Comment by John Robbie

Comment by John Robbie on Being South African First

One of my favourite days of the year is the Discovery 702 Walk The Talk – 55 000 South Africans from all walks of life and every background, get together for a family day. There’s no anger, there’s no antagonism, there’s no nastiness, there’s no racist allegations – it’s just a fabulous day in 702 Land and it’s the same as a big soccer match now. Even team nastiness at some stage, got quite nasty between Chiefs and Pirates; that seems to have gone away, it’s just fun.<div><div><br></div><div>That’s when you realise what South Africa is really about: a big melting pot on the south of this massive continent, where every single person has a story to tell why he or she is here and the trouble is that, in the past, people didn’t see it that way and they discriminated by race, background or religion and of course laws were made accordingly. </div><div><br></div><div>Now because of the miracle of the negotiated settlement – unlike other countries where we see war, take your pick between Syria or Israel or Ukraine – we have a new country here, but we also have residual inequality because of the past.</div><div><br></div><div>Sadly,when we discuss how these issues must be dealt with, we see so many people – especially on social media – deteriorating into their own cultural pigeonholes and lashing out. </div><div><br></div><div>It’s the same thing with the Williams sisters issue now, which I raised as a genuine issue just to talk about and now it is deteriorating into abuse. This is a way in which cultural diversity can become a pain and we should be proud of different backgrounds - there’s so many of them – but also we should see each other as South Africans first, rather than falling into a particular group, then so many things become much simpler. Things like poverty,unemployment, health and also racism and its effects. </div><div><br></div><div>If you look at it through the eyes of South Africa first, then it becomes simpler to try and understand: Happy Heritage Day.<br></div></div>

John Robbie

Listen to John's Comment in full here.

The infamous picture doing the rounds in social media currently of two Stellenbosch University students dressed as the Williams sisters in blackface.

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