You can remember, quite clearly, the moment when the realization hit you like a Bakkies Botha tackle in the nuts*. Maybe it was a look you picked up on, after another Japie/Rockspider joke amongst your friends. Maybe it was the sudden silences that seemed to accompany your arrival whenever you joined your English buddies.
Normally you would have joked right along. Hell, you told the best rockspider jokes in SA! So what gives? You didn’t quite catch on at the start, but the looks continued and the silences grew longer. Somewhere along the way your friends began to change towards you in two ways.
A: The anti-Afrikaner sentiments, statements and jokes began to get an extra edge, and then there was that look, like, Is he going to do anything, say anything?
B: A strange kind of sympathy seemed to creep into their attitude towards you. “Poor fellow. He’s like, you know, ah… never mind, you’ll see” is the phrase you might have overheard before being introduced to a new member of the group.
With realization came denial.
Did you not go to UCT? Do you not exclusively date English girls… any English girl rather than a Boere nooi? By Jove!, your accent is so stripped of Afrikaans that its pretentiousness will make the Queen blush! (Pip pip!) You dream in English, your Afrikaans is about as shocking as any other English guy who has had 10 years of bilingual education (to no avail) and you follow the latest western fashions with rabid obsession. Even your children (both with hyphenated French or English names) go to English schools – even though you heard about research proving that it would negatively impact their lives.
This rejection… it just couldn’t be.
C’mon! For god’s sake man, you read every report of Afrikaner wrong-doing with furious condemnation, turned a blind eye to any mention of farm-killings and Afrikaans universities and schools under siege. You kept your concept of the Dirty Afrikaner pure of people such as Brink, Chameleon, Elvis Blue, Van Wyk Louw, Dr. Barnard and Anton Rupert.
But they know. They somehow know you are an Afrikaner.
Holy crap, you even pronounce your name in a French way in order to make it sound less Afrikaans.
Alas, all that effort, all that time and money… wasted.
Firstly: I feel your pain. I’ve walked the same path. You see, the sarcasm you noticed in your friends’ comments actually represents a life-line, an opportunity for you to grow some… you know: Leeuballe. The sympathetic stage indicates their realization that you did not have, in fact, a spine at all. If you and your friends were in prison, you would be the guy always eagerly picking up the soap, just to get into everyone’s good books. Hardly the stuff of respect.
Face it: You’ve been trying too damn hard to be one of them.
While you’re still reeling from Bakkies’ tackle, I will try to give you the gentlest crash course in what lies ahead for you. Like Morpheus presenting you the little pill of Reality, I will try to open your eyes to the reality that you’ve been missing while you had your head stuck up the anglo-anus the past decade.
So read carefully. It’s in English, the language you can still read.
The 15 Truths every Afrikaner man needs to make peace with (it’s a little less harsh for Afrikaner women, and I am not qualified to give a boere-nooi advice. I’ll leave that to a Super-tannie):
# 1. Don’t wait too long for acceptance, equality or forgiveness. That bus never made it to the station. Even FW is still waiting, so you have no chance.
#2. History is written by the victors. You are part of the losers. Understand this. Stop frowning at the fantasy-inspired history textbooks now given to children.
#3. If you understand #1 and #2 you can relax a little. Maybe you can spend less energy on the impossible crusade of self-flagellation-for-acceptance, and focus instead on leading a simple good life.
#4. If you join any political cause, no matter how just, you immediately weaken that cause, since as an Afrikaner man you are valued as an enemy more than as a comrade. In the world of black & white politics, you are expected to play a very specific part. The Bad Guy.
#5. Just because your language, culture and people will most likely die out within the next century, does not absolve you from trying to add to the diversity of this world, now, while you are still here. You carry the same responsibility as any cultural person, even though your contributions are not generally valued. This is the minefield between Political Incorrectness and your Higher Responsibility.
#6. In the eyes of the world, the greatest value of an Afrikaner boils down to this: You are the easy answer to all that is wrong with the world, including racism, poverty, crime, corruption, two-tone shirts, bad hairstyles and global warming… to name a few. The world needs Afrikaners. In fact, rumour has it that the ANC and EFF has Eugene Terreblanche’s DNA in safekeeping in case we all die out. We are that important.
#7. Saying that, it might seem paradoxical that the definition of a Good Afrikaner sounds like this: A Japie who hangs a board around his neck with the word “Guilty” written on it, before lighting himself on fire. His last will and testament would state that everything he owns must go to black people.
#8. If you do something so righteous and good that it makes Buddha laugh and Ghandi do the happy dance in the afterlife, you must remember that even this pure deed will not be accepted by the living. An Afrikaner, by definition, is not capable of goodness.
#9. Nothing says Afrikaner-inferiority complex quite like the Ryk Afrikaner. (Nicely summed up by Mr. Deon Meyer as someone who buys his wife new boobs, builds a Tuscan-style monstrosity of a house, and wears silly-money shades with a very prominent label.)
#10. The statement “I am” seems neutral, albeit philosophical, until it comes to light an Afrikaner wrote it, after which three masters’ thesis’s and two Ph.D.’s can be written in order to tear it down to the ground. Your very existence grates people.
#11. Somehow, you will need to shield your Afrikaner children from these truths, without actually lying to them. Good luck. It sucks to be them, too.
#12. In some strange way, Afrikaner men are free in ways that others are not. You don’t have any moral high ground to lose, which opens up the possibility for an ‘Oop Gesprek’ (look it up), while the other angels of the world must continually negotiate the politically correct minefield in fear of ending up with us lot: Rock(spider) bottom.
#13. An argument of supreme logic sprouting from the best, most formidable intellect, is no match for the accusation of racism. The race card trumps any argument. And remember, you are wrong by definition.
#14. You are allowed to support linguistic and cultural diversity, in a very hushed and discreet manner, as long as it does not include your own language and culture… because then you will be branded a Taalbul (whatever that means. I suppose it is the opposite of a Taalnul?). :O
#15. Know what ACP is: Apologetic Conversational Protocol. It is widely practiced by all white South Africans, which basically boils down to the phrase: Ek is nie een van daardie Afrikaners nie! ACP requires you to indicate in some way, within the first five minutes of a conversation with a non-Afrikaner, that you not a racist. For instance, you could let it slip that you had a black girlfriend once, or that you own The Making of Invictus – Extended Edition, or maybe you can just default to the usual dreamy-eyed, breathless statements of love and devotion to Nelson Mandela… who we all know was God-in-disguise. (No seriously… since Morgan Freeman portrayed both God and Nelson at some stage of his acting career, Madiba clearly must be God).
There, this should help you acclimatize to the horrid reality that is your birthright(curse). After giving it some time so sink in, you will ask, teary eyed and whimpering, “But… but… where do I go now?” To which I will reply as such:
The possible paths you can pick from, as a post-comatose Afrikaner man:
- Keep running. Keep picking up that bar of soap. Just remember, it’s not going to get any better.
- Go the other way. Say: Screw all of you! Pick up an AWB flag, shave your hair, get fat, get khaki’s and look for a black guy small enough to beat up… preferably where no-one can see you and kick your white arse. Watch out for kids with cellphones filming you. Idiot.
- Climb into that big Afrikaner cocoon known as Rugby-Cricket-Brandewyn-and-Boerewors, and forget about politics, language, culture… basically forget about 99% of reality and just focus on the oval ball. Grow shit for brains.
- Or learn to live with doubt. Open your eyes to the good within your language and culture. Getting rid of that anti-Afrikaner filter (and your expensive shades) will help you see the diversity and beauty in other cultures as well. Cultural people get each other, however different they are. They are curious, and they know that they are not wasting space on the planet by trying to be American clones. Start supporting, start creating, start playing a part in the survival and building of this unique part of humanity to which you belong. Stop caring about those who will never accept you, understand the truths mentioned above without them turning your heart to bitterness and hate. The idea is not to hate back, but to create and give regardless.
Who knows, maybe three centuries from now
- Afrikaans will still be taught in some university
- Your descendants will speak, read and write Afrikaans more fluently that 90% of today’s Afrikaners.
- Afrikaners will be seen in a more natural light.
Hell, in the meantime you might even learn to speak your own language with a little dignity, or, lord knows, grow a pair…
Good luck, and… welkom terug, boeta.
* Nuts here used in figurative sense, since you did not have any at the time of impact.