White Guilt. (PART 1)

Vintage Black Label.

I love catching taxis in Cape Town, especially taxis from Fish Hoek to Ocean View. I am usually the only whitie on the taxi. When I get to the traffic lights at the entrance to Ocean View I need to yell to the driver over the bass sound system to drop me there. My voice quivers. My voice quivers because I feel ashamed. I feel ashamed because I suffer from white guilt. I suffer from white guilt because I don’t live in Ocean View, I live in Kommetjie. Taxis don’t ride to Kommetjie.

 “White guilt is what white people feel when they feel like they’re being judged by a colored, because white people have had an easier ride.“

 My generation of whites was not directly involved in the up hauling of the colored community, but we inherited the shame from our parents. We soaked it up.

Now we drink Black Label. White kids in Cape Town love Black Label. It makes us feel less white. We try to forget. But we don’t.

And now we also project our white guilt onto colored people, not only blacks – this is a bad idea, because all we’re doing is perpetuating the cycle. The job of our generation is to break down the barriers that keep us separate.

Sometimes, when I’m on the taxi, I catch myself projecting white guilt. This is inconsiderate because it means that I am judging, I am keeping myself separate. I am not seeing that skin colour is only an illusion. It is this illusion that keeps us separate. It is this illusion that I am breaking down within me, one taxi ride at a time.


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