Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Bad Dad

Far be it from me to ever criticise another parent. Usually. I am more than aware of how challenging the demands of this labour of love can be. Normally. I have an acute sensitivity to how easily we fuck mess up and how hard we all try not to. Most of the time.
I also stay out of racist rhetoric. Generally. I am very alert to the colour of my skin and the perceived slant this would give any of my arguments. Customarily. I also just couldn't be arsed bothered with people who want to wallow in this smelly pond of bile, I prefer to give my attention both intellectually and emotionally to the many, many people in South Africa who are working so very hard to heal the trauma of our collective past in a tangible way. Most of the time.
I also need to avoid newspapers for my own sanity.
But then every now and again I run up against something that I just have to respond to.
Even so, it has taken months to get around to it.

A local 'news'paper recently published an opinion column titled Still on the apartheid treadmill. Which, I admit, is a rather witty heading given the content. And this is where, for me, the problem lies.
The author tells the story of how his 12 year old son has been traumatised by the 'racist behaviour' of staff at his local gym. From what I can gather his son is under-age for use of the machines at the franchise. And he has been repeatedly asked to get off of the equipment by attendants. According to daddy the white kids, also under age, using gym equipment have not been harassed in this manner. Not once mind you, but six times, has this father placed his son in a position where this was a highly likely outcome.
And he still complains that he is struggling to "convince" his son to go to gym with him!

Is it just me or is this guy trying to foster another Angry Black Man?
C'mon man, the 12 year old has figured it out - he is NOT ALLOWED ON THE EQUIPMENT! Why keep using him to convince yourself that all white people think less of black people? (Yes, I know some do. I am probably related to a few of them) Why not stop fighting for the cause just for one Saturday morning and take him hiking up skeleton gorge. Just the two of you, mano y mano.
Please. Before it's too late and your anger either drives him away, or worse yet, infuses his soul.
Peace, brother.

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