Navigation Menu+

Draft saved at 9:58, just in time for some food for thought

Posted on Feb 9, 2010 by in Blog, Uncategorized |

Another pretty little ditty I recreated with my brand spanking new photoshop skills! It is very relevant for this day that this is a picture of a black man, as I’ve been struggling with some weird, unidentifiable form of racism as of late.

Having grown up in a very conservative Afrikaner family on a farm, I know all the racial slurs in the book as well as their implied meanings. I have, however, never associated myself with the belief system of the Afrikaner group and I find it very difficult to associate with them on a personal level, even sometimes with my own family. I find it impossible, being a gay man, to discriminate in any way and I always stand up for the underdog in any situation, even if I know I’m talking bull shit. This is what I strongly believed, until a few days ago.

I recently moved into a very promising as-yet-to-be-finished apartment building very close to the Cape Town city bowl. It only takes me 10 minutes to work and the traffic is minimal. Everything in the building is brand new and some of it should be brand new once it’s all finished – there’s a fabulous roof-top terrace with an elevated pool surrounded by really pretty and trendy wooden boards; there’s a pretty decent on-site gym with state of the art equipment (which I still have to test out); and we have a wishy-washy right in the building. All of these perks are included in the rent, so that’s awesome.
I moved in earlier than the developers anticipated, but regardless, I moved in only after they gave their permission. This was a huge mistake, because most of the other apartments were still empty and I never in a million years would have guessed who were going to move in… 
Two days after I had settled in, 4 HUGE BUSSES with Zimbabweans (?) arrived and dropped them all on my doorstep. I could not believe what I was experiencing! There was so much noise, it really gave me a first hand experience of what the 2010 World Cup games will be like. And there was suddenly people everywhere. I hoped that it was only a temporary thing, but guess what, they are staying for a whole year. They are students at CPUT( Cape Peninsula University of Technology) and they are very much from Zimbabwe. All 200 of them. 
So this is where the problem has snuck in. I don’t know if it is racism or xenophobia that I am experiencing, but I know for sure that I have a very big dislike for these new arrivals. Last night, at 23:40, I had to get up out of my cosy little single bed and go shout at the neighbors so they could turn off their Hillsong-Jesus-praising music, which made me feel even more shit. It was totally unnecessary at that hour and if there is one thing I can’t stand, it’s loud music at the wrong time.
So I have decided to take it one day at a time and see where this month leads me. If it becomes really unbearable and the whole building turns into one of those Nigerian slums, then I will have to move along, again, for the 5th time in 4 years, and find a new place to stay. This drives me absolutely crazy and just makes me so very aware that I might not be as easy going as I thought or as I used to be. And am I a racist or xenophobic? I don’t know! What do you think? What would you do? Would this bother you at all? Am a being an asshole?
Anyway, check out my little creation, inspired by this episode of me bitching about my problems. Hope you have a good day or night or whatever, wherever you are in the world!

Contact me | +27 (0)83 359 2837 | © Sam van Straaten