The 5 Stages of Enwhitenment

Being a white person in South Africa has been an interesting journey. It’s often difficult to know where you stand & I’ve often felt things that I struggle to make sense of. Terminally ill people or those grieving a break up or the loss of a loved one often experience emotions that are difficult to grasp, and the 5 stages of Grief & Loss is a great model which helps to explain the various stages of emotions that they experience. I was reading up on the 5 stages & realised for the first time that the same stages of grief could also apply perfectly to helping me understanding my position as a white person living in South Africa.

So here, for the first time, are the 5 stages of “enwhitenment”:

  1. Shock & Denial

“Apartheid eneded 20 years ago guys, get over it #AllLivesMatter #ColourBlind”

[insert picture of Mandela with a rainbow & the new South African flag imprinted on the geological map of South Africa]

2. Anger

“Oh my goodness, why are these people striking again? I need to speak to the manager”


3. Depression & Detachment

“What is wrong with our country? These strikes are becoming unbearable. I’m deleting Facebook & moving to Australia”

4. Dialogue & Bargaining 

“Flip, now that I think about it, I would probably also be striking if I was in their shoes. Apartheid may technically be over but there’s still a lot of work to be done. I’m moving back to South Africa and re-activating my Facebook account.”

5. Acceptance

“I am pretty privileged. It’s actually just a privilege to be alive & to experience this crazy thing called life. I want to use whatever privileges & skills that have been afforded me to make this world a better place. Let me start by uploading this super woke picture of myself doing yoga by the ocean onto my Instagram.”

3 Responses to The 5 Stages of Enwhitenment

  1. susan scott February 7, 2017 at 1:34 pm #

    🙂 🙂 🙂

  2. Margot February 8, 2017 at 9:05 am #


  3. Tarn February 8, 2017 at 9:45 am #

    Love this!

Don't be miff. Be kiff.

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