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Ryland Fisher

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

The conversation starts

The past week has been quite hectic. I was interviewed on Bush Radio, the Western Cape community radio station, and on Good Hope FM by Nigel Pierce, their popular breakfast DJ.

I also spoke at the Black Management Forum (BMF) in the Western Cape and at a host of other events. And I have just heard that I am going to be on Weekend Live on SABC television on Sunday morning (8 July) between 7am and 8am, and on Morning Live on Monday morning.

Plus the Sowetan, as well as The Deal magazine, carried excerpts from my book. The Deal carried the introduction (I’m not a racist, but…) and The Sowetan carried “The dilemma of being a coloured”.

I believe some of the reviews of the book are going to start appearing over the weekend.

The BMF function was amazing because, in many ways, it did everything that I planned to do with the book. We provoked some serious discussion between the coloured and African members of the BMF in the Western Cape. Hopefully this will lead to more discussion which will ultimately lead to better relations in the organisation.

I believe that it is possible for people to be so polite with each other, while harbouring feelings of anxiety or mistrust towards each other. I encouraged the BMF members to let each other (especially people who might be different to themselves) know how they really feel about each other.

In that process, they might not only learn more about the people who are different to them, but also about themselves. They can then start to talk about how they can change themselves so that they can become more “acceptable” to others.

Like the BMF, I believe that other people and organisation must also engage each other on the issues of race and racism. Racism is very pervasive in South African society and only those who refuse to see or hear, can pretend that it is no longer a problem.

It remains one of South Africa’s biggest problems and one that we will only be able to solve by talking about it at every opportunity.