With mounting racial tensions in the United States, several South African expats living in the “land of the free” have taken to social media to express their sadness at current events in their new country.
One South African expat’s message has hit a chord and gone viral. He wrote: “Thirty years ago my wife and I left our families and moved from South Africa because we feared for the future.
“Apartheid was still firmly in place, Mandela was in prison, and I didn’t see any forward movement on the part of the government.
“Fast forward a few years and with his release Mandela united the nation in a way that nobody could ever have imagined.
“The Rainbow Nation made people proud to be South Africans, and the country came together as one, and joined the rest of the world – no longer a pariah, where the colour of your skin, your religion or your sexual orientation became irrelevant.
“Here I am now, in the ‘greatest country in the world’ [USA]… and I’m dismayed by what I see happening around me.
“I fear for our future as a nation when there is so much distrust between us, when our leaders sometimes seem paralysed by inaction and you have candidates who polarise instead of uniting us.
“We are the UNITED STATES, it’s time to act together to solve our problems of racial inequity. We cannot stand by and idly watch as more innocent Black lives are taken, nor can we allow the type of senseless violence against the police that protect us, like we saw in Dallas, to continue.
“Once again, I cry for my beloved country.”
Another South African, living in Orange County, who happens to be white wrote about how he personally has been a victim of police brutality and thuggery by the Sheriff’s department and the LAPD. “I wish I had an iPhone then. You have no idea how many times this kind of police brutality goes on.”
The racial tension has touched everyone around the country including film-maker Spike Lee who has posted several photos of a peaceful and diverse protest march a couple of nights ago in New York City. He posted each photo with a message saying: “America Is Broken. God Bless The Victims And Their Families In Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Falcon Heights, Minnesota; and Dallas, Texas…”
In the meantime, some advice penned by Uditi Shane on how to deal with racists has gone viral, being shared by over 80,000 people after thepoke.co.uk posted it on social media:
“NEVER engage the perpetrator. He is looking for confrontation. Instead speak to the person he is abusing. Say hello. Introduce yourself. Shake his or her hand. And just stand with them. Keep talking. About anything. Weather. Bus schedules. Football… Form a group of people with and around them if you can. Don’t tell them they are not alone. Just don’t let them be alone.”
WATCH South African comedian Trevor Noah discuss the recent police shootings in the USA.