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Thu Sep 29 06:59:31 SAST 2016

Inequality brings racists crawling out of the woodwork

The Times Editorial | 05 January, 2016 00:32

Our biggest challenge is inequality and the economic divisions that continue to define who we are as a nation.

Penny Sparrow, who this week revealed her true colours when she called black people monkeys on Facebook, epitomises the continuing struggle faced by the majority in this country.

If a fellow South African, who knows our past history of segregation, harbours such opinions about black people, our work to build a united country is far from being realised.

Sparrow and those who think like her fail to appreciate the ability of many South Africans to look beyond their pain.

Black South Africans, in particular, continue to share a smile amid their dire economic conditions, which are getting harder every year.

The same "monkeys" Sparrow spoke about continue to have faith in this country and will not be deterred in their mission to build a better future for their children.

We should continue to expose economic inequality, which is among the world's highest.

Sparrow, whose privileges have not been threatened by the black majority, sees nothing wrong with her statements. To her, black people have yet to migrate to a higher social order that will qualify them for a seat at her table. She says black people just make a mess. "It is just how they are."

Now that Sparrow has been exposed, we hope she will begin to appreciate that, despite their daily struggle, many families find joy in visiting the beach on New Year's Day.

Not long ago black people were barred from the beaches, while Sparrow enjoyed the sun and the blue waters of the Indian Ocean.

As long as we have inequality, there will be racists among us.

Sparrow needs to travel the world to see how humans behave. Littering knows no colour; other countries also battle to deal with their citizens littering the beaches.

All shades of racism must be exposed and removed from our country.

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