One of the loudest and most consistent requests from black South Africans has been for white people to take on the emotionally difficult work of educating other white South Africans about racism and whiteness
Today, a room of predominantly affluent white South Africans attempted to take this challenge seriously in the What Should White People People be Doing, Thinking, Feeling and Saying Now? panel discussion. While the process was undertaken on a small scale, in a private space and with no imperative to achieve more than conversation, it was a sincere acknowledgement of the fact that ours is a racialised society and that we as white South Africans are also implicated in this.
Attendees formed small groups and discussed the debate question, writing down their thoughts on what white people should be doing on green paper, thinking on blue, feeling on red and saying on yellow.
After the discussions the pages were collected, the audience was thanked for their participation and the session was closed. The effect of this exercise, and exercises like this, remains to be seen.