Think out of the box

Arthur K Sarna, Helderberg

Once again, your prolific letter-writer, Johan van Zyl (“A time for prayer, Bolander June 6), has lots to say.

Funnily enough, I only recently discovered an old issue of Bolander with a long letter from the above gentleman criticising one of your columnists for saying Dr Hendrik Verwoerd was demented (Norman McFarlane: “In my opinion”, Bolander September 7, 2016).

I never saw any response to that and now I can say something about that.

Of course he was not demented, I agree. He was a highly educated man. He may have been an evil, wicked man, but not demented.

Anyone who can say officially, as he did, that “apartheid is simply a form of good-neighbourliness”, is clearly shrewd, unscrupulous, and yes, evil. But not demented.

What prompted me here was actually his more recent letter regarding racism, analogy of marriage with black and white as partners, and thinking out of the box.

Firstly, I’m not white, and I presume neither is he. After all, most truly white people are those who have been dead for some time.

I am more of a pinky, beigey colour, and there are few black people around also.

There are lots of brownish-skinned people of various degrees of brown and beige, some dark and some light.

Our differences are largely due to “received ideas”, another form of brain-washing, or in other words, labels are self-inflicted usually by the upbringing we have of being drilled with archaic belief systems, resulting in tribalism/clannism/sectism etc.

These are not fundamental differences, but are purely superficial.

What is fundamental is that we are all human beings, brought up to think according to pre-set rules (our cultures), but not to think for ourselves.

I am sure he means well, but if he doesn’t see it that way he is still too deep in the box.