…and nobody seems to be understanding why. Saying apartheid is still to blame doesn’t mean that people’s failure to fend for themselves must be justified. It simply means that before we run to judge people and forcing everybody to move on, we need to understand the role that apartheid still plays in our society today. It is not just a matter of acceptance and moving on. The psychological effects of it are tremendous.
What the white men did during apartheid was not just enslaving the body of a black person, but they took hold of the mind. For 46 long years did they plant in the black person’s head that you are not good enough, you can never be better than me, I will rule you forever, you cannot do it on your own, you do not deserve to shine, you do not deserve to prosper, I will always be your superior, you will always be inferior, you are not better than a monkey, etc. Physiologists have invented techniques that have proven that repetition is key to strengthening one’s belief of a particular subject. When people desire happiness, they are told to repeat phrases like “I am happy” a number of times per day.
Now, for 46 years did the white men cause the black men to repeat slavery in their heads. 46 long years. To undo that, we need 46 more years of repeating the opposite. But will that really ever happen? Here are some facts we need to know about apartheid today:
- Some families, black or white still teach their kids the ways of apartheid. I heard a white kid the other day saying “teacher; those black kids are nasty”. Now where do you think he learned to think like that?
- Many people, black or white still publicly practise apartheid.
- A lot of black folk are not ready to move on, healing is a process.
- A lot of white folk are still bitter, they feel they were robbed in 1994 and are not ready to move on.
- A lot of white folk can never understand the negative effects of apartheid, hence it is easy for them to preach “let’s move on”.
- There are many other ways in which apartheid is practised today.
Some black parents still raise their kids the apartheid way, though this might not be intentional, but it’s the only way they know how. They still in front of their children act inferior towards white people. They still call some white people Baas and insist on speaking Afrikaans to them. So when their children grow up in their presence, they learn what they see in their parents. The effects in the mind of a black child continue 20 years later. Recently I attended a music business symposium and was amazed to see how apartheid is still affecting even some of our great black musicians, no matter how great they are in our eyes, they still act inferior towards white men.
Yes we can stand and preach that we need to stop blaming apartheid but, it is very easier said than done. The effects were not just physical, they killed the mind. For us to completely rid ourselves of it, we will need to kill everybody alive now and make a brand new start. Unless we all agree to disagree. And I must say that I know for a fact that black people are not asking for sympathy from anybody but the process will take time. Perhaps a white folk can just remind a black folk not to act inferior in their presence when they do. By doing such deeds, we will change one person at a time and eventually the whole nation will be free from the effects of apartheid.
So yes, I blame apartheid, but am willing to move on, I have!