THE BATTLE AGAINST THE CONTINUING EFFECTS OF APARTHEID IS FAR FROM OVER.
A country does not suddenly become democratic the moment it is penned so on an administrative level. The journey towards a nations’ democracy involves its own members active involvement in making the ideologies proposed by the democracy, a practical reality for all involved. An all encompassing democracy is only achieved when we have created a society that offers all its peoples unbiased, equal living conditions and opportunities on all fronts.
We are at a critical juncture on our path towards an all-inclusive democratic society. The tension between the well off and middle to lower working class in our country is reaching critical mass. If we continue to ignore capitalistic inequality exercising itself under the guise of the continued effects of apartheid, we might well experience a violent uprising by the poor soon.
Apartheid was an unequal capitalistic system enforced by a minority group on the basis of racial superiority. Now with apartheid long abolished, there are no laws preventing those who have in the past and are currently benefiting from the continued capitalistic system, to help those who continue to suffer in poverty. When it suits us, we conveniently ignore the gruesome manner in which certain communities suffered under the apartheid system and the physical, emotional and psychological scars they are still nursing. Unequal capitalistic beliefs involve creating ever-greater distance between the well off and poor. The inhumane desire to exercise this unequal system is not particular to any one race. Today, 18 years into our democracy, this society-crippling system is still being perpetuated by a good many from our previous and current ruling institutions. And if we continue to blame the discord between the people of our nation solely on apartheid; we will never take responsibility for the imbalanced capitalistically society we still live in. We continue to contribute towards this unfair and unjust society as long as we deny accountability for the dire conditions many of our people are born into.
It is the large majority of our youth that are suffering our nation’s greedy tendencies the greatest. They are forced to live under substandard conditions, breeding substandard mindsets. They are still suffering unequal education and hence unequal opportunities. A child’s home and schooling environment play integral parts in shaping them as human beings. With the majority of our youth still growing up in poverty, suffering highly unfavorable schooling conditions, how can we now pretend equal opportunity and fair game? We have at least a few generations of sharing abundantly with those communities who are in clear, dire need of saving. This demands that those of us who know we are more than able, to share what we have. This demands that we realize our individual ability to change our environments act by act. This demands that we realize that each time we share, the poverty, the crime, the resentment decreases.
Our future lies in the hands of the youth. Why would we contribute to further disharmony between them? By supporting capitalistic inequality, we perpetuate anger among the poverty stricken and fear among the future fortunate. We have to be the example we wish to see and not wait for the institutions around us to achieve what we desire. They are merely reflections of how we demand to be treated. We have forgotten that our institutions should be serving us and not ruling us. Our current ruling institutions are still largely based on premises propagating capitalistic inequality. We have allowed ourselves to be dictated to according to premises that do not serve the soul of our nation. We as a people must remember we have power to demand that we should be working solely towards creating an equal society.
Many become complacent once favour fortunes them, and forget the plight of the rest of their community. Many forget that those who fought for our freedom, fought for all our freedoms. Many forget that those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom, did so believing that we would continue the struggle until full equality has been achieved, and not fall prey to the greedy ills of fortune.
In 1980, at 14 years of age, Ashley Kriel already started mobilizing the youth in Bontehuewel and Athlone, channeling them towards militancy. Under the most dire socio political conditions, where diligently trained police are given free reign to torture and kill in the name of preserving a corrupt system, Ashley Kriel resisted kneeling to the oppression of his people. He was a natural born leader who offered hope for a better life and taught those around him the skills to achieve it. In 1984, at the age of 17, he became part of the uMKhonto weSizwe (MK), the ANC’s first line of defense of the people. In 1987, shortly after returning back from exile and training in Lesotho and Angola, he was tortured and killed by the apartheid police.
The 9th of July 2012 marks the 25th year of the day that Ashley Kriel's life was ended. A life that held the beliefs, vigor and dreams of a forceful youth generation. The youth that contributed directly towards the freedoms we are offered today. A generation that was willing to sacrifice their lives for our freedom. The 9th of July is an opportunity to remind us of our own children’s ability to be at the heart of the transformation they wish to see around them. It is an moment allowing those who need it, a space to help heal the wounds of the past. It an opportunity to readdress what is being done to carry the baton of freedom for all, and how we can all greater support this promise.
This is a reminder to US, as the SOCIALLY CONSCIOUS, that there is a legacy that needs to be forever continued. Our manners of upliftment will differ, yet the struggle is one and the same, made easier by more hands.
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