Ever felt helpless? Extremely frustrated?
These emotions only begin to explain how I felt throughout last week’s exercise. We were separated into two teams, blondes and brunettes. I was a part of the brunettes team. Immediately, I began to notice that we were being treated unfairly. The blondes were worshipped on a pedestal.
From the start, we were discriminated against, just on the basis of our hair color. We were given less materials, and less assistance than the blonde team. As the task continued, we were told we couldn’t speak… and Peter came by and smashed down any progress we’d made on our “raw spaghetti and marshmallow” tower.
I realize that I didn’t feel even an ounce of what some South Africans feel. I was BEYOND frustrated, the task was completely unfair; we were hopeless from the start… and we’re only talking about spaghetti, here. But there was a much deeper message involved.
I cannot imagine the disappointing and disheartening feeling that people of color in South Africa felt, and continue to feel. Mistreatment and discrimination on the basis of a physical characteristic is just something beyond my comprehension. I hope this journey teaches me a bit more about the obstacles and struggles faced daily by these people. I hope I can BEGIN to understand how these citizens feel. Their inferiority is not for lack of trying. Their maltreatment is not due to their actions; it’s due to stigmas and stereotypes ingrained into South African society.
I’m really glad we had the opportunity to complete this exercise, and to feel even an ounce of insight into the hardships of some South African people.
Thank you to everyone for your support thus far! We’re so thankful to be learning so much about the culture of this incredible country; we hope to take all that we learn, and transform our insight into actions.