South Africa comes from a very racially divided past, where racism was law.
It cannot be disputed that elements of the past racial separation and segregation of our society, are still palpable in the current epoch of our history.
It also cannot be argued against the fact that the beneficiaries of the institutionalised racism of the past were white people (and continue to be) and that due to negotiations which ultimately achieved some sort of a piece settlements, they continue to enjoy the evil fruits of the past system which were obtained through the exploitation of the masses of African south Africans.
The older generation, particularly Africans, continue to blame (rightfully so) the past evil apartheid system and it’s architects for having inhibited them from exploring their potential to the fullest and going as far as they wanted to go in life, educationally speaking and in terms of opportunities.
For, the past system ensured the impossibility of acquiring skills which would opened up opportunities for our African people at the time.
This, the evil system tightly ensured through the petty and degrading “bantu” (whatever that means) education in which the older generation generally, our African parents and grandparents in particular, mine included, were subjected to.
The system At the time thus ensured that they were to be subjected to slave like conditions in the country of their birth, their country!
The system again humiliated our African elders through morally unlawful laws which forced them to carry a (Dom passes) wherever they went, hence reducing them to sub-humans. For these reasons, the older African generation’s dislike of the “other” race, for me! Is justified and cannot be questioned.
Now the popular questions posed to South African youth, African youth to be precise, by forgetists, being those who want to pretend as if apartheid never existed, thus suffering from forgetisim and forgivists, being those who (mainly Caucasian south Africans) call for black people to forgive, while they themselves at the same time refuse to accept the immorality of their deed, and to the younger generation, the deeds of their forefathers and foremothers.
The questions are that, should we, whenever faced with challenges lay the blame at the door step of white people?
Is the “blame game” still relevant today when South Africa has moved so far in 18 years of democracy?
The answer I would give as a young African South African to the former question is a definite yes.
Whether we like to admit it or not, whether it is painful to admit or not, but it remains a reality! Elements of evil and inhumane system of apartheid which was engineered in such a way that even after the racists (which by the way purported to serve a divine) have relinquished political power, they continue to benefit economically.
The economy of our beloved republic even today is held at ransom by the same old arrogant racist beneficiaries of the past system who have nothing to contribute towards the development of our country and social cohesion generally except for separatist calls calling for a parallel racist state within a broader South African state.
Only this time they have incorporated a new generations with the mentality of (I was not there during apartheid, you can’t blame me) but at the same time enjoying the very same benefits which were obtained through the sweat and suffering of our African parents and grandparents who were denied human dignity thus reduced to sub-humans or even non-humans.
The answer to the latter question I as a young African South African who grew up with a single African mother, having witnessed and continue to witness even today her struggle in trying to provide for me, would give again is a definite yes.
One thing is for sure, I know my mother wanted to be educated, she always tells me, and she initially wanted to be a lawyer. But due to the then realities on the ground which continue to influence relations in South Africa today, which subjected her “and continue to subject her” to perpetual poverty, thus incapacity to further her education, for, at a tender age of 17, she was forced by circumstances and realities on the ground to drop out of school and find employment.
So the so-called “blame game” (a term which is followed by pejorative connotations in our country), nonetheless is still relevant in the current juncture.
For, in 18 years most of our African parents and grandparents dreams remain unfulfilled and they still yearn for economic freedom.
Not because the government is not doing anything but because the racist (majority shareholders) of the South African economy are unwilling to share the country’s wealth. every move they make is driven by greed.
My mother still works 10 hours a day in a textile industry earning peanuts, her dream of getting educated and becoming a lawyer, remains just that, A DREAM!
Siphokuhle Innocent Dludla
Is a NEC member of COSAS
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