I Have NOT Watched the Spur Video

So here’s the dealio. I have NOT watched the Spur video. I know, I know, how did I manage to not press play on a clip that flooded my timeline?? The power of the scroll down is a forced to be reckoned with…

But let me tell you my side of the story…

Right now I’m not even in South Africa, I’m in Florida, in the USA. And a few mornings ago I woke up, found my glasses and opened my Facebook App. And it was EVERYWHERE. Almost immediately I had zero interest in watching it, all I saw was a large white man, towering over a table seating a black family and I knew if I pressed play, it would add nothing to my life. I’ve seen situations like this before. Whatever they’re arguing about doesn’t matter, it’s probably racist.

*Scrolls down to watch tear inducing animal adoption videos*

I manage to forget about it until I see a video on my ( black American) friend’s YouTube trending list titled “South African White supremacist Attacks Black Woman.”

Since it was posted, I’ve managed to avoid watching it, commenting on it, or even liking the encouraging posts, but here, across the world, on a different continent my black, American friend has asked for my opinion. 

Great.
Since he asked me, I’ve decided to put my trust in a blog post and open myself up to the endless abyss of potential backlash and give my opinion. I can’t believe I’m this person now. And as much as using big words like bigotry and supremacy makes for a great read, I’m going to do my best to keep it simple.

Let’s break it down and start with the easy bits.

1. I’m NOT going to watch the video. I’ve seen situations like this before in real life, just because it’s one of the few times it’s been recorded and posted, it shouldn’t surprise people.

2. When I get home, I’m going to eat at Spur. Because if I had to boycott every restaurant a racist incident happens at in South Africa, I’d have to make a lot more of my own food. And I also thoroughly enjoy their ribs.

Now it gets a bit more touchy but let’s touch on the BIG ONE.

3. “White Privilege,” she says as white people everywhere flinch. If I see one more post ( from a white person ) that says it doesn’t exist, I may do something as dramatic as removing you off Facebook. The horror.

Now as a person whose last name is Whitehead, as if my skin tone wasn’t obvious enough, I know what being white is all about. I grew up in a middle class home, who’s parents provided for me, but I wasn’t privileged in the “normal” sense. When I left school, I worked and earned for myself , which I still do. And that is when I learned about the difference, between that “normal” privilege and white privilege. And I got to learn about it in two different countries. And this is how I explain it.

South Africa – When a young white woman can shout and belittle an older black lady working at the Woolies Pie section, using a, “loud voice you reserve for people who you perceive as stupid” saying, “GIRLIE! Hello?! Don’t you think you should help the customer standing in front of you and stop what you are doing?!  NO girlie, you help me first. Okay?” * Please read the full article here on The Daily Vox * And believe me, I work in the customer service industry, I have dealt with disrespectful customers, but I don’t get treated as the maid, or just the pie lady. People don’t talk to me in a ‘white accent’ the way I hear people dumb down their accents to talk to black people. I hang out with white people, I’m not going to pretend I don’t hear the statements, “agh all of the blacks are lazy,” or “don’t go to that festival, it’s filled with blacks.” I’ve seen a woman not let her child play with a cup my black school friend had drank from because, “germs.” WE KNOW THAT APARTHEID IS OVER,  WE KNOW THAT BLACK PEOPLE ARE NOT BEING BEAT, SEPERATED AND ENSLAVED BUT DO YOU SEE THAT THEY ARE STILL JUST “THE BLACKS.”

America – I have straight up seen a white woman hold her handbag closer to her body as my black friend walked past her. I have watched every horrific video of unarmed black men being shot down and killed by police officers. I have seen the text messages from my black American’s friend mom asking him to keep safe because, “it isn’t a good time in to be a minority in this country.” Have I ever received a text message from my mom saying, “it’s tough to be white these days, do your best not to get shot, love you,” No, I have not in case you were wondering. And it felt very weird reading that, a mother telling her son to be safe because of his race. It wasn’t a nice feeling.

And to completely simplify it, let this ROCKSTAR of a white professor explain it to you on this video, and watch as Jane Elliot shows a white girl what racism feels like.

3. Farm murders. Because that is the first response to any post acknowledging black people. Please let me state VERY CLEARLY, that murder is a horrific crime, to take a human life, to leave children parentless, to kill a child, I do not condone, or justify it  at all. And that is how I feel about ANY race. And don’t you dare threaten me with, “Well what if YOUR parents get murdered by black people!? ” I will release my wrath and delete your comment. I have friends that live on farms, I don’t want them to be murdered either. But know that I do NOT accept the racial excuse, the wage dispute excuse, “the murder them because they are white”excuse. It is murder, it is a crime and the people responsible should be taken account for their actions.

Boy, this one has ended up being a pretty long one but let me finish up. I want it to be clear that I am learning, I’m still learning about the, ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement by reading and trying to understand, I’m learning about my black friends lives by listening to them and reading their opinions without using my trigger comment and saying things like, “well not ALL white people are bad.” Or trying to justify my race and take away from their struggle or ignore history that isn’t perfect no matter what your race. I’m also not perfect, there are also things I don’t agree with, for example I will not accept my friend being treated differently because her native tongue is Afrikaans, or deny her a place in South Africa because of the culture she was born into, grew up with and embraced as her own. 

There is such fire in South Africa right now and I worry that it is being fueled by hatred, bias, ignorance, arrogance but I also know that this fire is better than trying to put it out and pretend there isn’t an awakening in our generation. I am not the only one that needs to learn though. And Jane Elliot explains it AGAIN, in the perfect way right here
I don’t know if in a years time I will learn more or events that may occur and my opinion will be completely different from what I shared today but today this is my opinion and this is what I do know, I am a young white woman, trying to unlearn what the world has taught me, I’m trying to be the difference in my generation.  

#NeverForget  

“During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.” – Nelson Mandela 

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The Butt Sweats 

When you spend an ENTIRE year living at the MOST magical place on earth and you share maybe two blogposts. 

The pleasure was all mine, internet. 

But on the realist of notes, how do you explain to everyone what that year was?
I’ve already been back home to South Africa and I’ve proved I don’t have an American accent, my friends and family have eaten all the Reeses I got them, I’ve eaten ALL the biltong they got me, I’ve told them some of the stories, I’ve cried most of the tears, happy and sad, but what was my year living and working at Disney World?  

Yes of course it was magical, and life changing and THE BEST, but what was it REALLY?? 

My year was made up of moments, moments of extreme happiness, heartbreak and everything in between.

It was realizing I actually don’t mind baked beans, as long as they are drowning in smoked barbeque sauce. It was not killing one lizard in my entire year, I’m pretty sure I wasn’t responsible for the one squished in the house door.

My year was going to Magic Kingdom alone, not smiling at anyone and sipping on that delicious iced coffee, because therapy. My year was polishing silverware, it was explaining that I am white and African, and NOT British. 

My year was learning that I should NEVER say someone is Puerto Rican when they are obviously Peruvian. It was adding to the intfinite playlist that was the soundtrack my year. It was getting infected with Red Tide and surviving to tell the tale.

My year was not spotting one aligator, it was understanding football and realizing I don’t care for basball but crying when the Cubs won. My year was a year of very Happy Mondays, and not so great Tuesdays. It was pretending I knew the exact words of Shosaloza. 

My year was being on the 5:39AM bus to work and wishing for nothing more than to never have to ride the J bus again. It was a year of losing my key and locking myself out way to many times. It was never eating one of those damn Africa cookies. 

My year was trying, it was a perfect mixture of barbeque and mayo for my cafeteria fries. It was the impressive sprint that clocked me in on the hour. It was going to the places only we know. It was disguising the one drum beat I knew among the better beats. 

My year was chilling in the side stations and watching server drama unfold. It was the battle of the right temperature for our apartment. It was forgetting my passport and ruining everyones night at Walgreens. 

My year was regretting learning what a four loko was, it was late night and early mornings exploring of the Wilderness Campsites, it was taking too many ER’s. It was looking when someone shouted “mira.”

My year was overeating at any buffet I went to, it was meeting kids that taught me magic is real, it was drinking butterbeer and knowing that life doesn’t get better than that. It was digging holes on the beach because we can.

My year was Christmas with my best friend, it was sharing headphones to get through the bus trip home. It was the meteor shower. It was working the New Year shift and getting stuck in 2AMDisney traffic. 

My year was getting lost in Vista EVERY TIME I went there. It was knowing I would have a good time every time I saw Trevor, it was Publix chicken and trying to figure out what the difference is between sweet tea, tea, and iced tea and the one that is half tea half lemonade.

My year was cinnamon pretzels and hot chocolate. It was crying under the Osborne lights, getting the feels the first time I saw any fireworks show. It was the humidity, the kind that gives the butt sweats.

My year was a mess, it was a beautiful mess of friends, exhaustion, moments, magic, tears, laughs, anger, late busses, terrible food, memories and I wouldn’t change a thing. Not even the managers.

It was my Disney 2016 and I can’t believe it’s over but there’s always enough magic left over to find a new adventure! 

Hello 2017 xx

Orlando, the City Beautiful.

The place that was just a name to me a year ago, before I got accepted into my Disney Program has now become my home. It is the place I have met some of the most amazing people from all over the world, it is the place I’ve lived, the place I’ve worked, the place I’ve explored, it is the place that I call my home. This place is Orlando, Florida, the city beautiful.

But it’s different now. Now it is the place that has been tainted by one mans actions, it is a place that brings forty nine families incredible heartbreak, it is the place that will be in the news for the next few weeks constantly reminding us of the horrific night that so many lives were lost. It is the place that will be known as ” where the largest massacre in the history of the US took place. ”  But it’s still home, this place is Orlando, Florida, the city beautiful.

In the two days since that night I have never experienced such palpable sadness and mourning around me. The idea of being fast asleep while 20 minutes away a decision is being made that is going to change lives in the most tragic way possible is something I never thought I would experience. Arriving at work and having the news echo on every radio station and television playing, watching the events unfold, hearing a mothers plea trying to find out if her child is alive, reading the messages victims sent out during the attack, seeing images of the injured, the traumatized and the survivors. The people of Orlando, Florida, the city beautiful.

” I know I will never understand, comprehend or accept what happened, when your reason was that you saw two men kissing. I don’t know how it is possible for you to feel the kind of anger that your father feels justified your actions. I don’t know why you decided to walk into a place that celebrated all, equality, love, happiness, freedom, and then you murdered it all. I don’t know why you have been given a platform to blame religion, sexuality, and the victims themselves for the decision you made. I will never know why you thought you had the right to take so much away from so many people. ”

Even though so much has been taken from this city, I have never seen such a beautiful time of unity. Something that has made me feel so proud of being able to call this place home for seven months. That Orlando pride. From the first responders that faced a horrific task, the community that stood in line for five hours in the Florida heat to donate blood, the people opening their houses for the victims pets, the airlines offering ways for families of victims to get here, the hotels opening up their doors to the family’s. The moments of silence, the candlelight vigils, the positives words, the images of the people of Orlando showing their support, the people that took on LA Pride in the name of Orlando and the sheer resilience of the LGBT community, we commend you.

To the victims, we are sorry. To the families and friends of the victims, words cannot express what we feel for you. I mourn with you, I mourn with the rest of the world, we  mourn with you, Orlando, Florida, the city beautiful.

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Stay Away From the Scissors

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Them ,” Oh no, Tayla! You cut your hair! ”

Uh yes, I am aware of that..

” But why?? ”

…. oh wait, you actually want me to give you an answer??

The back story to this post which really had me considering changing my blog name to Tayla Rants pretty much involves me getting a hair cut. That’s it. Not deciding to sugically remove one or two ribs to have a smaller waist, a haircut.

This haircut definitely taught me that I am nothing more than the length of my hair. My beauty was all in the length of my hair. My personality was nothing more than the flowing locks I had. I have shoulder length hair now and I don’t know if my life will ever be the same again. I am Samson, and they are all Delilah’s. ( Thanks for this reference Lofdal)

So to the Delilah’s that had something to say, which ranged from, ” oh it’s quite short hey, ” to “oh you look nice but I loved the long hair, ” to the very common ” but why did you do it?? ” I finally have an answer for you.

Putting me on the spot resulted in responses about the Florida heat, or because I had to trim my split ends, or the lame, ” I need a change ” excuse.

I realize now the answer was right in front of me. And it’s none of your motherfudging business Delilah.

I’m not going to do what suits your preferences, I’m not going to feel less beautiful because I look a bit different, I’m not going to feel like I’m being treated differently because I cut my hair.

#SHORTHAIRDON’TCARE

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Side Bar

The removing ribs to have a smaller waist, TRUE STORY.

Like We’re 22

“Everything will be alright, if we just keep dancing like we’re 22,” no Taylor Swift, that’s a LIE.

Because no matter how much I want to live by the lyrics of all Taylor’s songs and believe that shaking it off is the fix it up to everything slightly wrong in my life, I can’t.

Sometimes being 22 sucks. And I’ve got 22 reasons to prove that.

1. Well let’s just start off with that fact that 22 is eight years away from 30. Yikes

2. Kylie Jenner will always have better hair than me, and she’s not even 22.

3. The moving out of home thing.. overrated.

4. Making new friends at 22 is easy, keeping them is what throws you.

5. Because ‘ Pon De Replay ‘ used to be your Riri jam… now life is just like, ” werk, werk, werk…”

6. There isn’t enough time in life to make actual mashed potatoes so you’re using that instamash product that shouldn’t exist

7. Finding the self-confidence in a world constantly telling me how to “fix” my thighs, tummy, nose.

8. Hoping the bridge between adulthood and the weird pre grown up phase doesn’t break while I’m stuck here in the middle.

10. The actual risk of a selfie death. Because now they’re more frequent than death by shark attacks.

11. Somehow trying to not lose hair on my bedroom floor and keep my spirit together simultaneously. Because, long hair, other people care.

12. Making mistakes and realizing that is okay. If you’re going to learn a lesson 22 sounds like a good time.

13.  One Tree Hill hasn’t been on TV since you were 18. I still miss you Nathan.

14. Realizing maybe 3 of the many friends you loved in high school care.

15. Keeping up with trends… are chokers really a thing again?

16. Somehow trying to follow through with not falling for ‘ peer pressure ‘ but questioning why we were never taught to not pressure our peers instead.

17. Seeing some 22 year olds that have their shit together and here you are making that instamash.

18. Living the ‘One Direction minus Zayne, religious Bieber and Donald Trump for preseident’ life at 22. I don’t even know. ”

19. Finding the strength to get through a day where things just aren’t okay.

20. WHY DOESN’T MONEY GROW ON TREES?!

21. Still believing in the dreams I have despite the people that have aged and forgotten how to be 22

22. So I could keep going but that would ruin the whole point of the punny about T. Swift and her song. There are days life sucks and those are the days you have to bite your tongue, pretend to like the person, pray a bit, cry some, read a book, watch New Girl, instagram a Starbucks coffee, snapchat a vent sesh, just don’t ever stop being the fabulous 22 year old you are. You are brilliant. Xx

“Land of Sunshine,” they said…

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You leave your country pretty sure that you’re prepared for whatever the country you’re moving to has to offer… then there’s America.

I moved to Orlando, Florida to work at Disney World, now never mind what it’s like working for a mouse let’s just discuss America. There are very specific things that happen to bother me, and because I need to complain about it, I’m going to complain to the people at home who understand.

Litchi Juice. At the moment I’m 90% sure litchi’s are just a figment of my imagination from my childhood… Never mind the fruit, I just want a bottle of litchi juice and every time I think I’ve spotted one, lemonade.

Hoot. Because apparently, only owls hoot. Feel free to tell an American that we hoot and not honk, the jokes that follow involve a lot of angry owl noises. Don’t even get them started on the fact that we stop when the robot is red.

The Knat. Now I’m winging it with my knowledge but I’m pretty sure a knat is a miggie, those really annoying teeny bugs that will fly into your mouth, ears nose and probably nest in your hair, especially knowing my luck! Today alone I have come int contact with at least 3 million of them.

The Street. We know that for some reason, all driving aspects are different here. But what gets me is not the driving, it’s being the pedestrian, because the rule “look left, then right and left again” will get you hit by a car here.

Permanent Markers. Now this one might just be me, but growing up, a permanent marker was a cokie, more well known here as a sharpie. And I have been offered cookies every time I ask about a cokie.

Measurements. I just don’t get it. Is it normal to want to order a pound of biltong online, is the equivalent like 50 kgs? I don’t know. Because shortening it to LBS makes more sense.

Water. Knowing I’ll probably thirst to death If I don’t pronounce it as waaahhhder because water is something that doesn’t exist here. Or the fact that I now say eDULT instead of adult so people understand me.

Words. Yeah, just words… like, it’s not a bathroom, it’s a restroom. Definitely always a pharmacy, never a chemist. It’s a trunk, not a boot. You never have flu, that’s a VERY bad thing, always just a cold… unless you have swine flu. You text on your mobile, you don’t sms on your phone.

Weather. Well boy was I lied to, the land of sunshine my ass. To be fair it is winter, but Florida winter has been a mix of severely hot, humid days, freezing cold, windy days, rainy, wet and cold days. Some days it’s a combination of all three.

And oh boy, if I get asked once more if I’m, ” really from Africa? ” I might just lose my mind. And yes, my parents are South African too, no I didn’t go to school in Britain, and .I honestly don’t know how Oscar Pistorius is doing.

Not an American just yet, having the best time learning though… because no matter what, the United States had my heart the moment I tasted green bean caserole.

Ho ho ho, Heartbroken.

Talk to any girls my age and heartbreak is something we can talk about for hours. Without fail the stories will eventually lead all the way back to their first heartbreak. The boy that made them feel what it is to love and then fall into a pit of hurt and anger. Every girl has one, even this cool kid right here, but my first heart break was different.

The first time I had my heart ripped to shreds, it was all because of that beautiful fat man, suited up in that red outfit, who made his way down the chimney, (that we didn’t have), every year without fail just to bring me a gift. Yes, Father Christmas. A man whom with my relationship consisted of 93% total undying love, and 7% fear and concern as to why my parents let a strange man into our house. But I had my priorities sorted, gifts from strange men are okay if it’s only once a year and on condition he has reindeer. Flying reindeer.

The actual heartbreak happened a good 7 years into our relationship. The problems started when I would discuss our relationship with my girlfriends, we all know hearing a friend’s opinion on a relationship is definitely the start of bad things. The rumors of him not existing spread like wildfire. But when do you start believing what so many people are saying??

As a daughter, who better to go to with a problem like this to than the parentals. Worst mistake I could have made. You know how now breakups can be done via text, email or voicemail? Imagine your parents ruining your relationship for you, because I don’t need to.

On my way home from school, I decided to brave it and ask my mom the dreaded question… “Is Father Christmas real Mom?” You would think the fact that she blatantly ignored the question would have spoken to me, but if we’re being honest I’m twenty-one and still not the most observant person. The silent trip home didn’t bother me much because no answer was better than no being the answer. Panic sort of struck the moment I saw my mom talking outside to my dad while he was smoking, something was definitely going on. Not much later I was summoned to the back yard because, “we need to tell you something..” said my mom. I hopped onto my moms lap, and these are the words that came out of my dad’s mouth, ” Okay Tayles, I’ll give you a clue… ho ho ho!”

Parenting dad, you’re doing it right.