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Bryan Wilhite

Rethabile, now is my opportunity to make the statement to you that always wanted to make: suppose you "win" over these people you are "engaging"---okay what is "victory" like? Perform the Thought Experiment see the scenario through...

What I see are adult humans who finally admit that they were ignorant as children---and now you have a stable full of docile, grown-ass children looking to you for breast feeding. I see it as a misdirection of resources and a slap in the face to all of the colonized African ancestors, these rebellious children, who lost their lives to trying to prove to children that adult Africans are not children. Woe to the rebellious children...

These "problematic issues" that you are "exploring" in an "open forum" are not to filed under "cultural sensitivity"---you are trying to become intimate with people who are simply uneducated and uninformed. Do not reinvent the Babylonian wheel when you have a smooth Nile river to travel on... Respect the hard work of the assimilation projects of Negroes of the past and learn from their mistakes. Really, truly explore what it means to be accepted and respected by the ignorant.

Success in this context means establishing relationships based on inequality where you know about Africa and Europe (and maybe China and India) while your "white friend" only knows about white Africa, white China, white India and Billy Ocean.


Bryan: I hear you. But I still must insist that dialogue with most adversaries is an essential part of any and every solution. And then there's the fact that I do not consider most South Africans adversaries, black, coloured and white. Only a few deserve that appellation. I'm listening hard, though, just as I'm listening to all others who have something to say. Just as we should all listen. Except to people who do not want to be listened to, like my friend Juan.


Although, I feel redundant to your dialogue - having had to leave thirty years ago, I'd simply like to say how I admire what you are saying and the understanding you show.
Thanks Rethabile.
I would add that when I arrived here, a Zambian activist asked me where my idealism would be when my family was massacred in the bloodbath that we were all sure would come...
I am still amazed that this did not happen.

Bryan Wilhite

So Martin Bernal who, is of European stock, wrote a book called *Black Athena: The Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization*, it would be a "racist" error on my part to not listen to him.

Cheikh Anta Diop was married to French woman of the Gallic I suppose. It would be an error to not listen to her because she was married to a great man.

But when we are all sitting around on deep rumbling motorbikes, getting ready to go and someone pulls up in a tricycle honking their little horn, do not waste your time on this easy rider unless you specialize in souping up tricycles.



What you mean is you are listening hard to those who have something to say which fits into what you want to hear.

It is nothing new just like the arrogant ANC they only listen to those who support them the rest must automatically be racist.

And you accuse ME of being the one who makes excuses for my cultures mistakes.

You keep blaming my culture for your cultures failings and we will see how far that takes us.

So if you and Mr Whilhite would like a taste of what more and more young white people are feeling, go read my reply.


"What you mean is you are listening hard to those who have something to say which fits into what you want to hear."
If you imagine that you may leave a comment such as the one you left, and have me say "Yes, you're right," then you've got another think coming.

This is a forum for discussion. It is neither a place for warring nor for giving or taking orders.

I, and the other people who participate here, essentially listen and discuss.

Saying: "Since when did it become our responsibility to educate other cultures? Since you advocate so strongly that your culture is equal to mine?" isn't discussion.

Your mind is already made up, and sadly, it is made up of and about hogwash. The future of South Africa, and indeed of the world, isn't about who's superior, it is about how we can all live together in peace, and in prosperity.


Hey, Rithabile,

I came across this guy Juan's comments on another blog...was it yours? I was so shocked. I've been away from South Africa for a little over a year (was back in June last yr), but in the little time that I have been away I forgot that people like Juan exist in South Africa. The sad thing is that there is not an ounce of shame in his tone. I had really forgotten that such people exist, so much so I felt a bit confused. Being away from home all I think about are the good things, but he just woke me up to this harsh reality of my country. It really perplexes me, that someone who is my peer (being 25, he's just 2 years older than me), thinks this way. I read in his profile that he lived in East London and he absolutely "LOVED it"-- it figures. I used to live in King Williams Town, just over 50 km away from EL, and there really is a lot of racism in that area- no wonder he loved it so much.

Sometimes I question my own idealism. I like to think I believe in the equality and dignity of all people, coupled with freedom of speech, but when I come across such instances, I am tempted to reject all these ideals. Reason being that it is this very respect for everyone's viewpoints that I hold that allows me to ponder and even tolerate such remarks.

Should I, as a Black South African, whose whole being, past lineage, and future offspring have been trampled underfoot by white supremist oppression and colonial rapine be so tolerant as to allow people like this fellow rattle off with such banal verbal (or textual in this case) incontinence?

Bryan Wilhite

Rethabile: "What you mean is you are listening hard to those who have something to say which fits into what you want to hear."

Rethabile I do not think you know how hearing works. Most people listen to what they think they should hear. The brain does more tuning out than tuning in. This provides focus. Now without the help of CIA intervention we can test the fruits of my focus and see what success comes from I listen to and what failures come from what I failed to hear.

What is even deeper is that by "listening" to what you write on this Blog, I know that you and I are profoundly different people yet we have had extensive dialog over the last few weeks.

I am sure that you do not know that there is more genetic diversity in Africa among pre-colonial Africans than with Africa and the "rest of the world"... The gene pool in Africa is deeper because all humanity comes from Africa. All this science can be "deformed" into this conversation to tell us that there is a great deal of mental as well as physical "diversity" between you and me (even though we may have the same complexion). Yet I am here writing to you.

The white mind supposes that you and I are "the same," so I feel "comfortable" exposing my thoughts in this forum. This is not the case yet I have been here writing to you.

Bryan Wilhite

CORRECTION Juan: "What you mean is you are listening hard to those who have something to say which fits into what you want to hear."

Sorry about this Rethabile. I thought you wrote the above quote. I have trouble with the CSS formatting here.


No problem at all. I did know "that there is more genetic diversity in Africa among pre-colonial Africans than with Africa and the 'rest of the world'..."

Africans are indeed genetically much closer to Europeans than they are to Australian aborigenes, or to other "black" peoples.


With the benefit/hubris/arrogance/etc of being a way-far outsider here, I have one small thing to say.

When I was in university, in 1996, I attended a lecture by one of my very favourite feminists, Gloria Steinem. In the middle of her speech, she had a remarkable statement, and Ms. Steinem, please forgive me the 10-year-old paraphrase here. It was, in essence: "sexism has not only denied women the freedom to explore all their abilities in their relationships, it has also denied men the same freedom - the freedom to be nurturers and carers." It rocked my head back, and the insight guides my relationships now.

I think, writ larger, the point still has universal truth as exposed here in these discussions. Racism, apartheid, denied freedom to black South Africans (is this the correct terminology?), but the bitter fruit is ripening now for all.



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