To listen to the audio, click this link: Conservativism and racism vs opening up your heart
I live 10 minutes walking distance from Fish Hoek, a small, mostly white, conservative suburb which is really a village on the outskirts of Cape Town. The location is unbelievably beautiful – a small jewel of a bay with surrounding hills – but has long had a reputation for being conservative, and – get this! – satanism and drug abuse amongst the kids. Go figure.
It’s basically a hick town with grisly, rather depressing architecture, and has quite a few dark, dingy and cigarette-smelly bars and some “restaurants” – I use that term loosely. It’s been very white for a long time, and was fairly socio-economically depressed. But in the last couple of years, because of the outstanding location, wealthier people have come in and built big expensive houses on the hillside overlooking the bay. Wherever they go for shopping and entertainment, though, it ain’t Fish Hoek. In that time, too, the black working population has increased massively, so it’s not the nice little white town it once was. In some people’s eyes, that is.
I’ve noticed that there are basically two types running businesses and working here: the truly generous of spirit with big hearts and souls, and the downright mean. When you walk into one of the latter your soul shrivels, it’s a very unpleasant experience.
The other day I was walking through the village, when a group of black men came towards me, taking up the whole sidewalk. They were jogging, holding placards about their rights, and singing at the tops of their exceptionally beautiful voices. I stepped aside to let them pass, and felt moved by their singing and energy, which wasn’t aggressive, just full of life. When they’d passed I carried on, thinking about how beautiful they were, and feeling uplifted by them. They put me in such a good mood.
But I noticed an number of contorted, soul-shrivelling expressions on faces of some townspeople. Arms folded across their chests; just angry angry angry. Life in a small town in South Africa. Yes folks, the attitude that blacks don’t have the same rights as whites and should know their place still exists here in pockets. It exists everywhere. Look at conservates in the US. It’s scary wherever you come across it.
The thing about racism, though, it’s just a mask to cloak fear and an unhealthy need for power at the expense of others. If we were all the same skin color, some people would find another way to distinguish people and overpower the vulnerable. I think it’s a mistake to think that once we’ve got rid of racism the world will be fine. No it won’t. Once we all learn to love ourselves and reach out for love from other people the world will be fine and racism will dissipate.
The eternal optimist! Why not, though.
I love this song by Abbey Lincoln and A. Moseka, called Throw it Away. For me it’s about not living your life by trying to punish other people, but by opening up your heart.
In general, this blog is about the pursuit of dreams. Mine are to establish myself as a vocalist, script & blog writer & novelist, have my own radio show & to earn by doing something meaningful. I need help with some things. Click here to read more. Click Stormy Weather to listen to me singing Stormy Weather with a backing track.