Sep 13, 2010

Hey, you know any Zulus?

One of the rather surprising things I've noticed here is the fine-grained nature of discrimination. Sure, there's plenty of the standard "all blacks are X" sort of thing, but I often hear more specific complaints. I had heard stories of this sort of thing, but hadn't experienced it myself up close until last weekend. I was buying some blank DVDs at a small shop and, as he was putting the discs into sleeves, he asked, "Hey, you know any Zulus?"

"A couple," I said.

"Are they looking for a job?"

"I don't think so."

He sighed wistfully. "I could use a good Zulu...how about Coloureds?"

"I know a few, but they've got pretty good jobs already."

"You aren't looking for a job, are you?"

I laughed. "Not at the moment, but I'll let you know if something opens up."

"I just don't want to hire another Tswana. I just fired the fourth Tswana this month. They're lazy people, you know. Don't want to work."

I shrugged. "If I run into any industrious folk, I'll send them your way."

One of the more troubling effects I've noticed is that I've become rather inured to blatant racism. Something like that would have provoked an enormous reaction a year ago, but with a dozen conversations with drunken Afrikaners ranting about the "fucking kaffirs," it just rolls off. Hopefully I can regain some perspective when I come home.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah.. heard the K word and wasn't overly shocked, sadly enough. Most Afrikaaner's around my area would never use such a term, but I have heard jokes about Aborigines in Australia, or "Abbos".

    What was shocking is seeing a newspaper title in Boksburg that read

    "Deranged Appie Kills White Couple in Home Invasion!"

    Appie is apparently similar to "Ape"?

    ReplyDelete