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Je suis la

Things that upset me

with 5 comments

Someone who sprays deodorant near me.

Someone who bumps into me. And doesn’t apologise.

Someone uses hateful and ableist language. The p-word, the s-word, the c-word, all of ‘em.

People who block my exiting an elevator.

Someone who says “Myself and Carl

People who use managerese.

Randoms who tell me to smile or ask me why I look angry. I won’t smile for you, arsehole.

Friends who cancel a meeting — at the last minute.

Someone who asks me whether I am crazy. I normally say “Yes, I am”.

Sms-speak in correspondence. Yes, even in sms messages.

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Written by Joy-Mari Cloete

April 30th, 2009 at 12:29 pm

5 Responses to 'Things that upset me'

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  1. I share some of your feelings here, but as you have come to know me by now, I have to say something contradictory :)

    I have seen your photo here on your blog and also some of the advertisements like “I’m a black girl with long hair”.

    …so here goes, “Things that upset me about you”:
    why do you call yourself a black woman, when you are not? it looks like you are an activist for coloured people, but honestly saying you’re black, is like saying I’m black or a black guy saying he’s coloured or white.

    White dude

    10 Mar 10 at 10:33 pm

  2. I like people who contradict. So here goes: why can’t I call myself black? Who gets to define who is, and who isn’t, black? What makes someone black? Is it the person’s skin colour, is it the language(s) they speak, is it the texture of their hair, is it their accent?

    I was in a meeting at work last week and the look on my boss’ face when I called myself a ‘black girl’ — in reference to that badge — was absolutely priceless. So perhaps there’s a small element of the rebel in me that’s protesting against being labeled…

    Joy-Mari Cloete

    10 Mar 10 at 10:48 pm

  3. Race is about your genes, not your language, so if you are a 100% African (black) person then you dont have any of the other genes in you, no European or Asian etc.

    The texture of your hair and skin colour has nothing to do with this, there are European people who is extremely dark and looks like Indians, there are even albino Black people who looks like whites.
    So, you are not black – you have a combination of European, (African and/or Eastern Malaysian) genes.
    I have majority European genes, but I obviously have some African genes from a few hundred years ago, which is now just a bit washed out :)

    But coming back to the language thing – I agree with you, I’d much rather hang out with people who speak my language and share my traditions etc. even if they are Indians, Japanese, Africans – just as long as we connect and share the same vibe.

    White dude

    10 Mar 10 at 11:40 pm

  4. ‘Race’ is a slippery concept. It shifts and changes meaning with alarming frequency. At one stage Jews weren’t considered white; these days they are. North Africans who live in the US can now call themselves white.

    I will decide who and what I am.

    I don’t automatically like people who share my language — ek’s Afrikaans; they have to earn my trust.

    Nou sit ek om ’n tafel / met my voorvaders se vyande / Ek knik en groet bedagsaam / maar / êrens diep binne my / weet ek waar ek staan

    Joy-Mari Cloete

    11 Mar 10 at 12:04 am

  5. You speak very metaphorically as to avoid answering the questions to the point – although I must admit your last sentence is some beautiful Afrikaans, so na my hartsnare.

    Race is not a slippery concept, go study the human anthropology and you will see all main bloodlines as it evolved over thousands of years into what we are today. – I don’t care about the Jewes, I don’t think they are any colour other than gold (that of money and riches) :)

    You cannot decide who and what you are – are you going to flip a coin tomorrow and choose to be Chinese for the day?

    White dude

    11 Mar 10 at 12:20 am

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