Date of speech:
Monday, March 21, 2016
Speech venue: Sharpeville
By Prof JNJ ‘Klippies’ Kritzinger
I have been asked to speak about the contribution of white people to anti-racism in South Africa. I want to do this in four sections, indicating four moves that we as white people need to make, four thresholds we need to cross, four changes (or conversions) we need to undergo if we are to make a constructive contribution to the struggle against racism.
And let me clarify from the start that I say all this not as someone who claims to be above racism or free from racism, but as someone who has been challenged and helped over many years by black colleagues and friends to discover my own racism as well as the structural, power dimensions of racism; and invited by them, drawn by them, into our joint human struggle to overcome this scourge on humanity. To use a biblical image, I speak not like the proverbial Pharisee: “God, I thank you that I am not like those racists over there,” but more like the tax collector, “God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”