So this month I single-handedly created racism in South Africa. I know, I know – you’re probably wondering: “How on Earth did a twenty-year-old girl that lives in neither South Africa nor Cape Town, create racism here?” (and if you’re not wondering that, at least you should be wondering what you did with your weekend while some of us created identity-crises in an entire population. I mean, it’s starting to look like a ‘lazy weekend’ is code for chronic underachievement for you here, pal)
In the spirit of political satire I started a twitter-hashtag named “#whitegenocide” in which I sort to a) poke fun at whites that fear the onset of white genocide in South Africa upon Nelson Mandela’s death b) entertain myself because being a young person, I get bored quite easily.
But it turns out, a sister can’t make fun of the mass slaughter of people of European descent without people getting all nazi in her twitter mentions. Well, you live and you learn.
In any case, the response to my tweets was overall positive, a lot of the ‘twitter intellectuals’ on my side of the twitterverse thought the whole thing quite hilarious. And the nervous giggles from the whites that were unsure if I was joking or not (I wasn’t—just kidding! Of course I was…or was I?) only added to my wanton delight.
Then came the dark side of twitter; or as I like to call it—the crazy white people side of twitter, that started a #firesiyandawrites campaign to get me fired from a job I didn’t know I had as they “reported” me to every single anti-genocide organisation and police force they could think of (which, oddly enough didn’t include one in my own country, haha—turns out there’s no minimum IQ required of racists—who would have thought?).
Quite soon, I started getting death threats from them and being called every single N-word that has ever existed. (How was your weekend?)
At first I wondered why—because my naïveté isn’t just something I feign to manipulate middle-aged men into buying me drinks. For some time I allowed my elitist mentality to blame their response on their own lack of humour.
But that truly wasn’t the case. I soon realised that I was at fault. I had created racial tension in South Africa. I had single-handedly inspired a hatred of black people, in white people that definitely didn’t exist in SA after 1994. (And why would it, Mandela danced at the Rugby world cup and everything was irrevocably fixed.)
My tweets about the flesh of white people tasting like “everything [black people] have ever been denied” may have seemed like a way for black people to laugh off the feelings of having gotten the short-end of the ‘rainbow-nation’ stick, but were in actual fact planting within black people a dissatisfaction with the status quo—a dissatisfaction that clearly did not exist before.
Where I thought I was uniting whites and blacks over an exchange of marinade-sauce recipes that go best with white flesh, I was actually inspiring division. Weird, right?
And for that I can never stop feeling sorry. For you see, it appears I have completely misread the social situation in SA. Apparently, my #whitegenocide trending-topic was nothing more than a rock in the path of the South African masses that threatened to trip them, as they held hands across racial lines and skipped down the path of racial harmony. [sighs]
And for that I’m eternally apologetic.
But God help me if Ian Khama finds out about this.
[for more of my twitter shenanigans follow me on twitter under handle @siyandawrites]