This morning whilst listening to the Expresso Morning Show, my son asked me, “What is Xenophobia Mom?”. I cringed inside… Did I really have to explain this to him?!
“Xenophobia is when someone dislikes or hurts another person because they are not from South Africa” – I replied while preparing myself for more questions.
“Mom, what is it called again?”
“Mom, that is very bad. You can’t just hurt someone because they not like you!”
This was the end of our discussion and he continued playing with his cars. Parking, reversing and dishing out imaginary fines!
It never occurred to me that I would one day have to explain to my child why our society is plagued by such prejudicial weaknesses . Why people acts in anger and violence towards that which they do not understand, towards those who are different yet equal!
My son once asked me, mom do you know how to make a “skinny colour” and I did not understand his question. “You know, a skinny colour like me, you mix orange and brown, and then you get a skinny colour like me”. This a sign of how far we have come as a nation…my son is exposed to diverse cultures and all he sees are people – skinny colours.