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Saturday, 23 June 2018

Racism in 2018

Since I relocated to the United States a little more than three years ago I have been able to look with fresh eyes on Racism, particularly where it is related to politics. Few people will admit that they are a racist because of the stigma attached to the word. I am pretty sure that in this country I would never call myself a racist, although there are clearly a great number of them about. On hearing the word my mind immediately associates it with the South, where much of the population is either, in their minds, still fighting the Civil War, with the NRA, and with Trump and many of his followers. I do not yet have the vote, but have my papers filled out for citizenship (just have to find the $640 it costs to apply). When I do get the vote I will never be joining the ranks of the evangelists and the pro-lifers of the Right. It is very rare to see a person of color up here near the Canadian border - I venture to say that I have seen more black bears.

In South Africa, it was a lot different - but there, racism was also mostly related to politics. The ANC has adopted a reverse apartheid frame of mind. They are vehemently anti-white and in their own way racist. Living there as a white person it was inevitable that one countered with the opposite. Although at my farm in the rural Eastern Cape I developed a rapport with several of the locals, especially with Julia, who ran the local shebeen, and with Headman, the local preacher who doubled as a gardener and odd-job man. I would probably have admitted to racism while living in that country, though not to those people of color with whom I had a rapport, but with those hard-line politicians like Winnie Mandela and Zuma - and especially Robert Mugabe. How I cheered when I heard that he had finally been ousted.

According to True North News Vermont, where I now live, has been classified as a racist state - although this is refuted by an article in the Manchester Journal. I'm not sure that many people of color would want to come to live in a state where the winters have so much snow and last for a good six months. The coldest night I recorded last year was -35˚ C (-31˚ F) and for much of the time, we were colder than Alaska.

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