The outpouring of financial support for the white waitress brought to tears by the #RhodesMustFall activist is another example of just how much white lives are valued in this country above everyone else’s, writes Pearl Boshomane…
How much are white tears worth? Over R130 000, apparently. That’s about how much money has been raised by kind-hearted South Africans (and people in other parts of the globe) for waitress Ashleigh Schultz after she was denied a tip by Ntokozo Qwabe, who bragged about it on Facebook, and Wandile Dlamini.
Qwabe is the same guy who’s been in the papers for spearheading the #RhodesMustFall movement at Oxford University, while Dlamini is part of the movement locally. Their reason for denying Schultz a tip was not because she gave bad service or anything like that – but because she’s white, and they would “give tip when [white people] return the land”.
Let’s get this out of the way now: anyone who refuses to tip a waiter or waitress that serves them is a jerk. If you don’t think you need to at the very least give someone the standard 10% gratuity when they serve you, then you should stay home and cook your own dinner because you’re a miser who lacks manners.
There is nothing “black‚ wonderful & LIT” (as Qwabe gloated on Facebook) about refusing to treat someone with common courtesy.
If there’s one thing post-1994 South Africa is known for, it’s our constitution that says all races are equal – but the reality is some are more equal than others. The poor, disenfranchised, discriminated-against white male losing out on jobs because of BEE, AA and/or EE is pretty much a myth (the Commission for Employment Equity’s Annual Report for 2014-2015 states that “white males continue to receive preference when it comes to job and promotion opportunities than any other race groups at the top management level”).
White genocide is not real (to act as though white people – less than 10% of the country’s population – are the main victims and targets of criminal acts is bullshit). The most disenfranchised people in this country are black.
To act as though poverty does not have a colour and that race and privilege have no correlation is deceptive at worst and naïve at best.
While our government has failed to address economic inequalities as effectively as they should, not all the blame lies solely at their feet: structural racism is still the biggest obstacle to true transformation in South Africa.
Lest someone misinterprets this article as a defence of Qwabe and co, it’s not.
But the outrage and outpouring of financial support for Schultz is another perfect example of just how much, above everyone else’s, white lives are valued in this country. Forget #BlackLivesMatter – in South Africa, it’s #WhiteLivesMatter (rivalled only by #RhinoLivesMatter and #DogLivesMatter, of course).
Because of the country’s demographics, most servers are black. No one is naïve enough to think that they’ve all had stellar experiences with customers. I’m sure if you were to ask black servers whether they’d ever been reduced to tears or refused a tip by a customer, “yes” would be the response from a lot of them.
Why is it that we hardly blink when black waiters and waitresses are treated like crap by customers, but as soon as a white woman is reduced to tears we all lose our minds and part with our money?
Why does black suffering hardly ever get so much as a raised eyebrow, but as soon as the hue of the victim’s skin (and especially the hue of the perpetrator) changes, the outrage is multiplied several times over?
Why is it that the South Africans who get intense media coverage when they go missing, are kidnapped or murdered are almost always white, when those same things happen at a greater scale to black and coloured people?
Remind me again how much money was raised for the black workers at University of Free State who were tricked into eating urine-soaked food on camera by a group of white students?
You can’t claim that white privilege is not a real thing when a black man reducing a white woman to tears has thousands of South Africans up in arms, but a black petrol attendant being beaten to death by a group of white men barely gets a reaction out of us.
The Rainbow Nation’s slip is showing.
source; sunday times