Sunday, August 27, 2017

I'm Proud

I blogged about this last year, but certain comments online just keep reminding me how certain people view people like me.

"Black idiots, flat-nosed k--ir, these people, 'they'..."
All slurs demeaning our intelligence, likening us to animals, all words that imply THEIR superiority and our inferiority. So low that we're lower than their beloved pets or 'fur babies.'

And so in 2014, I too realised that I was part of that group. The hated group. I used to view myself as a Christian, but if you look like me and try to live in the wide open spaces that are inhabited by mostly Afrikaans-speaking people... You cannot forget that you are a hated and despised species.

When I used to post on Facebook about the things I was going through-like estate agents that just based on my name would lie and say certain homes were unavailable but turn around and tell my Afrikaans friend that they're still up for rent, or awful words used, or things that were done to others who looked like me, a very angry Adventist brother from 'The Islands' would angrily berate 'me/us' for not driving all white people off the continent.

And as I think of it now, I have come to realise something. I used to hate the whole, "I'm proud to be Black" thing. But as a Christian, I am proud of my Black people. Think of it. One minute we are forced to carry passes like minors, forced to live in Ghettos far from work, forced to be VERY poor, forced to speak a language not our own yet not actually taught that language properly then laughed at and viewed as lacking intelligence for NOT speaking that language as well as the invaders, being beaten by employers, doing servile work, not allowed to 'get educated..." Teargassed in our ghettoes-I will never, ever not fear police men...

Yet, we did not retaliate. Think of it. We are the majority. If we had wanted to drive the White men off the continent, we could have done it. If we'd wanted to take back the land from whence we were driven, we could have. If we'd wanted to reclaim space that belonged to us, we could have done it in months. Yet here we are over two decades later and like the poor employee in the Ocean Basket video, we sit here and take the abuse. We post about racist estate agents and landlords and we STILL don't drive them away. We aren't forcing them to live in townships, we aren't making them have Passes...

I am proud to be Black because whether Christian or not as a group, what we have done-or not done-is the very essence of humble Christianity.

We forgave much. Our aunts, parents, uncles killed and shot and tortured. Our futures stolen from us. Yet, we forgave. And we still forgive today.

I am Black. And I am proud.

They may demean me as much as they want. They may tell me I'm only good enough to clean their houses but not to live in them. But I am better. I have never hated an entire race just because I set myself up as superior. My people welcomed the invader and even when the invader corralled them into Bantustans, we sat there. We did not retaliate. We are a controlled and calm people-as a group.

We are the majority. Yet the minority people has never felt our wrath.

Instead, they've benefited from our forgiveness. From our mercy. From our lack of revenge.

I am proud of my Black people. I am proud to BE Black. Not because I like my melanin. Not because I love the texture of my hair. Not because I love my thick thighs and full lips. But because I see Christ in our lack of vengeance upon those who came and set up their way of life as the only and better way.

If I have to identify as Black. Then I will do so with pride. I am Black. I am forgiving. I am merciful. I do not exact revenge. I do not give an eye for an eye.

I am Black.

And I am not ashamed.

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