There was a Facebook project that went viral recently that got a whole lot of people talking. And I loved it so much that I actually wanted to encourage the government to make it an official state project.
A Johannesburg outjie who now lives in the UK started a page which encouraged different races to say nice things about each other.
It started out with him encouraging black people to ask white people one thing they’ve always wanted to know.
And the questions and comments went from the strange and absurd to the outrageous and downright silly.
But it was all done in a warm spirit, so much so, that the few negative comments were drowned out by the positivity.
It became so popular that he changed the statements to one race telling another race one thing they love about them.
For example, he posted this statement: “All races, what is it about Coloured people that you love?”
It is such a simple and yet provocative thing to ask, the kind of thing you might discuss with your buddies at a braai and after everyone has had a beer or two.
But the responses were beautiful to read. One response was: “They are so much fun to be around. The way in which they speak and their actions and storytelling can leave you in stitches! Good looking and they are lekker stylish.”
The simple beauty of the entire thing was somewhat clouded by an article about inter-racial relationships written by a radio colleague of mine, for which she took a lot of flack.
It was fairly well written and not an entirely bad thought-piece, but it was short-sighted when it comes to celebrating unity and diversity.
Besides the fact that it failed to make a well-constructed point about successful coloured men who marry white women, it was also the complete opposite to what was happening on Facebook.
And let's face it, Facebook has become a gauge of sorts to take society’s temperature on just about anything.
The backlash proved to me that South Africans are ready to leap forward when it comes to anything to do with racist thinking. Many young people are tired of it and just want to live and love how and who they want to.
Which brings me to my point. A young white man living on the other side of the world has done what government is seemingly unable to do, albeit on a small scale.
Government should be jumping onto this and harnessing social media in this way to build understanding, acceptance and tolerance.
Instead of bickering, stealing and constantly misleading us, they should be throwing cash at this young man and encouraging him to continue this wonderful crusade of his.
From the responses I have seen, there’s a lot we want to know and celebrate about each other.
His latest Facebook post is: “LGBT people, ask straight people one question you’ve always wanted to know.” I can’t wait to get reading.