Last week an enterprising duo of the liberal persuasion started a campaign aimed at convincing unsuspected white South Africans to fork our R150.00 for an uninspiring black T-shirt with white lettering proclaiming “I benefited from apartheid”.
The drive behind this is apparently to stir debate surrounding the new liberal buzz concept that we as whites, including them of course, have hugely benefited from a system that has been dead and buried for 18 odd years. Well, curious about the plan behind this, I posted on their FB page and was immediately shouted down as a racist, white supremacist and worse for merely enquiring what their game plan was after we all fell for this scam and bought their shirts?
Well, surprisingly, they don’t have a plan! They tried to convince me of all the old propaganda that has been with us since the dawn of democracy and that got progressively worse with the Youth League doing their thing, which is now apparently the mantra of these liberal quasi intellectuals. I pushed further and ventured some ideas to get the debate flowing but I was again shouted down and ridiculed. And then, the grand finale! In the middle of a posting to answer one of their insane ideas, I was blocked from the page without as much as a goodbye! Well, as it stood, I was finished yakking with them anyway and although I was apparently unblocked due to internal pressure from the congregation, I chose not to get further involved with this matter.
Well, now for the crux! Did we benefit from apartheid? According to everyone concerned, we undeniably did. This started with better schooling, job reservation and access to much more than our black compatriots. We were apparently pampered and kept in a blissful life of cotton wool while our black compatriots were kept in slavery to toil for us without any say in the matter. Being a late 50’s baby and missing the 60’s by a couple of months, I lived though a good part of the whole apartheid thing and to my recollection this wasn’t the way things went down. But let’s not dwell on this.
My problem with this whole campaign is based more on the practical side of it. We have been a democracy for 18 years and in this time, the government failed miserably on all crucial issues like development, education and security. We have proof of them stealing and squandering billions of rands anually that in 18 years could have all but erased the problems we are confronted with today. I‘ve used Bosnia as an example to illustrate what could have been done by us, when their country was basically levelled and in 12 years, they were up and running beautifully! Instead, we have regressed into polarized camps staring uneasily at one another and not knowing what the next move would be. We have spurts of closeness with sport events and it then just as quickly dissipated into mistrust again.
So this is my problem with the liberals. Instead of proportioning the blame where blame is due, they will rather appease the government and try and shift the focus to the minority that has been battered by all sorts of punitive measures to keep us in our place. The fact that the poor is still poor, uneducated and without basic services has very little to do with apartheid. This blame should be laid at the feet of the Labour Unions, the ANC, the stupid Communists and recently, Jacob Zuma for building his monstrosity in rural KZN. We as South Africans and a lot of donor countries, provided the money and the means for them to get off their collective and by now, huge butts and start governing as we directed them to.
So really Roger and Leonard, find something constructive to do and let go of this stupidity as dragging the past along for 18 excruciating years, is part of the reason why our progress is so slow! Or failing this, please furnish us with the plan forward after we’ve jumped on your bandwagon, but if it consists of yakking about the problems, sitting in a circle singing kumbaja, group hugging’s and spilling copious amounts of tears, please take my name off your list as I, for one, won’t be partaking!