at all? No problem between black people and coloured people? heard of Jimmy Manyi? sheesh.

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  26. kropotkin says:

    Vive la revolution! Once we see there is problem, we can fix it. Theres enough food for everyone, but some still go hungry. Pieces like this help focus everybodies thinking. What is life about? Why? What else coul it be?

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  27. Anonymous says:

    @ Nosferatu.

    Look around my friend, the revolution has already started. Its small but the sides are being choosen and its not a black white thing. Its a have, have not thing.

    I don’t have water on tap, I do not have reliable electricty , my kids don’t have a school, the joke of a road outside is a pothole. Ring a bell!

    Look around people are organising themselves, communities are getting together legally and illegally.

    Drop the hint too your friends you be surprised to see what they are doing.

    Don’t be scared, they are playing on and to your fears.

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  28. Blah says:

    The poverty and education debacle in this country are a disgrace… but after almost 20 years of majority rule, the anger of the poor uneducated youth should be aimed at the people who have done fuck all for them for the whole of that time.

    At what point do you stop blaming white people and apartheid?

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  29. bemused says:

    This article wouldn’t have been possible if Keitu had troubled herself to read through a history book.

    The entire history of mankind has been one of oppression, where the guy with the biggest stick/sword/gun bullied other groups with the stuff he wanted into subjugation and then helped himself to resources.

    Whites have been on the receiving end of this many times, the Roman suppression of the Celts, Catholic suppression of protestants, English of Irish, it goes on and on, and if you look into this you’ll find atrocities that totally eclipse anything from the Apartheid era – with no pretense at all of providing any sort of socio-economic assistance.

    Whites have also been slaves of Africans, just go back to the Moorish conquests of the Mediterranean. Africans have enslaved Africans, and in our more recent past, the Bantu tribes enthusiastically wiped out the San and Khoi where they could find them. Japanese wiped out Chinese, Mongols wiped out Eastern Europeans. On and on it goes.

    For some reason the Apartheid story of suffering has become privileged, and made the victims feel particularly victimised. Really it was just humanity doing what it does to humanity, by focusing on skin colour you’re just buying into the basic premise of Apartheid and all the endless and horrific race-based oppression that has come before it.

    If it had been white skinned people at an iron-age stage of development, and a black race with relatively advanced weaponry had chanced on them, you can be certain that the same thing would have happened. Look at how Shaka treated the other tribes once he’d developed a military edge over them.

    It’s sad that articles like this just perpetuate the guilt, the victimisation, the blame. In 20 years black people have kept voting the same crowd of corrupt, useless, crony loving plutocrats into power. Repeating the same action and expecting a different result is, as Einstein put it, the definition of insanity.

    Keitu – maybe its time to own up to the fact that the past can’t be undone, that the present offers greater opportunities than have ever existed in this country before, and that you’re the best person to solve your problems. Take some responsibility for your own life, make an effort, stop blaming. Do it as a scientific experiment and get back to us.

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  30. Thato says:

    Can’t believe I’m only reading this now…thank you Keitu, this is the second piece I’ve read by you and you are incredibly gifted.
    I liked most of it, opinions vary obviously. I’d be doing a huge injustice to myself by saying what I feel, I’m pretty sure one of the 127 comments has addressed them.

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  31. Anonymous says:

    Apartheid lasted 40 years. Anglo Zulu wars were kicked off just over a hundred years ago.
    Not sure where this 500 years of discrimination comes into it?

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  32. Bhubesi says:


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  33. Keitu Reid says:

    @Makhaya – I have no ambitions of being a philosopher. But a lot of the time I fantasise about a better South Africa. And though some comments sting I have to be glad that we are at least all talking about this.

    @All – Thank you for your comments and dialogue.
    Most of you are right in saying that enough is enough – Black people should take steps to ensure their own success. I hope you understand that this article presented one argument only and in future there will be opportunities to present other opinions.
    ‘Dear white people’ is an open letter aimed not so much at providing any sort of solution – but rather offer an understanding of why I as a young black woman, I still feel hurt and suffering over a struggle that I did not fully partake in.
    The letter comes from needing to try and make you understand why Malema is at his peak – he aims straight at the open wounds that are still festering amongst black youth. It doesn’t matter that his approach is at times inapt – the fact is he has no contender so any approach he takes will be accepted. Malema is appealing to the infestation of anger and hate that was hidden behind the plaster of ‘rainbow nation’ ….
    This piece came about when the other day I said jokingly to two of my girlfriends ‘I do not watch Top billing because it makes me hate white people.’
    My friend responded, ‘much truth is said in jest.’
    She was right. Do I hate white people? Yes I do. But let us also understand that hate comes from a place of fear and misunderstanding.
    I for one, misunderstand how the world has operated for so many centuries to Africa’s disadvantage – at continuous points of our global history our ancestors were being taken away from their land, culture, families and therefore emotional security – and instead thrown into complete disarray and disempowerment. I also misunderstand why we didn’t fight back. And for this reason I find myself hating the black man’s lack of desire to ‘fight’ back.
    Today, the laws of oppression have been taken away on paper but in our minds the memory is etched deep. I liken these feelings of insecurity and innate apprehension to that of a molested child – even though the perpetrator is dealt with accordingly – the psychological scars of that child will stick like a fly trapped in a spider web throughout most, if not all of their lives, and everything that they do will be laced with that memory that probes many a question – should I trust again? Am I beautiful? Am I worthy?
    Our parents were given freedom, but not the internal or external resources to deal with it. And these are the parents who raised us. It is a crap cycle.
    Hate…. it is a very emotional word for a people who are simply crying out for fairness, for their sense of self back, for a little bit of life’s pleasures, for pride and self belief . . . and I own up to the fact that it is not you white person who can give this back to us!

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  34. Anonymous says:

    It seems like the best entity to take the blame is the ANC.

    They have really done FUCKALL for anybody but themselves.

    They are all fatcats with big houses and cars while many different races suffer.

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  35. Anonymous says:

    ‘Do I hate white people? Yes I do. I am just trying to tell you all why and help you understand better’.

    Who the fuck is this uppity kid to have ‘fresh wounds’ that lead to hate for a race based on basic jealousy for a struggle you admit you didn’t take part in? Your biggest complaints is the idea of, over the fence, everyone is living a top billing lifestyle. Really. So it’s about money. Your wounds are shallow and detract from those who had actual suffering.

    Argh. It’s not justified.

    I respected your opinion more when you left it at the article. these additional comments are doing you no favours.

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  36. Compassionate says:

    When you don’t understand why something happened, stay strong. He has a plan for you.

    Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” – John 13:7

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  37. @Keitu says:

    You forget that half the houses shown on Top Billing are owned by foreign nationals and tourists.

    ie The people who are brought in to clean up the mess the govt has made and make a killing.

    And those who come to watch.

    Wake up.

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  38. "Nasty white racist" says:

    Keitu, I find it a tad ironic that you say you hate white people – in fluent, well-educated English – and via the computer and internet, both inventions of those hated white people.
    We may be hateful, but we’re damn useful, aren’t we?

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  39. @Keitu says:

    …and nevermind all the weddings on Top Billing.

    Mostly black couples – BEE beneficiaries flaunting their bling and bullshit right there for all to see.

    (they then become tabloid fodder a few weeks later as fraud and corruption charges and other startling revelations about their ‘business’ deals are made. Generally to the detriment of the masses who worship them).

    Explain that, please. Does that not cause any resentment?

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  40. bemused says:

    I think hate should more accurately read ‘envy’. And that’s the big elephant in the room that nobody wants to see. Ironically, all the perceived technological wealth of the white man, and its attendant luxuries, wouldn’t have been possible if Western Europe hadn’t been ruled with an iron fist for hundreds of years by Rome. They virtually enslaved Western Europe, but also brought aqueducts, medicine, philosophy, mathematics, and a thousand other innovations that ultimately helped Europe clamber into a relative state of advancement. What the Western Europeans inherited from their oppression eventually gave them the tools to oppress others. This wasn’t because they were white – it was because much of Western Europe Europe was easy for the Roman armies to traverse and plunder with its fertile valleys and navigable rivers. Literally an accident of history and geography.

    Thank the Freedom Charter for the fact that the previously oppressed now expect to be given a house, car, quality education, healthcare and a lot of other things pasella. Without that juvenile, piece of shit parcel of political propaganda we’d have a lot more people realising that using your own feet to stand up is better than waiting for eternity for somebody to give you a hand up.

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  41. Just Saying says:

    Some great points – @bemused, @anonymous, and all the @@Keitu’s.

    @Compassionate – Yay, let’s bring religion into a race debate. That’s always helped.

    And yeah, it is funny how these issues of ‘race’ are really all about materialism.

    Well, I guess you can blame the whiteys for bringing over their capitalist tendencies and introducing materialistic behaviour… but maybe when the colonisers came marching over the horizon shouting ‘Guess what, you’re poor!’ – that’s when you should have said ‘Fuck you, we’re quite happy with the way we live and we’ll fight to the death to keep it that way, you can keep your money and your technology, your flushing toilets and your books.’
    But that never really happened, now did it?

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  42. fluffy says:

    You can’t blame everything on colonialism and apartheid, I mean, India and South America were colonised, and they’re more advanced than SA in many respects.

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  43. Brian Green says:

    That’s why I use Black Like Me products exclusively.

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  44. fatti says:

    @”Nasty white racist” i find it ironic that you conveniently ignore the part where Keitu says she also hates Black people for their lack of desire to fight back. But I can see how that can be useful for your own personal agenda in criticising his/her opinion..
    @Rainbow Nation??? your vote idea would be good, except how then did the nats stay in power? rigged votes? Or, perhaps people didn’t know their agenda? or they misunderstood the apartheid policy? Because it was whites that kept them in power…
    @Anonymous says:July 1, 2011 at 1:44 pm : your comment shows what a lot of black people are faced with from white attitudes such as yours. You assume because she wasn’t a part of the struggle, she could not have been affected by it. So her watching her parents live with emotional scars wouldn’t affect her? (So why do people (yes whites included) the world over, always, always, always say that children who grow up in abusive homes, be it emotional, physical sexual etc., are bound to be ‘broken’ themselves, even if they weren’t the recipitients of said abuse? for instance boys who grow up to hate their fathers, because they watched them abuse their mothers? or they end up repeating it?) When is it, that we can apply this “White knowledge” to the human condition and when can’t we? is it just a matter of when man starts to understand the psyche of the human mind, this only applies to whites? or does it just affect blacks less, therefore it doesn’t bear mentioning or consideration in their psychological makeup? Of course she’s not on about money, the fact that you took that from her post, shows the REAL issue – how you selectively see/hear what you want to. Conveniently ignore the fear, misunderstandings she mentions. No, all you took from ALL of that, was top billing.Nice.
    @Blah says:July 1, 2011 at 11:30 am : as much as my knee-jerk reaction would be 2 disagree, I find myself agreeing with you. The ANC has effed it royally. Especially when one imagines the conditions our parents went to school in, and still managed to make such a success of themselves. (im not talking a sucess based on material wealth, im talking about a success of enabling their children in a way that their parents weren’t allowed to do for them.) I always ask, if the anc says apartheid affected our schooling so badly due to whatever (bantu education etc.), then how did our parents who not only recieved this substandard education, manage to better it, and still enable their children to receive better education? Yup, the anc i mostly hold responsible for the level of education our youth receive today, with all the resources available to them to have increased it, as opposed to lowering it.

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  45. Alex Nodopaka says:

    I hope it was only that my post was removed… so here I post it again. It was posted June 30, 2011.

    Dear Black People,

    Spectacularly truthful & frank article! It reminds me of the evolution of the white people you speak about. Let’s look at their history & all their internal & external revolutions & wars. Hungers, droughts, plagues, serfdom of all white people to their own kings, princes, dictators until a very recent past.

    And mind you that during all that time they did not have black people over them but that at that time they had to fend for themselves & their freedoms. Just look at the Soviet people serfdom until literally a few decades ago but then why not look at their plight today June 30, 2011!

    It seems we could blame God for having created a cannibalistic world that for it to survive we must eat each other. I used to be a amorphous bacteria & look into what I grew up… lol

    Alex Nodopaka

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  46. Alex Nodopaka says:

    I hope it was only accidentally that my post was removed… so here I post it again. It was posted June 30, 2011.

    Dear Black People,

    Spectacularly truthful & frank article! It reminds me of the evolution of the white people you speak about. Let’s look at their history & all their internal & external revolutions & wars. Hungers, droughts, plagues, serfdom of all white people to their own kings, princes, dictators until a very recent past.

    And mind you that during all that time they did not have black people over them but that at that time they had to fend for themselves & their freedoms. Just look at the Soviet people serfdom until literally a few decades ago but then why not look at their plight today June 30, 2011!

    It seems we could blame God for having created a cannibalistic world that for it to survive we must eat each other. I used to be a amorphous bacteria & look into what I grew up… lol

    Alex Nodopaka

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  47. Matthew simpson says:

    @keitu. I find your liberal use of the personal pronoun ‘we’ absurd. I doubt that many of the poor of south Africa with whom you so glibly ally yourself would see you as one of them. South africa has become like the final scene of Animal Farm with the poor watching bemusedly and powerlessly on as their liberators make champagne toasts with the very people that oppressed them. As it always was in south Africa, the real battlefield is the fight for social justice in the face of exploitation from a self absorbed and self centred rich elite who could care less about those who struggle to survive. And the rich are White. And the rich are black. Malema’s isn’t a ‘recognition of’ it’s a ‘manipulation of’ and therein lie the rub.

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  48. Matthew simpson says:

    Sorry – lies the rub. Goddamnit! edit man!

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  49. Alex Nodopaka says:

    I think Keitu Reid earned kudos for writing this article. It’s up to its readers to interpret it in any perspective. Everything is water under the bridge & without forgetting if not forgiving this commentary section is like a washing machine, we all come cleaner out of it though some finer souls get caught & torn in the spinning blades.

    One must look forward. There’s no way back in any shape or form. New heavens must be created. Retribution in any form has all backfired Look at the American Indians… now they rake in all the money with their casinos… lol We finally have not only an unexpected but a brilliant individual for President of the USA. It’s like a breath of fresh air throughout that segment of the local population but world wise also. I lived on many sides of the world & have been called a dirty commie, a snail & not only learned to live with it but turn it around now & say to the fossilized white potato eaters to go back where they came from the way they told me when I first arrived in the USA.

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  50. Anonymous says:

    Ag Shame,ag shame arme goed,hoe word ons Witmense deur jul vermoor” en JUL km weg met dit?n3 wat skrik wakker.asseblief. Net Die HERE kan die land red.

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  51. OMW !!!! says:

    This is a very interresting blog to read ! Its sad to see so many people still angry after all these years of ” democracy ” ??? I would also like to ad that I am white and its not my fault ! I did’nt ask anybody to be born white , did I ? The same goes for everyone in sa . Whatever your skin may be , what’s the matter with everybody still groveling in the past ???? It’s all about choice ! You can either choose to be someone who moans and groans about everything or you can get off your ass and do something about it . That’s it . The easiest thing in the world to do is to always blame someone or something else . LIVE YOUR LIFE !

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  52. lizkzn says:

    @Keitu – thank you for opening this conversation. Sore as it is. It needs to be had.
    I’m sorry for all the pain and the anger and the false binaries.
    @Alex Nodopaka – a visionary. The 21st C is a very different place to the 20thC and you see it.
    I’d just like to offer a question: When will each of us know when to say, “I have enough materiallly”?
    I ask myself the question daily – would I have the moral integrity of a Saleem Badat to say – “No I don’t need all that salary – put it into student scholarships.” “No I don’t need to fly Business Class, I am fine with Economy”?

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  53. Dennis says:

    Couldnt even be bothered to check who wrote this. Complete garbage. Think I, a 28 year old Afrikaans white male living in South Africa, feels proud of MY history? Where I come from?

    What a load of feely foofy ‘feel sorry for us’ kak!

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  54. arnaud says:

    Bring out that skin darkening cream, I need it now !

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  55. Makhaya says:

    Sorry, Keitu, the analysis in your response remains unsatisfactory, as does your grammar. Anyone can use linguistic devices like metaphor and simile coupled with emotional appeals to find favour in an audience.

    I am alarmed by the fact that you openly concede that you harbour feelings of hate toward a group that happens to look a particular way. Furthermore, admitting that that hate comes from a place of “misunderstanding” and “fear”, and in the same post not attempting to rise above those deficiencies, counts heavily against you. Aspire to reasonableness, please.

    The sooner you begin to characterise the divisions you create in people around you in terms of their quality and moral worth instead of the way they look, the sooner your thinking and writing will improve.

    Until then, you’ve damaged your intellectual reputation in this piece and lost at least one reader, and potentially all the people I choose to discuss it with.

    More importantly, you’ve arguably contributed to deeper divisions in our society. “Getting people to speak about it” via the conduits of division you couch your arguments in is not necessarily a good thing.

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  56. randomjoe says:

    Dear Black People,

    Most of us don’t own a Top Billing dream house. Most of us will never see the Eiffel Tower or the Great Wall of China. We’re relieved that we’re not amongst the millions of African children who can’t even spell the name of their own country, but the lives of the people whose faces you see on magazine covers are as distant from ours as those stars you’d like to see up close. The only thing most of us have in common with those people is the colour of our skin.

    We worry that a minority amongst you will accumulate the majority of our country’s wealth and that the rest of you, left out in the cold, will blame us. The sins of our past will make the accusation plausible. It will be all to easy to dismiss our proclamations of innocence as racist lies. It will be all to easy to dismiss the dissenting black voices as the cries of broken people
    serving their white masters.

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  57. Kitty says:

    I am a white South African female and I am sick of this theory that all whites come from money and are born with silver spoons in their mouths.
    My father came from nothing! His parents struggled to put food on the table. My father worked to pay for his education and practically slaved away, all because he wanted his kids to live comfortably. He worked, hard, to where he is today.
    Neither I nor my parents were involved with nor supported apartheid, so why should I bear the brunt of it today because the people affected need revenge?! One of my cousins is the late Arthur Goldreich. If you don’t know who he is.. You need to catch a wake up and do some research! We are not the enemy.
    Apartheid is absolutely a part of your history. And so is the holocaust, for me. Although I don’t have thoughts of inflicting violence on every German person I see.
    I really pray that we can all forgive – not forget – and join hands and move forward, with the peace, love and values instilled by Madiba.

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  58. randomjoe says:


    In what way are you ‘bearing the brunt of it’? When I look around, I don’t really see any white people bearing the brunt of black people’s need for revenge. I see black people still bearing the brunt of the legacy of Apartheid. I’m not surprised that many of them are still angry and resentful. And I’m not surprised that it’s hard for them to forgive.

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  59. alet says:

    hi there I am white I do not blame black people for hate that they have for us white oukes
    I blame apartheid for ” everything ” I came from a “sap” family
    Remember the “Nat” “Sap”(jou pa hulle is tog sappe”) time.

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  60. Henk says:


    LOL dude the funny thing, your argument revolves around swearing to emphasize your message so clearly the education or better live standard that you gained from black empowerment has not paid off, or you would have been able to make an argument with a proper vocabulary. So you are and the bottom of the chain with the white people that you hate so dearly while the truly corrupt is living in the high life on your expense.

    I don’t deem what the white people did as right, I have no respect for them for how they treated another human being, but you taking revenge in the same manner makes you so much worse than the person you hate, because in essence apartheid is turned to face the other side at the moment, it is just justified by clinging on to the past.

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  61. Anonymous says:

    the ‘Donga’ rules, and I like this word because it is given to a wall between two places that is not made ‘constructively’ but is the consequences of erosion and destruction, dividing people who should share repsonsibility for each other, as we belong to one larger political unit, the nation south africa, or the city of Cape Town etc. If one is a South African, then one should wish for the prosperity of all South Africans, and be concerned and feel affected by the obvious social injustice all around us. someone said that they ‘used to feel bad two years ago’ etc. etc. My dear, I can only say to you, I am 52 years old and I have felt bad for at least 30 of those years, its not something you can ‘get over’ like a phase of development, we will continue to feel like we don’t belong in our skins until there is justice. but it is good that you longer feel guilty. guilt never helped anyone, least of all the one you feel guilty for or about . ACTION is a much better reaction. the socio economic chasm in this country, the donga between the not doing OK and the doing OK’s is breaking this country, every day in a society like this means that we cannot be what we should be, either because we are to under resourced to live out our lives to the max and reach our full potential, or if we are doing OK then because we live in a nation that cannot reach its maximum potential…it affects everyone, you cannot escape from the consequences of economic oppression, you cannot just turn you back and walk away, it will come back to bite you…and the effects will echo down the generations like a curse …please lets do something now, lets listen to each other, let’s care about each other and lets think think think together, because solving this problem isn’t just a thing of blaming this or that party, and basta, to find a viable solution there are going to have to be A LOT of brilliant and creative strategies, AND LOTS AND LOTS OF ENGAGEMENT AND WORK DONE. Our cities look like many other cities in Africa.. a thing they have done in Nigeria which I think we should emulate is national service that is spent not on armies but in welfare work, building schools, clinics, roads, teaching and doing caritative labour etc. Aside from the socio economic bedevilment of this country to root out racism we need far more reporting mechanisms than are presently available. if anyone on this site would like to start a blog for reporting racism, the kind of everyday racism that has such a severe psychological impact, but for which you maybe do not have the time to turn into a court case, it should be made public, and I think the web is a good place. I want to start a blog for reporting ‘retail racism’ to start with. anyone who is badly treated in a shop, mall, restaurant or so on. a blog like this would put pressure on business to change. businesses care about their reputations and possible boycotting by the public etc. if there is anyone there who can help me create the right kind of blog please write to me Caroline at physalis5000@yahoo.de. i am not good with computers.

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  62. caroline says:

    I want to create a blog, and work with anyone who likes this idea, or even give the idea away because I have lots of other projects, for reporting ‘retail racism’ ie any bad treatment experienced in shops, malls, airports, restaurants, any place with a corporate image that would be dented by exposure of racist behaviour, as this will pressurize businesses to change, and educate their staff to change and if the whole commmercial world was cleansed of racism it would go a long way towards making everyone’s lives better. a blog type of reporting forum does not involve making a court case that is time and money consuming, which is why I think so many cases of racism end up not getting reported. I am looking for people with the skills to set up a blog with various security applications and I need some people good at law, to set up the basic legitimacy of this blog so I won’t be sued, or an organization, like a newspaper that would be prepared to host the blog, because of the newsworthiness of some of the reports.

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  63. Jay says:

    @ Makhaya. You are a product of the very system that Keitu is writing about, a system so powerful that even after ’94 it still serves its masters. It has enslaved most people and the so called academics and I doubt you are because you couldn’t even understand the article, hence your criticism. You need to ask for a refund from your “unlocal” University, they damaged your brains. This is an article, not an academic publications, it does not require a PHD and validated data to write, and I doubt you can get a PHD with your poor “thinking” skills. Think of the most popular poets, can you even think of a name? Now, what qualifications do they have? You don’t need a qualification to be a poet, neither do you to write this article.

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  64. […] black people get over apartheid? No. Should black people keep telling white people that they sometimes hate us? No. Can we all agree on what should and should not be done as we try and weave our way through an […]

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  65. Malek says:

    I’m 12 and what is this?

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  66. A stranger in your land says:

    I came to South Africa when I was 13, my father got work here so we came here.

    Before that, I had lived in Italy, the USA and Israel (I am Italian).

    My experience in Israel was something to remember as the only christian kid in my block I used to get beat on a lot by the other Israeli kids and they would often rip the cross off my chain and spit on it.
    I really didn’t know what the F@&$ was up, but in retrospect, I guess that all that propaganda about WW2 had infected the kids and they now foster a deep rooted hatred for Germans and Italians thinking of them as Nazis, not realizing that those days and those people are long gone and that their anger is giving birth to a new vicious circle. I would like to nuke Israel because I was so mistreated there for something I had absolutely nothing to do with.

    Coming to South Africa has presented the same sort of dilemma. As a kid, I didn’t care much for politics, I didn’t even know that they existed!

    But in 1994 when the whole country was going through a major change, I was enlightened to the reality I was living in.

    South Africa is a very interesting country because it has so many different cultures with so many different languages, and yet, none of them actually allow themselves to be themselves.

    Living in a united country is beautiful, but people have to understand that we are different and we ought to push for visible differences instead of merging into one sad ‘united country’ because someone with access to mass media tells you its the way to go.

    Europe is beautiful because it has so many countries who came from the same egg but grew up differently. And after their differences almost caused them to wipe themselves out through 2 world wars, they got their act together and created the EU. Needless to say both wars were mostly based on economics and having a solid economy that works for all countries eradicated the problem. But they have not merged, they are still separate countries with very very different cultures.

    South Africa has 11 official languages. That to me translates into 11 smaller autonomous countries under one economic roof.

    Reason I am saying this is because I have long sensed that the social gap among south africans is there because South Africa is comprised of 11 countries who have all lost their identity and are now stuck in a middle ground of everything and nothing.

    I being a white individual, am very different from the local Afrikaners, my Italian cultural background is so different that I feel out of place when I hang out with too many Afrikaners.

    I feel more at home with English speaking South Africans, but even there there are differences.

    Then we have black people. Their culture is so far removed from mine that I fail miserably to connect and so I don’t even try and people call me racist, and then I begin to think that maybe I am a racist. But then I go to college and at the end of my studies I find myself working on projects with black people (Francis and Peter are my favourite), and I am fully involved and enjoying my time with them, so then I think that maybe I am not racist.

    So, its a bit confusing, but one day I realised that Francis and Peter were worldly people, like myself. I often have to be ‘less’ Italian so as to not be misunderstood by people with no idea of my culture and I found that Francis and Peter were being less of their home culture and more of a worldly cultured people. This is where we found each other… somewhere in the middle.

    The race argument is useless, because its not what is really at play here.

    A black man will tell a black bum to get a job, just like a white man will tell a white bum to get a job.

    I’ve told many people to get a job/life, and they were black, white, coloured and yellow.

    Does it make me a racist, maybe it does, maybe I’m also antisemitic because I want to blow up Israel, but my 3 best friends are Jewish (been mates since Std.7).

    But this is about South Africa and our cultural differences. Maybe giving each recongnised tribe in South Africa its land of origin back would be a good idea, and allowing them to re-vitalise their culture’s traditions and be proud of it. So 1 day we can go to KZN and have a truly Zulu experience. Just like Swaziland has the Swazi experience.

    Let each Culture govern themselves and the pride of the blood flowing through their veins might be the drive that will give everyone a place to live in peace and prosper and have something to pass down to the children.

    Putting us all in the same basket is not good because we all want to be what we were born.

    I will always want to be Italian and I expect all other cultures to want to be what they are and be proud of it. The world around us is merely a reflection of the world inside us.

    South African black people don’t want white people in their face, cool, killing is only gonna make things worse in the short and long run, so maybe voluntary segregation is the answer.

    Because let’s not kid ourselves, this country is already under voluntary segregation, its just to publicly broadcasted and governmentally recognised.

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  67. Idiot says:

    Why does Pick and Pay/Checkers/Spar and all retail still use plastic bags?

    They are polluting our seas/rivers.

    And why are people still allowed to print fliers when they are useless as a marketing tool.

    Yesterday I had two months of mail in my mailbox and it was just fliers!

    After throwing it all away in the trash I said a little prayer for the tree that died for nothing.

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  68. Ms Drizz says:

    Like really now!Im a black young woman and i will not minimise the impact the apartheid has had in the development of a black person,and i make refence in all respects.But it has been 16 years now and true that will not make up for the years of sufferd oppression but we can certaily work on it.Blacks need to stop feeling this sense of thinking they entltled to every thing(Land grab,Nationalisation of mines etc).Quit freaking complaing and utilised the resources that are at your disposal.At the end of the day it all boils down to the indivisual,if they choose to curl up and shift blame on the apartheid system or our ever son failing government or create a better future for themselves.Essentially we need to assume some responsibility for our lives.As for our political elite all the party movements are dead. It is no longer about gorvening or serving the people but utter self enrichment at the expence of the masses.Corruption is no were near rife but it has become embedded in our constitution.

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  69. Tourist in my country says:

    Love this post.

    Keitu thanks for trying to explain to whieties how you (and many blackies) are feeling. The class isolation makes us impervious the trauma of injustice. Whieties need to understand this anger, and I guess most wont ever understand it, until they experience the same kind of trauma.

    First point is trauma and anger and resultant hatred. It is not a force of the rational mind, there is not a rational explanation for it. It is an emotional force that cannot be suppressed, be it on an individual, community or national level. I understand why blackies are mad at whieties, just as I understand why rape victims are mad at their rapists, and potentially men in general.

    So this anger is the first step to healing the rape victim, once they overcome the fear of their attacker. It is the first step in empowering yourself and moving out of victimhood. It is also happening on a national level. It will take a few generations to complete, especially as the Malemas and cromies are going to milk it to the max for their personal gain.

    The sins of the fathers are passed onto the children. Victims become perpetrators. Afrikaaners were traumatised by the British during anglo boer wars – they created apartheid. Germans were humiliated and abused after WW1 – they created nazism. Mazism traumatised jews -they practice genocide against palestinians. Africans were traumatised by colonisation – they create genocidal banana dictatorships, etc. etc.

    Although Tutu and Mandela were trying to deal with the issue at a much deeper level, with a much wiser insight into the heart of the problem, perhaps they were reaching for impossible dream. None the less, God bless them for trying. Lead by example…something I can believe in.

    In the mean time our country will become another banana republic and its leadership will further prostitute itself to global and local capitalist exploitation, which thrives in a climate of division and ignorance (the greatest hangover from apartheid). Only when the prostitue has been raped to whithin an inch of her life will she say enough is enough.

    All South Africans have a hard time looking at our shadow on both a personal and national level because it is kak and very painful. The understandable result is that we blame everone else for it in a personal and national act of denial. The bottom line is that until ordinary people stand up for themselves, the rich will continue to screw the poor. The new black economic elite are not immune to this age old human dynamic, and in classic tradition the nouveau riche are applying themselves vigorously to this end.

    Personally, I dream of a second revolution and liberation. One where we completely remove the illusion from our eyes. Where we realise no one is going to liberate us but ourselves. No government can be trusted, modern domocracy has become one with the worst form exploitation where those with economic power buy the governments of the world and fuck the people and the earth. The pc term for this is globalisation and economic development.

    The developement challenges of SA are not unique, but are global, of course they are expressed via the unique cultural, historicall patterns of each nation. In SA this is along historical race class lines.

    Despite our trauma and the resultant hatred there is in fact much that we have in common as South Africans (and indeed across the world). We want freedom and justice. We want an accountable, responsive goverment that actually manages the country well to the benefit of all its citizens. We have a basic right to a decent place to live, clean drinking water, healthy food to eat and clean air to breath, at price that we can all afford. We want access to good education and health services (preferably for free). Opportunities for personal economic developement, leaving a better legacy for our children.

    It is time for SA to learn that no government is going to deliver this for us. Somehow we have to achieve it ourselves. Stop voting for the assholes who screw us, and they ALL screw us. Do you or anybody else in these discussions really believe the electioneering lies vomitted over us by any political party in SA?

    I would rather fix my own roads, pay for my own clinic, pay my own teacher, volunteer my own time and expertise to help those less fortunate. I am even prepared to do this at considerable expense to my rather modest income, as long as i feel it will lead to a better life for me and my people. I will gladly do this if it means we can collectively tell these vermin parasites called politicians to go back to hell.

    All South Africans are potentially majestic beautiful people. We are capable of freeing ourselves and overcoming our self imposed victimhood. It will not be easy. It will severly disturb your comfort zone. It will unfortunately take a long time.

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  70. Makhaya says:


    Bullshit, dude, the principles of rationality and clear thinking are universal. You misunderstand my point entirely.

    If I’m charitable to your point (which I will be for the sake of argument), you seem to suggest that internet articles are subject to a lower bar of scrutiny than academic publications. I don’t think this is controversial. But the principles that underlie the analysis of any type of thinking are the same: cogent reasoning that moves from acceptable premises to logical conclusions. For (some) of the reasons I explained, this article fails on a principled analysis of reasoned writing.

    Don’t be fooled into thinking there are ‘different’ standards of analysis that can apply for ‘different’ people. And don’t make unjustified accusations that are untestable. You, too, might benefit from the education you are so quick to lampoon.

    P.S. Shelley, a somewhat famous poet, is an oxford alumnus.

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  71. Sizwe says:

    This is so crazy! ‘White’ vs ‘black’? Has no one heard of the problems of generalisation? So many ‘white’ people (including myself, my family across three generations) are fighting, working for equality and a better SA. Your auntie had to stand in the train? My ‘white’ grandfather was detained, tortured by the Apartheid government. Articles throwing blame around like this just allow for scapegoating, so you don’t actually have to do anything about it. So you can carry on enjoying your ‘sunny brunches at 44 Stanley’. As you you prove with your own life, it’s no longer about race in SA, it’s about class, wealth. Stop promoting further racism, stop hating and get out there, see what a select few from ALL races are doing for the betterment of our country. Join us.

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  72. Ivan: so what to do now ??? says:

    It is brilliant that we as a nation is having discussions since this is one of the processes a young nation such as south africa needs to go through. It does not matter now on what colour we are; we basically need to look at what we can do help our fellow south africans to reach equality. There is lots of work to be done and if everyone just tries something to help such as for example to teach someone to read, help to build a house for someone in a poor neighbourhood, making a community garden etc. Anything will be helpfull we need to work together and stop feeling bad about poverty, go and do something about it!!!

    If everyone just start to help the process will go quicker, so come on guys !!!

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  73. Anonymous says:

    @ Keitu

    Your article doesn’t actually make any sense. For someone who writes for a living your point doesn’t come across to well. Who are you blaming – white people or our government? To generalise all white people in such a manner is quite closed minded and pathetic. Who is adpoting abandoned black children? Not black people. Who put me a black women through school? Not a black person. So while you enjoy your sunny brunches at 44 Stanley ask yourself if you have a right to an opinion on something you actually know nothing about. While you have a husband that pays your bills ask yourself if you know what the poor black mans struggle is like.

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  74. Anonymous says:


    I was reading your blog and you admit to not knowing much about African traditions. To write such an article you really are a HUGE hypocite.

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  75. jka says:

    i am white and I don’t have any sense of entitlement – I give, give, give to the point of near poverty and even if I didn’t give, give, give I’d still not afford this top-billing lifestyle you have ascribed to “white people”.

    As far as I can tell, it is you – the sushi-eating, mall-going you, who is entitled and priveledged and benefiting from a capitalist system – its much easier, and so convenient, to create a divide between white and black, blame all whites, imagine that all whites have what all blacks [should] aspire to etc instead of realising that capitalism, greed and materialistic aspirations are the true evil.

    I don’t deny that these systems have been dominated by white power, but this notion that all whites are evil, wealthy and in possession of what all blacks lack and want is so false.

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  76. Taj Tsonga says:


    I enjoyed reading your post. I am really disappointed in some of the comments. This is an opinion piece and you have the right to voice your opinion. I don’t agree with everything you wrote but I am not going to attack you for articulating it as you see it. I

    Keep it up.

    Taj Tsonga
    New York City

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  77. sun mi kim says:

    I am from Korea, but I grew up in South Africa for a bit. I understand that the race issues are very sensitive and complex in your country. It seems from what I have read that both the black and white readers are (mostly) unwilling to compromise on their positions. What exactly are you defending?

    1) many white people oppressed black people, directly or indirectly through claiming ignorance – this is a fact.
    2) many white people were involved in the liberation struggle – this is a fact.
    3) many black people helped the apartheid regime, too – this is a fact.
    4) the number of poor black people is still disproportionate to the number of poor whte people – this is a fact.

    One can’t hold any living person responsible for these issues as they no longer pertain directly to the present anymore, or they are too convoluted and complex to blame on any one thing.

    IIn Korea we have similar race issues with North Koreans. South Koreans don’t want to accept North Koreans, even though they are being slaughtered by the thousands, and even though they are also ‘Korean’. These race issues stem – in part – from poor education, historical predjudice, media propaganda and – most importantly – poor government policy. I say most importantly because the government (through its actions and inactions) perpetuates these race issues.

    What are white people defending? It seems that white people have inhereted a guilt about apartheid. I wonder, is this a sense of shame for the actions of your ancestors, or is this a guilt that any normal person would feel when confronted by someone who is impoverished?

    What are black people blaming white people for? Is it for the violence against their people? Most of the opressors are either ancient or dead. Do you blame their children or resent them for what they have?

    The point is that wealth will never be evenly distributed. Attempts at doing so have failed miserably throughout history, so why should South Africa be any different. There are more black people than any other race in SOuth Africa, so it’s only natural to assume that there will be more poor black people than white ones. It seems like there are white beggars on your streets too.

    The whites introduced capitalism to Africa. Wealth was measured in different terms before that. Not everyone was wealthy by those standards back then either. White people arrived and did what they were doing in their own countries. Through apartheid, black people were prevented from cultivating wealth in the same terms (temporarily), and yes this meant that black people weren’t able to amount the same levels of wealth as a result, but now they do have the opportunity to do so.

    I think it is rather hypocritical for anyone to point a finger or defend a piont when so few wealthy people in SOuth Africa (and any country) (regardless of race) find it so difficult to share their own wealth or use their time and resources to make positive changes to your own community.

    I get upset when I read commments about balck people hating white people because they ‘sodomised their country’, or when white people accuse black people of having racial agendas. It’s so pointless. Everybody is partially responsible for your country’s current circumstances and at the same time not.

    Government is the real problem. South Africa spent so much oney on the 2010 world cup… That money could have gone towards education, anti-retrovirals, crime prevention, etc. Your country is predominantly black, but your education system uses English as a first language. Most white people can’t speak an african language, and most blacks aren’t afforded an education because they have to struggle to learn English first. It’s a fucking mess, nd i don’t know how anyone plans to fix that, but it doesn’t seem like the South African government is trying very hard… Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the South African government comosed mostly of black people now? What are black people doing to help their own people?

    This is what I’m saying: apathy and complacency breed destruction. It’s far easier to blame a black or a white person than to actually do something about it.

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  78. lizkzn says:

    @ realist.. and this guy is right because? He has a PhD? He’s a pastor? He’s on You Tube?

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  79. Simon says:

    It’s such nonsense anyway – even just the basic facts e.g.on ‘black people have never built anything’ – just google ‘zimbabwe great ruins’.. must say i never heard a black person speaking like that before but i’m not really sure what his aim is..

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  80. Danhofmeyr says:

    Thank you so much for this piece!

    I think the problem with both black and white people in South Africa is that they immediately defend themselves without taking a second in an attempt to try and understand where the other person is coming from.

    White people do not realize and appreciate the reality of South Africa’s poor black population, and because they did not personally contribute to these problems they feel like they have no responsibility. They also do not consider how the average black person looks at them and why, which this piece has so perfectly illustrated without being confrontational or offending.

    I also feel that non-whites do not appreciate white people’s position. They feel that they did not personally contribute to Apartheid, and even if they have indirectly they don’t realise the impact that they have had. Generally growing up in a middle class home gives you a very limited view of the world and you dont appreciate or realize what it is like growing up in challenging circumstances. This is why a lot of the youth get so upset by policies that in their eyes ‘is taking money or job opportunities away from them and giving it to people that are not willing to work hard and get a job’. They are now only seeing things being taken away from them – they do not realize the big picture of this creating more equality.

    Its a challenging and difficult situation, but I believe that if every person in their own personal capacity tries to understand the other’s point of view… and maybe have these discussions at a braai instead of complaining and othering the other races, that would already contribute to a more peaceful society and eventually transcend into a more equitable society.

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  81. Willow says:

    I was born into a world not of my making. The more I understood of it, the more I found it distasteful. In my mid-to-late teens I sacrificed privilege for protest. Toward the end of my teens it was my life I expected to sacrifice. After successfully upsetting the apple-cart (admittedly not single-handedly), I now find myself under it. I’m feeling a bit of a ‘nana down here, under the cart, with the munching of apples all round, but not a soul to lend a hand. I don’t think I could have lived with myself otherwise, but I do find myself wondering what exactly it was that had me climb off that cart to assist those who would take such pleasure from applying to me what I tried to rescue them of.

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  82. […] my ‘Dear White People’ article, my usually restrained brother – emailed and called rather distressed. He felt I […]

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  83. A white Guy - unfortunately says:

    I look at the past and there is nothing i can say or do about it. If I were a black person with the history we have gotten numb by, I would want to rid of all whites. Whites have shown themselves as heartless selfish race lead by greed, theres evidence everywhere. The white people didn’t stop because they changed their minds, they stopped because they were forced by numbers. This makes me sick. Does that mean I would’ve been just as bad if I were exposed to the culture of the white people in this country? I believe so. We learn from our fathers. But surely that suggests that its not race or colour, rather culture, culture which you are born into rather than born with.

    When the black people got their “freedom” they did not see the infectious nature of the white culture. Now the newer generation black people have not just taken what is owed to themselves and their ancestors, but they now have the symptoms of the white disease. The older generations have been forgotten yet they were the ones who fought for the “freedom”.

    It appears to be the nature of the conscious mind rather than races, classes or anything else. Conscious, not wise. We want power. When you have power you dont care for anyone, when you dont have power then we preach against it.

    I feel its in us. The problem, the evil, the poison is in us all… it comes out to play when the weathers good.

    Whites had just be first to be abducted by this evil. Now the white man all of a sudden cares… is that because we don’t have the power anymore? Now that we not the top dogs now we start declaring corruption quicker than the black man can remind us of the past. Its a human thing… remove the dirty white people, it will feel good for a while, but the problem does not go away… its constant. I don’t hate any individual, I hate humanity. And this is only the case because I do not have the power, I do not have the freedom, the money, the lifestyle…. and thats the sad part, I would be an evil man if I were brought up correctly.

    I am just a fool, just like the rest.

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  84. Topdeck says:

    I’m a white mother with black children. My children are my children and I’m their mommy. In our home there’s no discrimination. Leave our sanctuary and we all bear the brunt of discrimination. Black people hate me for ‘stealing’ their children – ‘where did you get them from? Did you buy them? Is your husband black? Where are their mothers?’ etc etc. My children are given a hard time at the black schools they attend by the pupils and teachers. I drop the children off a block away from their schools so their friends don’t see them getting out of the ‘white madam’s’ car. I worry about sending them on a taxi or bus as the area is not safe and the amount of taxi accidents a real concern. The local white schools turned them down. The Indian schools turned them down and told me that it’s time the white schools stopped passing all the children on to them. Social Development have been trying to take the children away and put them with black people even though most of the children have been with me since they were tiny babies and only know me as their mother.

    I receive no grants and have given up trying to access funding. I’m a qualified professional but have given my life to taking care of orphaned, abandoned and abused children regardless of colour. I can’t afford electricity, (have donated solar panels) rely on waste food from supermarkets to feed my children, and donated second hand clothes to clothe them.

    Perhaps the ‘Rainbow Nation’ period was simply a thin veil. Perhaps Zuma and Malema have ripped it off to expose what’s really there – or maybe they’ve undone the good work that Mandela did and are now fuelling racial tensions again. Whatever the reason there’s no doubt that hatred towards white people has escalated to alarming levels in the last year. I’ve lived amongst black people in rural areas around South Africa for many years and have never experienced any hatred towards me as a white person until this last year.

    I was never a part of the Apartheid Regime. My parents brought me up to know how wrong it was and I fought for our freedom. This is not what I fought for and it’s not what I want my children to be raised in.

    Where do we go? We are responsible for the next generation. There is no option but to stay and fight for a truly nondiscriminatory society. Can we not all focus and put our energies and emotions into creating a wonderful country and future for all our children? Lets stand together and work at doing something about the desperate need for: good schools, a Department of Social Development that actually cares about our children, Government Officials that put their people’s needs above their own, a Police Service that upholds and enforces the law and a society that prides itself on having risen above the horror of the past so that the future doesn’t become a worse horror.

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  85. Simon Wilby smartmouth says:

    Smart mouth mobile has yet to let me down. I have not experienced any dropped calls. Thank goodness for the unlimited texting feature, between me and my kids my texting is endless. The apps are simple and easy to download. I am satisfied with my service, there were no hidden fees or surprises when I got bill. You get exactly what you pay for good service!!!

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  86. indlebe ikhanya ilanga says:

    So many blinding ironies that are like oxymorons trying to spear-head shower-hour on the JZ big brother spin-off called “Dating in the Dark” feauturing wives, girlfriends and skelms.. proudly sponsored by Eskom…
    1/. Juju represents the poor but lives the life of a king.
    2/. They see this but still support him.
    3/. The people are hungry so they kill farmers.
    4/. Black people openly admit hating us because we are white yet claim they are not racists.
    5/. Some white people live lovingly towards blacks but are immediately branded racist, by default, purely because they are white.

    We are currently expriencing a white genocide which I fear will only get worse and worse, black on white crime (obviously not all) is politically and racially evident by the many cases where goods are not stolen and the atroscities inflicted point towrds an act of hatred not desperation. I’ve heard conspiracies about “the night of the long knives” or “uhuru” and i’ve heard sneaky little threats like from black chinless fake tittied ho june 30 2011 7:30pm “you white emo turds will taste the panga for your parents sins.” that make me worry a bit, but then I realise, wait hold on – I’m white, therefor i’m defiantely a racist, hence I can accurately presume that blacks can’t swim, so if they come for me I will paddle out to backline, catch a ride with a hump-back whale to Australia, claim assylum and live happily ever after

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