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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Unlike a rose, ‘kaffir’ does NOT smell the same to black and white; by Sandile Memela





Does the use of the word “Kaffir” damage the white refugee mission?
Is saying “Kaffir” something that most white-guilt whites still need to discuss with their psychiatrists?
Who or What is a “Kaffir”? ** Do “Kaffirs” exist? ** If “Kaffirs” do exist, why is there a problem with calling a person whose behaviour fits the relevant description for the definition of “Kaffir”; a “Kaffir”?

Join the White Refugee Conversation About Race/Racism:
Do “Kaffirs” Exist? Debate....





Conversations about Race/Racism: The word 'racist' and 'racism' has frequently surfaced in this Huntley White Refugee debate.... Few of those using the word, define what they mean. Fewer are interested in a conversation about race.... What is racism? Who is, or what is a racist?

Here follows, my invitation to Mr. Sandile Memela, to come and partake in our Conversations about Race/Racism: Who or What is a Kaffir; Do Kaffirs Exist? debate.......

Mr. Memela,

Hi. In contrast to Kaffir liberals, whose favourite word is 'racist' or 'racism' ... but who never debate, who or what is a racist, who or what is racism, does a racist exist, if so, who is a racist.....

As an I Say What I Think, 'racist' (“being black/being white” is not a matter of pigmentation, being black/white is a reflection of a Mental Attitude” and in the absence of that attitude, you are a non-black/non-white), I am in a heated debate, about one of my favourite South African words, 'kaffir'....

So, I have posted this post of yours, cause I agree with you that:
  • the meaning of any word is not in the word itself, but in people’s heads
  • Kaffirs do exist! The biggest sin will always be: Who says it!
  • The use of the K-word is something that most white guilt whites still need to discuss with their psychiatrists.
  • The time may be right for a society that has been undergoing transition for the past 13 years to appreciate new methods of defining the meaning of words and understanding their use in blunt, intense and provocative public speech.
  • Once 'kaffir' is out of the closet, pseudo-liberal forces both within the white community and their black imitators demand the person apologize, and put 'kaffir' back in the closet, to hush up any use of the word lest it raise the spectre of the apartheid past that haunts us.
  • But the panic and hysteria that has been caused in the white social and cultural circles is a sad farce of good intentions. The conclusion that should be drawn on this matter is that it is a combination of white guilt and political correctness.
  • This is part of our self-redefinition and expanding the meaning of words to fit into a new socio-cultural vocabulary that will help ultimately to break with white guilt, political correctness and a deep-seated inferiority complex.

So, this is simply to invite you, and anyone you know interested in a very very vigorous debate (not for sissies with sensitive ego's, and psychological inferiority complexes) on clarifying who or what is a kaffir, or how many different meanings there are for 'kaffir'; and/or who or what is a racist, etc... to please feel free to come and share your 'kaffir' 'racist' or 'umhlungu' opinion.. ;-)

Why We Are White Refugees on September 15th, 2009 at 9:55 pm






Unlike a rose, ‘kaffir’ does NOT smell the same to black and white

by Sandile Memela [Red Bold, added]

Township blacks will not say the precise moment when it hit them, but it was a good few days after township “klever” Irvin Khoza allegedly made a booboo by calling a black journalist a “kaffir”.

Slow thinkers that they are, they have now started noticing that the wise guys who protest too much about Khoza’s use of the words are neither called “kaffir” themselves nor black.

Maybe Jody Kollapen and Alex Boraine are correct to see this as a human rights issue. Or maybe they have no business to speak up on behalf of blacks without first consulting them. Or it’s that the use of the K-word is something that most whites still need to discuss with their psychiatrists. I am not sure.

But the more I follow this furore, the more I realise that blacks have no problem with calling each other “kaffir” — or “nigger”, for that matter. They understand what the words mean in a black context.


And let the record show that I mean no disrespect to self-appointed spokespersons for black people. In between these “outsiders” to the black township cultural milieu deciding what is good for the people, blacks are concerned that they are not consulted for their opinion on the matter.

In fact, many that I have spoken to say whites and other non-blacks are exquisitely and monumentally delusional, of course, to think that even in a free democracy other people must speak for blacks. It is their fundamental belief that nobody has the right to speak on behalf of blacks, including some blacks.

I am doing the honourable thing as a mere messenger of what some blacks think and say. It is important to say, without hurting anybody, that many blacks in the townships do not mind if Irvin calls another black a kaffir.

In fact, kaffirs do exist! The biggest sin will always be: Who says it?

Anyway, let’s politicise Khoza’s use of the K-word. It is an interesting political crisis that is, unintentionally, poised to deprogramme black people from a deep-seated inferiority complex and self-hate inculcated by centuries of colonialism and apartheid.

The time may be right for a society that has been undergoing transition for the past 13 years to appreciate new methods of defining the meaning of words and understanding their use in blunt, intense and provocative public speech.

The K-word is now having its theatrical outplay after being kept out of our political-correctness-charged times ever since self-styled kwaito king Arthur Mafokate released his album Don’t Call Me Kaffir in the early 1990s.

The use of the K-word has been taboo for whites. But, now, it seems that the ban has been extended to include blacks for whom its pejorative and derogatory meaning was intended.

Khoza’s right to freedom of self-expression and speech has effectively been suppressed as a result of white guilt following the negative meaning and connotation that they have always attached to the word.

But now that he has brought it out of the closet, pseudo-liberal forces both within the white community and their black imitators have forced him to apologise and hush up any use of the word lest it raise the spectre of the apartheid past that haunts us.

Perhaps we should ask the Pan South African Language Board (Pansalb) to step into this matter to provide thought-leadership and clear the air about how blacks and whites understand and use certain words that are part of our apartheid cultural baggage.

It is important for us to understand that languages, especially words, are the primary carriers of culture, which is an ever-changing, dynamic and progressive development towards nation building and redefinition of identity and heritage.

Khoza has been subjected to psychological harassment that has an unintended consequence of bringing apartheid ghosts tumbling from the closet and denying blacks the right to appropriate word meaning. In fact, his use of the word has not necessarily harmed the image and integrity of black people. It is for this reason that he has no business to apologise.

Instead, the brouhaha that has been stirred does not come from black people themselves. Largely, the blacks have been indifferent with the whites doing the protestation on their behalf, as usual.

This is a disturbing and unfortunate development.

But the panic and hysteria that has been caused in the white social and cultural circles is a sad farce of good intentions.

The conclusion that should be drawn on this matter is that it is a combination of white guilt and political correctness.


Both positions grow out of white intentions to denigrate and dehumanise black humanity who now want to impose their holier-than-thou political position on their former victims.

It would be advisable for those who purport to speak on behalf of black people to consult. Perhaps they may learn that Khoza is not at fault. Yes, it would be insightful to hear the views of blacks themselves.

In fact, Khoza has been correct to assert that the word has a totally different meaning in a township cultural context.

As things stand now, things have gotten controversial simply because non-black interference stigmatise “kaffir” as something that is taboo and should never be used in public discourse.

But this is exactly what will prevent us from shedding our apartheid baggage and contribute to suppression of freedom of expression and speech.


The open secret about Khoza’s use of the word, especially among blacks intuitively connected to township culture, is that despite its negative connotation in white minds, his serious intention was to question the integrity of a journalist who peddles prejudice and stereotypes about Africa’s prospect of hosting a successful World Cup.

What got to him was a perception that the media are hell-bent on perpetuating the view that 2010 is destined to fail simply because it is managed by blacks (sic).

Now, anyone who holds such view in the 21st century characterised by the African renaissance deserves to be called a kaffir because he or she perpetuates outdate racist stereotypes and prejudice.

This is part of our self-redefinition and expanding the meaning of words to fit into a new socio-cultural vocabulary that will help ultimately to break with white guilt, political correctness and a deep-seated inferiority complex.

Well, Khoza’s faux pas may not yet be appreciated, now. But we need to keep an open mind and listen to what he had in his own mind.

After all, the meaning of a word is not in the word itself, but in people’s heads.

Unlike the rose, the K-word does not smell the same to black and white.

Source: Mail and Guardian


10 comments:

Black Coffee said...

When whites use words "kaffir" or "nigger" they mean it in a racist way. Blacks who use those words on each other do not mean it in a racist way, in fact they use the words precisely to take the racist sting out of those words. Pure and simple, case closed.

Andrea Muhrrteyn said...

Black Coffee,

Please give your definiton of 'racist' and 'racism'.

Black Coffee said...

Racism is the belief that your "race" or group is superior to other "races" or groups of humans. (I use quotes because I believe in one human race). A racist is a person who subscribes to the above belief.

Andrea Muhrrteyn said...

Sorry thats a little vague for me BC...

1. Are you saying this is the one and only definition of racism, or that it is your definition?

2. Are you saying that all races or groups are absolutely equal in everything under the sun?

Blacks are not better at basketball, than japanese?

All races are equal, in every task under the sun?

Eskimos are not superior at building igloos; than caucasians?

Bushmen are not superior when it comes to living off the land as hunter gatherers?

All races and different ethnicities within those races.. are totally equal in everything?

And anyone who says one race is superior than another, in any particular task or group of tasks... is a racist?

Am I understanding you correctly?

Anonymous said...

Biologically "race" is a misnomer for nitpickers to argue ad nauseum. We're all Homo sapiens, wise apes, whatever our differences.

Andrea Muhrrteyn said...

That sounds very similar to ANC logic, that anyone who says Semenya is not a woman, is a racist nitpicker...

Anyway, if you think so, ask Semenya out on a date, and marry her to have your children... and tell all women that biologically 'gender' is a misnomer, for nitpickers to argume ad nauseum...

cause there are more differences genetically between races, than there are between genders, so if the differences between races are a misnomer, so are the lesser differences between genders...

hmmm interesting argument.. i guess you been thinking about this arguent for a long time???

Sdudla said...

One little tiny question .....

Are any of you Black Africans....???

I hope so because then you have the right to discuss the word and it meanings and no one else qualify's.

No White person can say that they understand the meaning of the word....

It is the same as saying to some one ''oh I know how you feel about your childs death'' when you have never lost a child....

As a White person we can not understand the meaning of the ''k'' word.....

Andrea Muhrrteyn said...

Sdudla,

Please define your personal definition for what the word 'kaffir' means?

Sdudla said...

A racial insult to Black people....pure and simple...that is how it was used in South Africa....and any other english speaking countries in Africa

Blacks were considered to be sub human even baboons were granted with more intelligence...

So don't try and ''chocolate''coat the word....

Just as the ''n'' word was used in USA so the ''k'' word was used in Africa by the Whites to dehumanize,degrade and insult the Black people....

Until the African Whites admit to it and are up front and honmest and listen to what the Black Africans are saying....really listen and have the courage to face and deal with the hell that they put the Black South Africans under.

There will always be an under lying hatred and mistrust and that is what we are dealing with in South Africa.

Andrea Muhrrteyn said...

So, 'kaffir' is a 'a racial insult to black people'?

So, there are different races? Or do you think we are all one race?

And what is an insult? Cause some people (actually quite allot of blacks i know), can be insulted, if you just look at them. You dont even need to open your mouth, you can smile, or whatever..

So, where does the decision that any action is an 'insult' occur?

And does hte black race have some kind of monopoly that because they are black, they are not to be insulted?

And is that the one and only defintion for kaffir, or are there others?

And if there are others; what are they?

Actually, I don't know of any baboons, who rape their babies... And I don't see much intelligence from blacks in Africa.. Sure in America I have come across very intelligent blacks, but not in Africa...

I don't need to chocolate coate anything..

Tell me, Sdudlu, you say you are white. Have you ever lived in an American ghetto, with black roommates, and blacks all around. No whites at all?

How do you profess to know what niggers think and say? From CNN???

Listen to what black africans are saying.. Black AFricans don't listen to themselves.. if they did, they would wake up and realize their hypocrisy.

So what is the point in listening to someone who doesn't listen to themselves?

Black were far better off, after the white man arrived in Africa.. than they were under their African Shakas, et al....

You are deluded..

There is an underlying mistrust.. cause some people cannot tell the truth... I ain't got any problem respecting anyone of any colour, but I don't respect someone just cuase I am told to. You earn respect... and blacks in Africa arn't interested in earning anything; its not in their culture. Their culture is to rob, rape and steal and you want me to respect that! Ha, ha...

The day they confront hteir culture and demand it hold itself to higher standards, I'd be happy to respect them...

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