Roxi Newham-Blake, Hout Bay
When I saw the headline “Irritation at intersection” on the front page (Sentinel News, July 8), I thought “yay, enough people have complained and they’re finally installing a right turn arrow to alleviate the right-turning traffic from Victoria Avenue into Victoria Road”. Alas, this was not the case. It was sadly, yet another, yawn-inducing; waste-of-paper article about the privil-eged, bored, entitled, paranoid, negative, fear-mongering middle class moaning that they have been harassed aggressively at the said traffic intersection.
I use that intersection more than once every day and have yet to encounter any aggression from the desperate women and men who are either hand-ing out their “business cards” in the hopes of finding a job or the three or four regular guys ask-ing for money. I spoke to a number of my friends and fellow Hout Bay residents regarding this article and they too have never witnessed public ablution displays or agression. Stopping at most traffic lights in our country is, undoubtedly, one of the awkward moments all of us endure on a daily basis where the disparity of wealth is reflected to us. I’m sure it is no less awkward for the people on the outside of the car, having to swallow their pride and ask for help.
It must be deeply disheartening waking up knowing that’s where you’re headed for the day and having to be at the mercy of “those people in their fancy cars”. The road situation is fraught with tension as it is, not to mention the burden of representation that browner skinned folk have to bear. If there have been one or two acts of aggression, I’m not even surprised and am actually impressed that there aren’t more. If I had to resort to looking for work on street corners, and was treated in the way I have witnessed on so many occasions, I would prob-ably have kicked a few cars or more likely smash-ed some windows (others would agree).
Does it really take that much effort to acknowledge, greet, smile at your fellow human beings who have had a raw deal in life?
You would rather choose to not make eye contact. You would rather – passive aggressively I might add – choose to move your car an inch forward. You would rather choose to hurt and humiliate that person.
Shame on you. You can’t ignore them. You can’t also help everyone but you can at least share a bit of love and spare them their dignity.
There. Rant over.