I just overheard some amazing revisionist history and complete lies - or ignorance - from a boom-voiced white South African man. He was aged about late 40s I guess and talking to a younger (and pretty) Oriental woman. I was on my way to work so I had the pleasure of his discourse for about half an hour.

He was telling this woman about 'his country'. His perspective on the current government was clear - he framed them as 'terrorists' who had to abolish the Death Penalty when they came into power otherwise half the government wouldn't exist. He did not mention anything about Apartheid except that it was about education. (An interesting implication if that's what he really thought - that 'whites' were treated better with a different set of rights - voting, good jobs, property - because they were better educated? or was is that he believed that 'whites' were smarter and that's why they had all the rights and privileges? - I didn't ask...) He quickly reassured the woman that Chinese people were considered 'honorary whites'. At this point I really felt like butting in because he had moved off loud-mouth opinions and got it factually wrong. Japanese people were considered 'honorary whites' - every other oriental person, along with Indian-descent people and any mixed raced people were considered 'coloured' and therefore inferior to 'whites' and were separated from the privileges of 'whites'. But I sat there fuming wondering whether he might want to beat me up if I contradicted him. He was clearly angry, stupid and wanted to get down her pants.

The line he took was that of the victim. Everything he said about 'his country' framed him as someone to pity - quite a successful line if you want to get in a girl's knickers - but it was scary. I couldn't tell if his disinformation was calculated or just plain ignorance. He was old enough to have experienced Apartheid. I also wondered how many white South Africans feel that way and walk around with half truths to buoy up their feelings of self-pity since the end of Apartheid.

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