Letters to the Jim Crow Museum
Racial Divides in South Africa
My name is Bongani Letshabo, I took one of your Sociology classes in the winter of 2000, if I'm not mistaken, while at Ferris State. I must tell you that for me, this was a life changing experience that opened my eyes to the racial divides that existed amongst us and yet have never been addressed by the society in which we live.
I am an African from Botswana and have recently moved to South Africa. In the two years I've lived in Johannesburg, I've experienced racism in its purest form, and have seen black people extending a hand of friendship towards their white counterparts in the spirit of reconciliation, to a point where it is embracing to bare, yet they continue to be shunned on and humiliated. This has lead me to believing that the reconciliation approach being used to heal the nation is not working and that maybe there needs to be a different approach, which will put at rest both blacks and whites fears, before even thinking about reconciliation.
My opinion about reconciliation is that it has to be voluntary and from the heart. If it forced upon an individual, it is not authentic and will never work.
My request to you is to pay attention of the South Africa situation as it is a fragile and fresh situation; and with you experience, if you and when have time, let's dialogue on it and hopefully one day bring you over for a presentation or two on racial tolerance.
Above I have attached a poem I wrote, if you have the time to read it please give me feedback on it such that I can used it for my growth as a writer. I appreciate you taking time from you busy schedule to going over my e-mail and it is my hope to hear from you because I really value you opinion and hope to hear you educated or credible view on this topic.
-- August 6, 2008