Racism alive and well

OUR pre-occupation with race is still alive and well, living among us and, like a deep-rooted cancer, eating away at our very being.
Although racism has, in some instances, become reversed, has been turned inside out, and is not anymore only applicable to colour divides it continues to exist.
Perhaps another word should be found that would better describe some of the actions of our incredibly complex nation.
The two business chambers in the Kouga are a good example. The one even calls itself the black chamber, the other has maintained such a low profile of late that one wonders if it still exists. The question is – is their any justification for a small area like the Kouga to have two chambers?
If the business community cannot sit around a table, find common ground to tackle the area’s problems and sort out the differences – who can?
With the economy at an all-time low, businesses closing down and everyone cutting back, should the very people at the heart of matters not be the ones to take the lead and become innovative in an attempt to unite and grow the Kouga?
Some time last year a group of businessmen tried to get a united front together to tackle various issues such as service delivery, crime etc. Sadly, after the second very well attended meeting nothing happened.
The consensus was that it fell flat because of the lack of leadership.
The J’Bay Residents’ Association tried to take the lead but preferred dabbling in social networking and other high-tech methods of communication. This excluded and alienated a huge chunk of would-be members.
It has often been said that in Jeffreys Bay it is each to its own and the devil behold the rest. There is, and probably always will be, the great divide between residents. In the mayor’s office they even jokingly ask visitors if they would like a “Wavecrest” or a “Pellsrus”.
A Wavecrest apparently is a cappuccino while the other is instant coffee. It would be rather funny if it were not so sad.
I also have it on good authority that the St Francis Bay Resident’s Association has only white members. This lack of across- the-board representation is probably a result of years of segregation and a fundamental mistrust.
Perhaps this is the crux of the problem – we never learnt to trust each other. Maybe we should go back to the basics and first learn to respect each other.
The bottom line is: We have to stop tolerating, and making excuses. Be bold and expect from others only what you expect from yourself, forget about differences, cultural and other and embrace one another as human beings that were all created equal.
– Cindy Liebenberg

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