Gillian Schutte
Gillian Schutte

Dear White People

I have decided to start the New Year with a letter to you all. It is a letter that implores you to wake up and smell Africa with a fresh white nose.

Before you get angry and defensive, think of this letter as a crash course survival kit for navigating a new reality, and please be assured that if you take heed of the call in this letter your life will change in miraculous ways. Once the blinkers are off the world is a much more colourful and celebratory place to engage in.

Let me begin by wholeheartedly apologising for what my ancestors did to the people of South Africa and inviting you to do the same. I reject their legacy as much as is possible and, as you already know, have made it a life mission to deconstruct the phallocentric white view of ”white as right” and the misguided precept that white is central to all reality.

I reject the discourse of white domination but I acknowledge that I was brought up in this construct. Though my single-mother household was never economically privileged we were privileged by virtue of our skin colour and my mother was given assistance by the state that a woman of colour was denied.

I call on white people to reflect on what it means to be born into unearned privilege, to excavate our long history of racist exploitation and assumed superiority — to acknowledge that this is what we were taught and then to reject it wholly.

I call on white people to acknowledge that whiteness has become invisible to us and we no longer recognise it for a discourse that perpetuates the dehumanisation of black people in ways so subtle that they appear normal.

I call on white people to admit that the rainbow nation is a myth and until we truly are able to recognise the humanity of all people we cannot claim to be post-racist.

I call on white people to acknowledge how white supremacy continues to play out in the media — in representations of blackness — in the constant accusation that black people are racist when they speak their truth.

I call on white people to recognise the black-bashing trend of our media, which is largely white owned, and to put an end to this dehumanising and destructive infantile idiocy.

I call on white people to recognise that by jumping in on national debates that do not concern them they are usurping a platform for authentic black voices to air their grievances about our leadership. You may have noticed that the black voices we need and want to hear choose to disengage because they are skaam to share the podium with a lot of cacophonic white outrage about the same topic but from a white racist perspective.

White people please just shut up for once and listen. Not everything is about white people being accused of racism. Sometimes it is about the black middle class and whether or not they have adopted vile white practices.

I implore you, white people, to listen to black voices calmly and not to react defensively to every outrage a black voice presents.

I call on white people to accept that they are not the only race that is entitled to rage, to hurt, to pain, to anger.

I call on white people, to recognise that they fear the emotions of black people — that it is this fear that makes them shut down black voices and defend themselves from the suggestion that they are complicit in the continued oppression of black people.

I call on white people to recognise that we have all been taught (in varying degrees) that black people do not have the same emotions and psychology as us and that this fallacy is built upon the double-edged sword of domination and fear. To dehumanise a people is to exploit them with no guilt. To recognise their collective pain is to admit the guilt thereby see the humanity.

I call on white people to recognise how whiteness has unconsciously used blackness as a conduit for its own darkness and unacknowledged savagery.

I implore white people to get over their fear that black people are out to slaughter them in a wholesale genocide of revenge. It has not happened yet and there is so much evidence that it will never happen in a country that has built its economic policy on global standards that favour whiteness and rely on the middle class as a buffer zone between the people on the ground and the elite corporate and political class. Just get over yourselves. White people of middle class are still safer than people living in townships.

I call on white people to work on a strategy to lessen the growing gap between rich and poor because, white people, it is the poor who are really suffering in this country and it is the poor who are the wretched fall-out from a more than 360-year history of white domination, slavery, subjugation and theft of livelihood.

I call on white people to understand that poverty and unemployment are social conditions. By renaming them ”laziness”, ”lack of ambition” and ”stupidity” you are furthering your own illogical delusions that whiteness has nothing to do with the untenable conditions that most black people are forced to live in. These are not inherent traits of being black, as many of you are fond of saying. These are the social consequences of a brutal colonial history and current globalisation — coupled with weak anti-the-poor leadership.

And please white people, when you feel compelled to criticise Zuma, as we all do, please ensure that you are critiquing him for his favouring of white corporates and the white middle class over poverty issues — for his pro-capitalist stance and his failure to deliver to the poor — for his patriarchal utterances that threaten to usurp women’s rights — rather than obsessing over his penis, his wives, his second-language command of English and using him as a scapegoat for all your fears and negative unconscious stereotypes about all black folk.

Oh and one more thing … asseblief white people, from well-meaning liberals to white supremacists — just stop telling everyone who is not white how to behave, what to think and when to say what. By trying to control the public agenda you are participating in your own imagined oppression and avoiding the possibility that we are all human and can co-exist very nicely.

Be grateful that you are still welcome in a land that was stolen.

And stop bitching and telling black people to get over their history. Goddammit — if those things had happened to white people there would be an entire world domination film industry built upon the “legitimised suffering of white people” so why will you not understand that colonialism was a holocaust of epic proportions and it will take many, many more decades for the pain to subside.

Instead of defending your privileges by denying them and nursing your guilt through misguided outrage — why not get your hands dirty while helping to restore this country to a space of dignity and respect for all.

Try now to reconsider the possibility of the healing potential of apologising collectively and genuinely for the wrongs our history has perpetrated against the indigenous people of this land.

Oh ja … and white people, please try not to respond negatively and vilely to my letter because I will never stop pleading with you to get over yourselves and get with the current programme. It is as easy as the blink of an eye.

Yours sincerely,

Settler Sister

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  • 592 Responses to “Dear White People”

    1. MekongDelta69 #

      Now – for some REAL comments…
      http://www.amren.com/news/2013/01/dear-white-people/

      [Ah - go ahead, print it. What have you got to lose? The truth maybe?]

      January 8, 2013 at 2:50 am
    2. AlOb #

      What a disgraceful “letter”. I am a proud White person and I will be until the day I die. This makes me a happy and proud individual who wishes to become the best I can be for myself, my family, and my people.

      I refuse to betray my ancestors by condemning them for they have created a better world for everyone, despite the harmful things they have done. They were no more evil than any other people. They were humans like any other and do not deserve any special hatred or resentment. I will not give an inch of ground to those who would use a distorted account of history to justify discrimination and poor treatment of Whites (or any other people for any past harm they may have committed) now.

      I refuse to betray my people by pretending that the vicious murders, rapes, and tortures of White South African farmers is OK. In fact I will call the staggering numbers of gratuitous farm murders for what they are; genocide.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:29 am
    3. Rendy #

      i hope you get time to read this. yes, it is an apology for judging you. what i did not realise when i wrote in to you was that i was suffering from the same condition you have. which is this superman complex, to try change the world (i am not being ironic or sarcastic).

      i too have issues with those in my race who refuse to move with the times. however, coming to the realisation of where my ‘zeal’ could take me – writing and chewing of my ‘brothers’ and ‘sisters’, i appeal to you to do what i believe i ought to, lead by example.

      and yes, you do have a platform (the thought leader). however, the whites you are targeting will not be inclined to listen when it feels as though you completely dissociate yourself from them. put yourself in their shoes and relate to their experiences

      instead, speak the heart of the ordinary South African who experiences racial abuse, eg. maids, gardeners etc. through their stories, humanising these ‘household tools’ to some, you may be able to show what apartheid was trying to bury: The humanity of the Black Man.

      as i said when i started, this is an apology for my previous comment. i am a hypocrite.

      PS, i know your heart is in the right place.

      January 8, 2013 at 7:52 am
    4. Gabriel Day #

      Hello I read your post Gillian and I must say I liked it because you are an advocate for change and it previlent in your writing; what you said is true and people don’t like the truth do they? I’m from America, Atlanta Ga and you remind me of a black American male actor Bill Cosby. Bill Cosby adressed the problems in black american communities which were caused by themself’s; what Cosby said was truth and many black americans didn’t like it, because of pride. Black Americans called him uncle tom and other crap. I think that’s the same with you, you told the truth and many people don’t like it because of pride and thier mindsets. Oh by the way the samething happened to the indigenous people of the Americas.

      I’m a black american from Atlanta. Ga

      January 8, 2013 at 7:57 am
    5. Conrad Steenkamp
      100% Baster #

      Urg…

      January 8, 2013 at 8:42 am
    6. summerset #

      Its about time we all stand up! Please all stand up! It is really possible to be working side by side to help improve the land of South Africa.

      January 8, 2013 at 8:52 am
    7. summerset #

      Please people, the black and white thing is so outdated. Can we all just live in peace with each other?

      January 8, 2013 at 9:04 am
    8. Hi All, I am white. Would that influence how you understand my writing…
      I earn between R15 and R30K per month and have a total dept of about 2Mil. So at this stage I am living a seemingly good life but, technically my wealth is in a negative of basically 2mil.

      This leaves me floored on how to give some of my wealth away. I have a healthy cash flow but not wealth at all. If I work hard and don’t stuff up I will pay my house off over the next 20 years. Then I would have some wealth. Should I share it then… I would not like to share something that took me 20 years to buy, would you?

      January 8, 2013 at 9:49 am
    9. what an amazing letter. these are things we have all been trying to get through to at least just 1 white person and have failed. Thank you for taking the words right out of our mouths and enlightening your people.

      they will either listen or defensively request you to shut up!

      either way you’ve done your job!
      Regards

      Sphumlile Radebe

      January 8, 2013 at 10:12 am
    10. Swapo #

      “Be grateful that you are still welcome in a land that was stolen…….if those things had happened to white people there would be an entire world domination film industry built upon the “legitimised suffering of white people” – More than 20 000 Afrikaner woman and children died in concentration camps under the most inhumane circumstances during the early 1900’s while defending this so called stolen land. I cannot even compare apartheid to this, what I can compare apartheid to however, is the fact that I have been denied various job opportunities and been discriminated against because I am white….

      January 8, 2013 at 10:42 am
    11. THOKO MOLEFE #

      Sister Settler, I think you started your year very well by shaking our minds. Your script can be a basis of posistive debates in all localities to take our country forward whether one likes, distates what you are saying or somewhere in between. There are many hidden truths that can come out and perhaps people can understand better why individuals are so different in the country.

      This is reminding us that each and every individual has to contribute positively to development of the country in different spheres. However, how do we do it when one group of individuals, which unfortunately for the country is the majority, is so negatively affected in their thinking skills that though opportunities are there they cannot access them because of deliberately moulded mental limitations – critical thinking? analytical? problem solving? broad-mindedness? etc. Within the same group – what about breakdown in family structure which has seen families being ripped apart thus children being raised parents with littles or no parental skills. No wonder such behaviour of the majority of children of that group, think of what happens when they are adults.

      these are some of the issues that we really have to address as a country. We all love our country and we do not want evidence of more anger which has been brewing for so many years. Let us come together and find solutions instead of being defensive.

      January 8, 2013 at 10:49 am
    12. DeeGee #

      @ Observing. Valid point, but with one significant difference. At no point did the black minority in France rule over the French with an iron fist (the last bit for dramatic emphasis). Rather, your point can be more effectively made when you consider that, in your example, the black minority in France will readily call themselves French and that would be accepted, but the white minority in South Africa cannot call themselves African….

      January 8, 2013 at 10:53 am
    13. Tyron #

      Boring

      January 8, 2013 at 10:58 am
    14. Bruce #

      Yawn…

      January 8, 2013 at 11:51 am
    15. Sean #

      Wow, Gillian, your self hate is disturbing, reminiscent of religious fanatics who whip themselves daily to atone for their sins!

      The facts are, Apartheid had to end, perceptions have to change….and they are, just slowly!

      More importantly, ranting disturbed fanatics telling us to hate ourselves are obstacles to this change. A corrupt, ineffective, unaccountable government, dominated by one racial group is an obstacle to this change. Crime, violence and hate crimes perceived as originating from a racial group is an obstacle to this change.

      Time, positive interactions between individuals of different racial groups, sensitive non-provocative guidance from those in power and relegation of dangerously polarised opinions to the sidelines would help speed things up.

      In general, stop being part of the problem and contribute towards beng part of the solution.

      January 8, 2013 at 12:38 pm
    16. Mfana Ronald Conco #

      Part 1:

      Very interesting read, You have highlighted some very important points. I am 30 year old Black male who is a member of the ANCYL and is really appalled by the going on’s of our country. We have a very rich history which only a select few know in detail and everyone is quick to reference it in just about every discussion when ever color is an issue.

      We as a people as individual need to strive to be better people at all times, before we can even attempt to change the country we must first change. Sometimes you have to change yourself even if you are not the one who needs to change, and politics never solve much but a united people can so much.

      Now there is no justification for the crime and murder rates we have in our country, but keep in mind that since South Africa was ruled through with an Iron fist – that could only result in a society that is brutal to one another and the effects of this will still be long felt for generations to come. We can build high walls and fences but that only displaces the crime. Like Tracy Chapman once said “The poor will rise and revolt” in “Talkin’ Bout A Revolution”. We need to circumvent this by getting involve in our communities, help and aid all those young poor kids to attain a better life before they pull up on you with a gun at a traffic light.

      Some say “well, I pay taxes” but it’s evident that it’s not good enough, we need to get involve and be at the trenches and fight injustice at that level.

      ….

      January 8, 2013 at 1:12 pm
    17. Mfana Ronald Conco #

      Part 2:

      Martin Luther king jr once wrote “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” from his letter from Birmingham Jail.
      http://www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/Letter_Birmingham.html

      We do not need politics to get this part right, we need to be more involved in our environment, community, and this will translate into a better society.

      If you are raising kids, It’s very vital you do a good job at it and raise them to be good people not to their race but to humanity. Strong homes build a strong united , moral community, and translates to a better society which translates to a better country.

      You do not have to go to the townships to affect change it starts with you and how you interact with your environment . Protect the weak, Admit when your wrong, and respect the old even if you think they are wrong you must always be respectful. Sometimes you will ague with people of a point which is valid and correct but yet they do not seem to understand… you need to apply whats called “Critical thinking” , for the truth is the truth even if you are a minority of One(Gandhi)

      DA and ANC will not save this country but the people can and will, they just have to know this first before it can happen. We need a cultural movement more than political parties. Only them can we affect change. Next time you help some one / stranger with no intent of benefiting from the kind action , utter this words “Because the world is fair and so it must remain”. This is…

      January 8, 2013 at 1:25 pm
    18. LD #

      Ah Jillian, more power to your pen.

      January 8, 2013 at 2:06 pm
    19. TeePee #

      ‘if those things had happened to white people there would be an entire world domination film industry built upon the “legitimised suffering of white people” ‘ Really? during the period of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, as many European whites were captured into slavery by Turks and other non-white pirates as there were blacks taken to North America. Do we ever hear about that?

      January 8, 2013 at 2:26 pm
    20. I have not read most of the comments, but the last one is : “Wow, Gillian, your self hate is disturbing, reminiscent of religious fanatics who whip themselves daily to atone for their sins!” Irritating to say the least.

      I write a blog – A thin book of Knowledge about my interaction with the people of Joe Slovo in my neck of the woods. Just by way of encouragement. Some of us are with you.

      Everyone thinks that its enough to smile and be nice to colleagues and associates, but not many go into the townships and actually do stuff – and stay there – doing stuff. Blacks have seen whites come and go with their soup kitchens and all, but without actually making a difference in a community. Its not easy, but one has to start somewhere to demonstrate that we are one people.

      White people can and do call themselves Africans.And I am with Thoko. And, yes whites are being denied job opportunities because we are white – nice isn’t it. Try 40 years of that and see how you go, my lad/lady.

      Whether or not you like it, G-d judges us by the majority of us. Each of us is the other’s keeper and I don’t think you will find any mention of colour. As a human being I am willing to admit what happens to one happens to all of us and its about time the sanctimonious get off the bottoms and actually do something meaningful for more than a weekend or a week or a month or a year.

      And, I am thankful that I may still live here.

      That’s all folks.
      I’m doing the best I can…

      January 8, 2013 at 2:30 pm
    21. Matt #

      Dear Settler Sister

      Is it not sad that a minimum of 75% of income in most African countries still leave those countries for so called “white supremist regimes”. Have you ever spared a nano gram of thought that some people are talking out to help ALL of Africa to stop this trend. Research this a bit more and stop referring to “black” and “white” – it is simply racist.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:08 pm
    22. Dave #

      I say to hell with the Rhinou, save the white ou!

      January 8, 2013 at 3:27 pm
    23. Hi I’m black and proud.It really pains me when I see my black sister “coconut or rather white coffee” trying to act white.I work at an environment where racism still prevails to its utmost best.I watch day in day out poor blacks who can’t stand for themselves being mistreated by our white counterparts.Instead of our bosses standing up for them all they say is “unfortunately you will have to live with it”.It is so pathetic as they were less privileged and unfortunate to be uneducated and ignorant.I feel if I’m going to continue working there I’m going to EXPLODE.As of it I have resigned and serving.SO asseblief tog ek vra mooi don’t or stop exploiting blacks Mense

      January 8, 2013 at 3:42 pm
    24. Barry #

      Dear Sister – while your article holds a lot of truths and you have the “gift of the gab” (as the white man says) I believe that there is room for all races to apologize and accept one another. Let’s not just go bashing any one racial group into the ground in the hope that this will bring us eternal forgiveness. And while one recognizes that so much bad has been done in the past, let’s look to the future of South Africa. Also not forgetting the contribution that both whites and blacks and other racial groups have made to the establishment of a country which we can be proud of…We need only to look through the rest of Africa to see that South Africa is one of the most developed and advanced countries in Africa —- and surely some of this must be credited to the influence (hard work and dedication?) of the “white” invaders? I do wonder where this country would have been if it were left entirely “undisturbed” some 350 years ago? Do you have any ideas on this? Let’s try to reconcile our differences and “build” on what we have and not destroy it any further – something like “cutting your nose to spite your face” …as the “white” man says…..

      January 8, 2013 at 3:57 pm
    25. Mok #

      I don’t think it’s necessary for white people to apologise – they just need to stop their rantings motivated by delusional superiority. I don’t think white people realise just how much power they still hold…how much they still exercise that power in the most harmful of ways. The power of skilled subtle actions and utterances that can sheepishly turn anyone into a fool..true skill. But my fellow Africans…black Africans and white Africans…we will get there. It may not happen in my lifetime..i pray it does..but it might take me a while to trust that white face that so skillfully and constantly manages to turn me into a fool. Then again, maybe i am just a fool…maybe i am just a fool to believe there are generally genuinely decent, unpretentious white people out there…We can do it though…surely we can.

      January 8, 2013 at 4:40 pm
    26. African #

      Is it not insanely ignorant in this day and age to refer to skin tone at all in an attempt to identify people of differing persuations? If only it were as simple as referring simply to white and black. I cant help but wonder how and why Gillian thinks that somehow this one sided ranting will change peoples perceptions. If anything her words simply betray a deep seated self righteous need to accuse, defend and mask her own apparent feelings of quilt for being “white”. Or somehow (maybe) she has not dealt with her own racist inclinations. After all, do we not see others as we are and not as they are? wake up call Gillian!! most Africans of whatever skin tone have long since moved on and are no longer hung up on “white and black” issues. Come to Angola and you will not find one Angolan who even remembers the time when there was a border war between “white and black” WHY? because they have moved on! You will do well to try it, get out and smell the roses.

      January 8, 2013 at 5:10 pm
    27. nosizwe nhlapo #

      Hallelujah amen Preach it sistah

      January 8, 2013 at 5:37 pm
    28. nosizwe nhlapo #

      oh yes I’m white (usually i forget to mention it but Matt reminded me .. it may be “racist” and actually scientifically not yet defined, but in this article VERY relevant)

      January 8, 2013 at 5:57 pm
    29. Rene #

      Not everyone suffers from a guilt complex, Gillian, especially if they had nothing to do with the implementation of apartheid…

      January 8, 2013 at 6:11 pm
    30. enough #

      Let me just say this …. we’ve all said our “sorries” … it’s getting old now … we are a new generation …..

      The faster we drop the sorry songs the faster we can live as a balanced society. Some people get stuck at … I’m sorry … If you are …..great … if you have nothing to be sorry about great …. Just get over “phase x” and proceed with your life.

      Please lets all just have one focus … we have a great country … let’s keep it that way. We have children and grand children … should they say sorry too??? PLEASE!!! (Lets live in such a way that our children and their children can be proud and don’t feel forced to say sorry that they are living here and exist for the next ion of years. All of us.)

      January 8, 2013 at 7:40 pm
    31. Sarel vd Merwe #

      I’ve worked among black communities for 17 years: peri-urban agriculture. Twenty+ projects, none successful. The reason? Black politicians grabbing the opportunity to score political points, leaving the hard work worthless and very poor people without hope. We need to work towards a better SA, irrespective whether we agree or not. This is a wonderful country, full of hidden opportunities – as long as the politicians stay away. I also think it is high time for a respectful forum where black and white can air our concerns and frustrations, always controlling our tempers to keep the forum worthwhile.

      January 8, 2013 at 8:43 pm
    32. Sean wake up, you still in lalalala land…Corrupt,ineffective and unequal plus racially driven by one race was the apartheid government and I suggest you do some little research before you echo your uniformed thoughts or comments. It is strange that you AlOb refere to the past when it suits you. It is such people like yourselves that are holding this country from progressing… I wonder what seed you planting for the future in your homes. You are suffering from your Ancestor’s disease but its not too late to change your ways.God be with you and in you if you believe at all.

      January 8, 2013 at 10:05 pm
    33. Rory Bouffe #

      When everyone has had their say, whether responding in rage or approval, Black, White, Coloured, Indian or Asian, the only question left in my mind is this: “Do I want my kids to grow up in a place where they feel threatened or like they either ‘owe’ or are ‘owed’ something because of what members of their race subjected others to or were subjected to?”
      Pushing aside all other considerations (“Well that’s all well and fine for you to say Self, you’re a middleclass South African who has the wealth and opportunity to move elsewhere shame on you you should be constantly ashamed of who you are how can you even bring this up when you know there are others who don’t have those opportunities shame shame shame), thinking of nothing else other than my children my answer is a resounding NO!
      I’m not going to mention all the things I don’t want for my children- forget the negative and look with Hope to better things: I want my kids to be able to play in the street. I want them to live in a house without walls. I want them to be able to walk to school. I want them to have friends of many kinds. I want them to swim in rivers and camp outside with their mates. I want them to be compelled to passion because of their characters not because they “owe” and I want them to earn what they have through hard work not because they are “owed”.
      I love South Africa but there are countries who live in this freedom. And choosing between “home” or my kids, I choose my kids every time!

      January 9, 2013 at 9:40 am
    34. Colin #

      I would also like to apologise for what my ancestors did to other races. It is the first step to freeing our minds and breaking the chains that intrap this country. I hope the ‘white leaders’ can sum up the courage to say they are sorry for what has happened, put their own ambitions aside and make a real contribution for the sake of our children.

      January 9, 2013 at 10:10 am
    35. Rory Bouffe #

      @African# After your comment I’m thinking about moving to Angola;) I get to keep Africa, be friends with Africans as an African guilt free (both of us as equals) while contributing to the Angolan economy and having my kids play in the streets with other Angolans. Sounds like paradise to me!

      January 9, 2013 at 12:39 pm
    36. Zeph #

      Gillian, a lot of what you say might be true. That said; the way you write it, to me, seems insincere and contrived. It is as if you have an agenda beyond what you are actually writing.
      If you are generally appealing to White People then I would say that your style really sucks. Being a skeptic I would say your intent was to anger and/or appease a certain group/s – which to me makes it seem manipulative.
      I also wonder how much of what you write is a projection of how you actually feel?

      January 9, 2013 at 12:48 pm
    37. JJ #

      Dear Gillian.
      You seem so ready to share your every experience growing up, telling your truths as if it is the same for everyone white person who grew up in South Africa. You’re experiences are not universal.

      You do not have a broad enough view of reality to justify your ignorant comments. You are spreading your truths as facts to support your ‘whiteness’ theory repeatedly.

      Why then are you not willing to delve into the heart of the issue? You run around the rim, calling the road black and the lines on the road at fault, because it is white.

      Your opinion is so bias that you never touch on anything regarding culture – the basis that will separate all people around the world eternally. Culture and upbringing that teaches us our fundamental identity from the moment we are born.

      It’s culture that separates every nation, colour and creed – much more than the colour of our skin. Yet you seem so happy to jump on your pedestal and bash the white citizens of South Africa with an iron rod.

      What is regarded as socially acceptable behaviour by white citizens is sometimes at the complete opposite side of the spectrum when looking at it from a black perspective, and vice versa.

      So keep on ranting and raving, I see that you have the tolerance of difference in your heart and it serves our country well. At the heart of your every word is the scapegoat mentality. I will keep an eye out for future work done by you. Maybe venture into ‘blackness’, and see how long your…

      January 9, 2013 at 5:35 pm
    38. Jason #

      Quote: ‘I call on white people to recognise that we have all been taught (in varying degrees) that black people do not have the same emotions and psychology’

      I resent being thrown into this category. I have never, in any kind of degree, been taught something this disgusting, so don’t lump me in with this type of ‘white’ person. Who on earth are you hanging around with?

      January 9, 2013 at 5:48 pm
    39. Andrew #

      As always, the comments section to the best articles on this site leaves me with a vague sense of nausea.

      Gillian, you generalise and your style may seem contrived to some, but you’re right. Undoubtedly. Unashamedly. Undeniably right.

      And I am sorry. I am sorry for my ancestors, for my friends and for my people. ‘My people’ – a strange concept for us white folk with our narrow-minded concentration on individuality and how ‘I’ suffer.

      I won’t drag it out; I lack the will after slogging through the various pre-eminent intellectuals who have deigned to comment above.

      I am sorry. Truly.

      January 9, 2013 at 6:24 pm
    40. Donar #

      life’s like a school ground during lunch. Some seasons you are the bully, the next thing you know, you are getting bullied and there’s nothing you can do about it. White people had their season… who’s season is it gonna be next? the whole world awaits. Y’all know that world domination has been changing hands since time immemorial. Its the Cycle of Life

      January 9, 2013 at 7:32 pm
    41. bob #

      Um… isn’t this a decade and a half late? How can you not have moved on already??

      January 9, 2013 at 7:52 pm
    42. Figo X #

      “Be grateful that you are still welcome in a land that was stolen”. How many white people of our generation believe that it was stolen? While most white people of this generation are still enjoying the fruits of a corrupt ,single-race government,the black people of this generation are heirs to a diminished imagination. White people will not aknowledge the vile ways of their ancestors because they don’t believe that their ancestors did any wrong. They will complain about our(white peolpe included) corrupt government as if they have not benefited from a similar one. It will take another 350 years for them to be grateful.

      January 9, 2013 at 9:13 pm
    43. Spok! #

      Wow Gillian! You are absolutely right in so many ways. Truth be told eventhough not many of us don’t like to hear it. Thank you “Sister”

      January 9, 2013 at 11:41 pm
    44. More insipid rot from Gill and supported by the ne’er-do-wellers.

      But SA whites must read and heed her warnings: They must just shut the hell up and NOT take part in the democratic process, must NOT complain or point out the blatant obvious failings of Blackness, and proceed post haste with redistributing their ‘ill gotten gains’.

      Her perspective is wrong: You’ll notice we’re told that whites see themselves as superior, NOT that blacks see themselves as inferior; whites must lower their Western standards (dressed up as understanding Blackness) instead of Blacks raising theirs.

      White complaints – if they were invalid – would be simply dismissed and laughed out of whatever medium is holding them. But they’re not. You see the TRUTH hurts, not fanciful lies which explains why we never hear of a reasoned argument from blacks as to what their REAL beefs are with whites, other than the usual hoary old race chestnuts which has done much to absorb the pressure of facts and shut white folk up from their damned eternal complaints. But not me. I simply won’t sit by and watch a culture implode just because a bunch of bruise-easy denialists can’t keep up with a changing world.

      Truth is, whites have been all too keen to participate in the New (unimproved) SA not just through their tax contributions, but by embracing The NuSA and what it now stands for. Black SAns need to get over their hatred and accept whites, and while they’re at it, REALLY listen to them.

      January 10, 2013 at 2:32 am
    45. Nicholas #

      So, when are you going to call on black people?

      January 10, 2013 at 8:13 am
    46. uSkhathi! #

      Gillian you right as a black South African my main concern is economical status to the “first world” and the future of my children. however its not easy to provide when this country always focusses on petty issues that wont lead us any where! your letter is relevant to those who need change but many have passed that stage. its time we all moved on and not make it sensitive to state whether you black or white or coloured or indian for that matter. Lack of information creates anamosity look at the comments above. Laziness is just as bad cause this letter also speaks to black people who do not want to open their eyes and smell the coffee. its not just against white people. READ PEOPLE READ before you embarrass yourselves with silent comments.

      January 10, 2013 at 8:36 am
    47. uSkhathi! #

      Gillian, Rory writes as a perfect example of people who have moved on and focussing on their kids future.

      January 10, 2013 at 8:56 am
    48. KennyD #

      Not only black or white but both races have issues. The only thing that can work very well & clear up things on this on-going hatred is counselling. The white race treats the black race & others as like sub-humans, infact I’d say if there was a “being” hierarchy: they treat them like they are below dogs! While on the other hand, poor blacks treat these caucasians with royalty! For heaven’s sake we are equal & no-one I mean no-1 including my white CEO boss is a super human being! Our government has also failed eradicating this racial problems & guess what, here we are, debating in the white owned newspaper ignoring the fact that media can influence and report things in a way that will make them sell more papers per minute!!!

      In the “new” South Africa and globally everyone miust be encouraged to feel classy of their skin colour. Let the skin colour be not used to determine who should be human & who sub-human. The pigmentation of the skin is just the godly co-ordination and narture’s art to beautify God’s creation! Whether wealthier or poorer, both beings should treat each other with humanity and respect.Lest, the white stop to befriend blacks only when their ships are sinking and need BBBEE favours and contracts. And let the black child stop worshipping the less pigmented skinned people ‘cos we’re all equal and breath the same air!

      Lets treat each other with humanity & stop with-drawing from the history account of execration.

      I stand to be constructively…

      January 10, 2013 at 9:57 am
    49. MJ67 #

      Inferiority complex!

      January 10, 2013 at 11:24 am
    50. Barry Saayman #

      “Let me begin by wholeheartedly apologising for what my ancestors did to the people of South Africa and inviting you to do the same. I reject their legacy as much as is possible …”

      Dr Samantha Vice et al did an excellent job in formulating a comprehensive new-academic foundation for the ongoing NDR (liberation struggle for self-determination against a foreign power/economic freedom/towards a national democratic SA) with her paper titled “How Do I Live in This Strange Place?”

      The various “rescuers” in the Karpman Drama Triangle that demonize others in generalized terms as e.g. “evil settlers” in an ill-conceived effort to validate their construct of reality advocates racism, collective guilt, -punishment, -innocence and even more so, collective white guilt, -shame and undue white privilege.

      “The rescuer, who intervenes, seemingly out of a desire to help the situation or the underdog.

      Of these, the “rescuer” is the least obvious role. In the terms of the drama triangle, the “rescuer” is not a person helping someone in an emergency. It is someone who has a mixed or covert motive that is actually benefiting egoically in some way from being ‘the one who rescues’.”

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karpman_drama_triangle

      Me Gillian Schutte should carefully rethink her role if she wants to play a constructive role in the post-colonial/apartheid SA.

      The ongoing victim rhetoric, the “we and they syndrome” and self-righteousness are the poison in the pot…

      January 10, 2013 at 11:34 am

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