Do you treat black and white beggars equally?

1 Dec

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This is William. I gave him R20 this morning while stopped at the intersection of William Nicol and Ballyclare in Bryanston. On one side of the road is Bryanston Shopping Centre; on the other, Investment Cars. In Joburg, you’re never far from the juxtaposition of extremes.

White beggars aren’t common in Sandton. I’d been thinking about the issue of black vs white beggars after seeing this tweet from Barry Tuck earlier. It was in the context of a heart-rending series of tweets about a brutal attack on members of his family on a farm near Brits. :

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The wrenchingly complex issue of crime, poverty and cruelty aside, it got me thinking. Because I’m very aware that I’m less likely to give to a white beggar than a black one. Why? Perhaps because I feel that there are more black beggars than their white equivalent, that they were advantaged by apartheid, that they induce less guilt, even that they’re less of a threat to me. As with everything in this country, it’s complicated.

Do you treat black and white beggars equally?


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