I see you.


I have never been someone who saw people based on the colour of their skin. Even as a child growing up in Despatch, South Africa, there were some people who I associated myself with and others I would rather avoid. These were white people, like me. I grew up during the height of Apartheid. We were victimised if we dared to side with black people. In a place like Despatch, with a high percentage of blue collar workers, racism reigned supreme. The last thing you wanted to be branded as, was being a “kaffir-boetie.” Loosely translated, it means a white person who loves or sides with black people. It was a very good idea – for your own survival – to either keep your silence and turn a blind eye … or to go with the flow. You also had no option, but to do army duty and fight on the border for the country. Either that, or go to jail. We had those two options available to us as young, white men in South Africa.

Apartheid wasn’t only bad for non-whites, to be brutally honest.

It is easy for a certain mentality to play the victim, isn’t it? It is so easy to generalise and paint all white people with the same brush. That’s evident of a low character mentality. Good character people flourish and prosper despite the circumstances they are dealt with. You can never oppress people of a certain character. They will flourish, prosper and find a way in any circumstance. Playing the victim is for low character people who cannot make it in the real world. This is not a race war … it is a war between good character and low character personality types. It is a war between dignified, well behaved people and common criminals who are always looking for any reason to behave in a criminal manner.

The moment I hear someone play the race card, that person immediately gets reduced to idiot status in my mind. I cannot even acknowledge someone like that from that moment forward. They simply get reduced to junk status in my mind … not worthy to be acknowledged in any way. A person with a good character will never play the race card. A person with a good character will flourish under ANY circumstances and despite the circumstances. Everyone will respect someone like that, no matter what colour his/her skin is. Doors will open (as if by magic) for that person. People of all races will support and identify with a person like that. A person with low character will look to play the race card at every opportunity. They suffer from the “them and us” mentality. They will play the victim, riot, loot and be the criminals they are … because that’s exactly what they are … low character criminals.

See, the general mentality is that people with the same skin colour belong together and are the same. I don’t quite see it that way. I see the person. I see their behaviour. I see their character. As is the case with people of any skin colour, there are the good ones and also the bad ones. I have experienced some very unsavoury white people in my life. We have the same skin colour, but I would not be associated with them in any way. We are as different as different can be. Same skin colour … different values … different character … different human beings. It offends me to be considered in the same breath as these people. I have family members, whom I don’t even associate myself with by virtue of their low character and tendency to behave in an unacceptable manner.

We have the same skin colour.

I don’t see you. We are not the same.

Then, of course, there are the beautiful, kind and compassionate white people. These people have a strong, disciplined character and integrity. They live life in a harmonious and beautiful fashion … always ready to help anybody in need. These people are not Bible pushers. They are simply warm, kind and loving for no reason (with no paybacks) at all. They do not see skin colour and will treat even the poorest person with kindness and respect. These are my people. When I meet people like these, I feel more at home with them than with some members of my own family.

We have the same character.

I see you. We are the same.

Growing up, the general mentality was that if you were seen as one of a group, you were safe. If you went to another school, lived in another town or had a different skin colour, you were looked at with a different eye. You were not seen as part of the same group. So, they generalised society … always the “them and us” mentality. The same goes for the religion you were born into. We were constantly being separated into opposing groups. Instead of raising us all with common love, respect and compassion, they divide us into opposing groups from very early on.

Ever noticed how a toddler does not understand or care about race, social status or religion? A toddler will either enjoy your company based on your behaviour or he/she will avoid you based on your behaviour. Behaviour is the key word. They will either feel safe with you … or display angst in your presence. Why would that be? Skin colour does not feature for them. They see only the person. They see only behaviour and character. Some of us never lost the ability to see people in that way when we became adults. That’s extactly how I see the world and all living beings I share it with. I see people like a toddler does. Race or skin colour doesn’t matter to me. I see only behaviour and character. There are many others like me … from all races and skin tones.

We have the same character.

I see you. We are the same.

The “them and us” mentality was especially problematic in my youth as far as skin colour was concerned. People were being judged purely based upon their skin colour. I found this problematic, because it was obviously a very superficial way to look at people. Just because someone was white, it didn’t mean he/she was a better person than someone with another skin colour. A far better and more meaningful way to either associate yourself with someone or distance yourself from someone, was to simply see their behaviour and character.

The honest truth is that I feel more safe and at home with many people of varied skin colours than my own. These are people who share the same values as I do. The moment people take out their alcohol, I am already feeling uneasy. The moment they refer to other races in a generalised derogatory manner, I begin to feel extremely out of place. The moment they assume I am one of them and share their low values (simply based on my skin colour), I am already looking for ways to leave as quickly as possible.

If you behave the same as me, we are the same.

If you display the same character as me, we are the same.

If you have the same values as me, we are the same.

Your skin colour doesn’t matter to me. Your behaviour and character does.

Simple.

It is a huge mistake to assume that I am one of you simply because we share the same skin colour. I am only one of you, if we share the same behaviour and character … no matter what skin colour we respectively have.

This is how intelligent beings should be thinking. The “them and us” mentality is for stupid people. The riots and criminal behaviour you are witnessing right now accross this planet is not about race. It is about stupid people, who are used to playing the victim and race card. They are opportunistic criminals. Solid idiots with very low characters and no integrity. These idiots are simply looking for any opportunity to be the criminals they are. I cannot associate myself with their mentality or character.

We don’t have the same values and character.

I don’t see you. We are not the same.

I do not associate myself with alcohol abuse. I do not associate myself with the use of drugs. I do not associate myself with late night, drunken parties … strip clubs … paying for sex. I do not associate myself with judgemental people. I do not associate myself with the senseless and superficial existence of most people. You know, those idiots who thinks nothing of throwing tantrums in public? Village idiots, they are. No matter what skin colour you have … if this is what you are into, we are not of the same type.

I don’t see you. We are not the same.

When I date someone, I am open, transparent and faithful. If I feel the need to see or interact with anyone else, I would rather end the relationship. I cannot look someone in the eye and know that I am being deceitful to her. I recently dated someone, whom was simply not like me. Cheating, lies and deceit came naturally to her. For her, it was a normal lifestyle. Openly staring after men (and their crotches) in public – even while at my side – was common for her. I saw right through her and cannot associate myself with her character.

She is white … I am white.

I don’t see you . We are not the same.

I identify myself with the clean living of Muslim people. The beauty and purity of Muslim existence resonates with me. These people do not just talk the religious talk … they live what their mouths speak. They don’t drink alcohol. They don’t smoke. They are warm, kind, peaceful and loving. I could just as well have been a Muslim, because we share the same values. The one thing that particularly struck me, is that I believe my body is my temple. Therefore, you cannot be religious and overweight. The two contradict each other. The Muslims share this point of view. I have huge respect for that.

Muslims are mostly non-white … I am white.

I see you. We are the same.

I was astounded by the beautiful, simple and basic existence of the Thai people when I visited Thailand in 2018. Around every corner, you will see little shrines with daily fresh offerings. The beautiful thing is that nobody steals the food and drinks other people had placed there. In Thailand, you won’t ever go hungry. They are a caring and sharing nation. “Saving face” is a huge thing for the Thai people … in other words, their behaviour will always be friendly, dignified and socially acceptable. I share these values with the Thai people.

We have different skin colours.

I see you. We are the same.

I always wondered why I naturally was so drawn to the Indian culture. I am a huge supporter of the Indian cricket team, by the way. People like Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma are my biggest idols. On the Sri Lankan side, Kumar Sangakkara is one of my all time favourite cricketers. Why do I admire these people so much? Definitely not only because they are wonderful cricketers … nope … they display a good character, humility and integrity that I identify with. They are beautiful people inside and out. I admire them for the people they are … and I identify myself with them.

We have different skin colours.

I see you. We are the same.

Now compare their behaviour to those of Australian cricketers. See the point? The majority of Ausies are white, yet I cannot indentify myself with their behaviour … who they are … the thuggery … the sledging. My general opinion (until recently) was that the Ausie cricketers belonged in a bar or club … not on a cricket field, playing a beautiful game. Their behaviour was a disgrace. I can only think what type of humans they are off the field if they behave like they do on the field. In short, my opinion of them are that they are low character thugs … and any game they participate in, is unpleasant to watch. They are getting a bit better after recent events, I must admit. Good on you, mates.

We have the same skin colour.

I do not see you. We are not the same.

Buddhism is probably the lifestyle I admire and identify myself with most. The purity and simple manner in which they approach life, appeals to me in a big way. They live by the priciples of Karma … as I do. These people are peaceful, kind, warm and loving. They lead a meaningful life of true substance and integrity. They live in harmony with their bodies, other life forms and nature. They do not hate, hold grudges or indulge in socially unacceptable behaviour. These are my kind of people. This is what being human is all about.

We have different skin colours.

I see you. We are the same.

Some of my dearest and closest friends in South Africa are black. They are upstanding and honourable people. They share the same values as I do. They are good and kind Christian people. They are not the kind to participate in riots and looting. They do not drink and smoke. They express themselves through their achievements both academically and professionally. On top of this, their general behaviour displays character and compliments their black heritage. They do not play the race card. They do not see themselves as victims. These are my brothers and sisters.

We have different skin colours.

I see you. We are the same.

I identify with anyone who lives in peace, harmony and love. People with sober habits who lead a constructive and dignified living … no matter how poor they are. People whom don’t suffer from the “them and us” mentality. People who don’t see skin colour, but rather feel at home with anyone displaying the same character and behaviour as they do. These are my kind of people. Most of these are not people of the same skin colour as me … but I identify with them. I feel safe and comfortable in their presence. They are the same type as I am.

I see you.

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Published by Gerhard J. Loots

I am currently completing my Bachelor of Architectural Studies through Nelson Mandela University. I am the published author of Stuttering Joe - Part 1 (Growing up in Sunny Valley). I have also recently launched my blog, called Stuttering Joe, which is based on my true life experiences, personal growth and adventures.

4 thoughts on “I see you.

  1. Such an authentic account. I can resonate with this, I see you and I would like to believe we are the same as it would be a great honor. From where I am sitting we are the same indeed. A very real story on what the animosity in this world is about. Thank you for opening up.

    Like

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