Bantu or Kaffir

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I recently watched a movie on the Disney Channel entitled “The Color of Friendship” about a young white south African girl named Mahree. The movie is set in 1977, the year of Steven Biko’s infamous death by police brutality in South Africa. In the movie, Mahree refers to things that “blacks” do as “for Bantu” or just “Bantu”. At one point, a 13 year old Piper Dellum confronted her, asking what Bantu meant. She said, it means black. Piper was worried that it meant “nigger” but Mahree quickly explained that Bantu meant black, or negro, never nigger, and that “Kaffir” meant nigger and that she would never call Piper that word in any means. Later that night when Piper was rambling off to her parents about all the things she had learned, she made a mix up and for a moment it seemed that Mahree had indeed called Piper a Kaffir. Immediately both of her parents were angry and yelling. Piper corrected herself and saved Mahree.

This got me thinking, Bantu, or Kaffir? What I mean by that is how do we, the whites of America, treat the African-Americans of today, behind their backs? After polling all of my memories, I recall being taught to fear them, not trust them, mostly however by my father. Such as being told to “stay down” in a predominantly African-American neighborhood, and how a black man would rob our car or house blind if given the chance, or even that I should avoid them altogether. From my memories, and thinking as Mahree would, I would think all African-blooded people were Kaffir, dirt, scum, or filth. No man deserves a name like Kaffir. No man is scum. Some men are evil, and ruthless, but they are still a life worth respecting. Are we more likely to boss a black man around our office, than a white man? Would we “forget” to tip a black man at a restaurant, but tip extra for a white one? It’s these subconscious behaviors that make racism a still dominant problem in America. The whites still teach their kids to fear, or even hate a black man, the KKK is still active as a freedom to gather, they don’t get away with their crimes anymore, but they still exist. So, tell me, how do you treat your African-American peers behind their backs Bantu, or Kaffir?





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ThatD00D2316 said...
Dec. 12, 2010 at 9:51 pm
Love this movie.
 
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