I completely agree with you. No one should have to experience discrimination based on their skin color.
In my reading of the article, I understood T.O. to say that black people face similar level racist acts that was shown to the waitress and they live with it. The waitress’s response was completely reasonable, yet T.O. had wanted her to feel the politically charged nature of what had transpired through Wandile’s rudeness as a reflection of the history between their races. Black people have taken on the collective identity of their race and contain the rebuffs, whereas the waitress was stiffed and injured as an individual, an affordance that exists only due to white supremacy.
It would be great for each individual to be treated without discrimination, but that desire is something that only white people could have experienced and expected as being a human right. In being personally hurt instead of recognizing that Wandile’s act was one of racism, as young T.O. did with the cashier, the waitress acted as someone who lived with that human right. In T.O.’s words, she acted white. Much of society has now changed where anyone regardless of race or status or beliefs can dream of being treated like an individual––to have that same human right that was previously only granted to white people in their supremacy.
I am not saying this as a reflection of my personal opinions, but in an effort to work through my own understanding of T.O. Molefe’s writing. In my opinion Wandile’s action was petty and rude, not at all the right place or avenue to make the grand statement that was intended. Why should the waitress have to suffer? Yet I hope I’ve correctly understood that T.O. is frustrated with the lack of collective ownership of identity and the daily awareness of being white.