Am I a racist?

With The Spear still making headlines, I find it hard not to tilt my head back and yawn. Seriously. I get the news worthy note last week but isn’t it over – if only in news headlines? Now I am left reading articles where the gallery and citi press are left to apologise for showing the painting to the public, to us. Come on, where is you backbone? Is it really remorse or is it regret? Is there a difference? In my opinion, remorse in when one feels ones actions were wrong. Regret relies heavily on the feeling derived from the outcome of some actions. So in this case I tend to believe that the decision to remove it is based on regret, from the fear of what came after the painting.

So last week it was this “racist” painting. After this came up two article, “I am racist” and “We are not all racist”. And Before all of this it was a model who lacked vocabulary that brought racism to headlines. And I can go on….

But it’s the word that poses the biggest personal question: Am I Racist? And what point does being a white man in South Africa immediately predisposition me, due in large part to a history I had no part in, to be branded with such a dusty old word, and when does it become true?

I won’t even entertain the idea for too long. Is it because I had a black boyfriend? Dated a coloured man? Kissed an indian one wonderful new years eve? No, it’s because the idea is old school, in other words being racist is like wearing a jacket with giant shoulder pads – it’s so over twenty years ago. It’s just not cool.

In my own personal capacity I have always looked at myself as an equal opportunity offender, I don’t see race, sex, age or creed… I see conquest. People are people, the rest is only a state of mind. Change the way you see the world and the people in it and maybe the world, and the people in it, will see you differently too.

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