Tielman Slabbert Racist Blog Article

HOW I STOPPED BEING A RACIST

posted in: Inspiration | 12


My friend William Goxo recently asked me: “I have been wondering about you, being born and bred under apartheid in a white Afrikaner farming community, what makes you different?  You are not what I have seen all over!“

Here is my answer: I am a descendant of white colonists who came from Europe to South Africa about 350 years ago. I believe my blood to be a mixture of German, Dutch and French. I may have some Malaysian blood in my veins too, but we were classified as “white” by the Nationalists who came to power in 1948. My parents were not Nationalists, and in those days could have been considered to be more “enlightened” or liberal, but they were not free from racial discrimination either. Growing up in a society and going to school where discrimination was the order of the day, I was of course influenced. So, I will be a hypocrite to say I never discriminated. And all of us who think that we do not discriminate, still say and do things without even realizing it ourselves how discriminatory and hurtful it can be to others!

When I was about 25, my life changed drastically. I went overseas and read a book about Steve Biko that was banned in South Africa under apartheid. What Mandela said in court and something Steve Biko said, stayed with me ever since. As I understood, Steve Biko despised these liberal white “good-doers” who “care so much for these poor blacks”, but still come from very high up in their own eyes! So, amid “fighting for a good cause” you can still be full of yourself! From this high-minded mindset you want to “educate” and help these “poor and simple people” and tell them how they should live and react and do things! It is this stuff that I found at that time, not only in liberal white circles, but I found it in myself, in my own mindset, my own conduct. It was then that I gave up the fight against this mentality in others, and the fight started within myself.

 

The source of discrimination

Unless we understand the root of all discrimination, we will never get rid of it! We will always deal with it on the surface. No law can ever stop discrimination. We can teach our children good principles and good manners, we can punish people who use the “k-word” or “n-word”, but unless we find the root of discrimination and get rid of that, it will continue under the surface and in the minds of people, and will from time to time break out like it happened in the recent murder of George Floyd. It is like the Covid-19 virus that you cannot stop with rules and regulations. You must get a vaccine that fights the virus from the inside if you want to stop the pandemic!

The bottom line is, none of us ever decided where we were to be born, what colour our skin should be, what gifts and talents should be in us. I could have been black and born in a slum! And with totally different talents than I have today. My friend William Goxo could have been born white, and in one of the most affluent suburbs of Cape Town. How on earth can I, who just happen to be what I am, exalt myself above anybody on earth? And why should somebody that was born in a slum look up to those born in affluent suburbs, bow for them and feel inferior? That is crazy! Inferiority complexes are just as wrong as superiority complexes!

So, to look up to certain people and to look down on others because of their skin colour, race, wealth, language, etc.- that was taught to us by a sick society! It is not sober and sensible at all! And sad enough, that is how we all were brought up, with “this is great and grand”, and “that is low and inferior!”

And how does God, who made each and every one of us to be like Himself (Genesis 1:26) regard all of this? He who after all decided where you and I were to be born? He who made our skin colour and planted some gifts in each of us, so that the one is a bit more competent in a certain area than another? God judges all people by the same standard (1 Petr.1:17), and that what is highly prized among men is utterly detestable in God’s sight. (Luk.16:15.) Does He esteem rich people higher? People with a particular skin colour? People who are gifted? Not at all! You will find it nowhere in the whole Bible! But why do you and I do that? Because we as humans get so easily puffed up without any reason whatsoever, because of our carnal mindset. This is how God judges this kind of behaviour in Col.2:18. And if we have this mindset, and still call ourselves Christians, we are just carnal Christians, small babies in Christ!

 

How then can we get rid of discrimination?

It is one thing to know we are all corrupted in our mindsets, but how can we get rid of it? Jesus said if you acknowledge the truth, that the truth will set you free! (John.8:32.) It is also written that it is impossible to do this with the law – with rules and regulations. (Rom.8:3.) And that the only way to get rid of it, is to condemn thoughts like “I am more than my him / her because of the colour of my skin, my gifts, etc.” These kinds of thoughts can be very subtle, and we need the Holy Spirit to point it out when we have these kinds of thoughts that are so deeply rooted in us.

And this is precisely how I stopped being a racist, that is, thinking that I am more than somebody else because I have a different skin colour or culture or gifts. Since I started acknowledging these discriminatory thoughts and condemning it little by little, by God’s grace my thoughts about others, my nature, my way of conduct changed. And this is why I am what I am today. I am not a “self-made-man”! Jesus in His goodness changed my life to be as it is! And He will get all the honour for it!

1 Corinthians 4:7 has been a great help to me in this regard: “What do you have that you have not received, and if you have received it, why do you boast as if you have not received it?” Thinking of this verse makes me immediately sober and then I refuse to allow any high-minded, discriminatory thoughts. This is how I am getting rid of the source of all discrimination in me, bit by bit.

Today I, Tielman Slabbert, a white Afrikaner male, love and respect all people just as they are. They are beautiful to me, just as God made them. I like black, white, brown, and yellow people, whether old madalas, “ooms”, grannies, omamas, ababamkhulus, young men, children, aunties, bafanas, etc. I love them all!

12 Responses

  1. Saskia Hagos-Damen

    Thank you so much Tielman, for this key to get rid of all hidden pride which is the source of every form of discrimination. The Holy Spirit is the only One who can show me the truth about myself into the deepest corners of my being. When I acknowledge that truth, it will set me free (John 8:32 German translation).
    I am extremely thankful for that work of the Holy Spirit in my life. Thanks to Him, I (a white Dutch woman) have been happily married for 24 years with my Ethiopian husband. I didn’t marry him because of his skin color but because of his pure, upright heart. And I love our 3 beautiful Ethiopian children for whom they are: precious children of God.
    We have been living in Ethiopia for 10 years.
    I detested to walk around in Ethiopia as a white good-doer who came to help the “poor blacks” but I have simply tried as much as possible to live there with my husband as one of them and I have loved the people whom God brought on our way. My only longing had been to share the richness of the true Gospel and thus help people to find the real inner freedom which Jesus promised to those who follow Him.
    “But in every nation the person who fears God and does what is right (by seeking Him) is acceptable and welcomed by Him” (Acts 10:35 Amp.)
    “For the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart”(2 Sam.16:7 Amp.). This word has always been my guidance. Thanks to God for the joy this has brought in my heart

  2. MILLICENT ANDITI

    God’s kingdom is of righteousness and no darkness at all.This is what I work with so I have always to remain in righteousness in all circumstances but I find corruption in me that I must put to death daily by faith and in Jesus Christ Spirit, to remain in God ‘s kingdom

  3. Cobus van Niekerk

    Well said Tielman! This should be proclaimed over the world to all people! What a liberating gospel from God: to be truly set free to the deepest degree from what dwells in us! Thank you for writing this in all honesty, it’s of great help to me. These words remind me to never become satisfied with who and what I am. There is so much more that God can save me from! The solution to all the turmoil in the world lies in what’s written here: sanctification from all sin!

  4. George Oketch

    It’s only by the help of God’s Spirit that the deep rooted sin in my flesh can be uprooted. By self acknowledging how limited and wretched I am as a person, I can ask God for help. “Ask and it shall be given to you Mathew 7:7, James 1:5, then I can get help over the sin in my flesh, I can see every one as God sees them, with love, without hate, discrimination, nor belittling anyone because of race. In short my entire world view can be overturned.

  5. Rebekka Habtab

    Thank you very much Tielman for your humility and honest testimony. As a young Eritrean woman born and raised in the Netherlands i have experienced racism too. I cant compare it with the situation in South Africa, but we have had to deal with it in the land of “White” People. I have always had a pain and anger in me about this, because the suffering of Black People is to much. But as time goes by i realised that this is also sin that causes this big and awful thing calls racism and that it has brought into the word by high minded people Who wanted to divide and conquer. But as you Said we have to take away the root of it all, so i decided to pray for this problem and to not get overwhelmed by these painful and angry feelings. I prayed God to love everyone and to forgive everyone. God didn’t make a mistake by creating all these beautiful colours He blessed is by doing that. There is no better or more talented. It doesn’t matter what coulour someone has in every nation there are smart rich or poor and lees smart People. Black White yellow everything is beautiful and no folk is superior to other folks. And that is what i teach my children and i think that that is a good thing, to teach children from a young age that all human are equalizer. I tell my children to respect every colour but to love themselves the way God has created them, because that is beautiful. Again thank you so much for you good articles . I love to read them

  6. Claude Kue Kamdem

    Thank you so much Tielman, this is 100% true; I can be free from all types of complexe ( inferiority or superiority); I’m just what I am and it’s God who created me like that, nothing to boast and nothing to complain. One thing is necessary to me is fulfil what is written here in Ephesians 2:10
    “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. “

  7. Paul Mathew

    Praise God Tielman, What is impossible with man is possible with God. All the rules that the world will try to enforce to curb this will definitely go some way about creating equality on the outside, but only God can do the real work. Till then it will be whitewashed tombs with dead men bones inside.

  8. Kgatlapane jantjie noge

    ” O how we need to be established here, we need to constantly go down each day”The is a lot of pain and suffering in this world, caused by clever, proud, look like godly people but denying its power. Thanks be to god for his spiritually, humble, sanctified people that are found here on earth as is in heaven. God’s spirit tears down every work of men. Superior or Inferior complex is man made. WAR is necessary, to the Inside of all men (Revolution). Thank you Tielman for who you are.

  9. Lebo

    Tielman u are blessed to be enlightened in this way…. how I long for all so called Christian yet racists to open their eyes to the new, but old commandment as spoken by 1 John:2:7…. to Love each other as Christ has loved us… that scripture does not say love ur fellow color people… racism is not there in the Bible… makes me wonder where do those claiming to be Christians get it from… God loves us all and therefore we should also love each other without discrimination of color, social status, financial standing, class etc… God bless you Tielman… continue to teach and educate the truth as it has been revealed to u

  10. Jacqueline Hart

    Thank you Tielman, I too come out of the apartheid era, although grew up as a more
    English enlightened white family. Having said that, I am constantly reminded about attitude and engrained reasonings, I have to repent of and ask for forgiveness.
    I am determined with the Holy Spirit’s help to be like my children and see ALL people as equal.
    Yes, your article would be amazing to circulate..and be good food for thought… as in
    “What am I doing about this in MY life?”
    Thank you once again.

  11. Sandanassamy

    Dear brother Slabbert
    Good to know about me and my nature .God help to rid of fallen nature .Thanks for this article.

  12. Gibson Mzumazi

    I am deeply thankful and praise God for this honesty and love of tielman slabbert to all – whoever they are. I acknowledge this love from him to me, that I am not worthy of it. I have no reason why I should be loved by anybody. At the same time, I have no reason to think that I am not loved because I am not looking like this one and that one and because I don’t have the same gifts as those surrounding me. And I have no reason to place myself separate from them, and not allowing myself to be part of them and their conversations. This is what was in me at a stage and it was absolutely wrong allowing such thoughts!

    It happens to me, just after I met tielman one day, that I realized that tielman doesn’t care who is around him, his only interest is to be with everyone who his longing is to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. From that moment, I started seeking to be with him more and more, so that I can get to understand him bit by bit. The more I was understanding him, the more I was getting more deep in Christ Jesus.

    Up to now, tielman is my friend, but he told me about a year ago that the most important thing is to talk to Jesus (I knew that he sensed that I will be not able to talk to Jesus by myself if I seek to go to him as slabbert for help every moment). I was not disappointed since, because I realized that tielman respect Jesus Christ more than himself, so it helps me not to come to him with every problem, but rather to go and talk to Jesus about my problem. Then this loving root was planted in my heart.

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