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Chris_Bud
 
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It's a Sad and Racist South Africa

18 July 2012, 17:18
During my many visits to the News24 website I have had the unfortunate opportunity of reading the articles and then the comments that follow. What really gets to me is the fact that there is so much hatred, from person to person, in this amazing country of ours.

Everyday there is a new article about what is going on in our country, and sadly it normally revolves around the same factors: crime, racism and the government. Following these news reports is what I find most disturbing, the comments made by us, the readers.

No matter the content of the news report the comments are mostly negative, attacking and scathing and more often than not have a racial undertone to them. How sad. How immature.

Today is the birthday of Mr. Mandela, in my eyes, a human miracle. We all know what he dreamed, what he stood for and most importantly we all know what his vision for South Africa is. Black or white, indian or coloured we have all experienced the infectious positivity, and awesomeness of this great man, we have all been effected in some way or another by what he did for South Africa.

He believes in the good of people, in our inherent need to love and not hate, to work together and not use each other as rungs on a ladder to better position ourselves as individuals but rather to help each other, on social and corporate levels, and to simply work together.

Now this is my problem, after what happened to him over the apartheid years, how can any South African possibly justify the hate many of us have for each other. Why are South Africans still so racist?

Racism is not something we are born with, racism is something we are taught, and unfortunately is something that is reinforced by itself. Apartheid, as terrible and unjustified as it was, is something we now need to accept and move on from. Yes, I totally understand the thinking behind "how can we just forgive and forget?" but, my question is, how else can we ever move forward if we do not adopt that mindset?

Handing out land and Nationalising everything in site will achieve exactly what it did in Zimbabwe, some will get rich, the rest will suffer, and these sufferers will not only be white people, in our hearts we all know this. How will we stop breeding racism among children if we as adults cannot get over it ourselves?

This disgusting hatred that South Africans have for one another based on something as inadequate as race is embarrassing. We as a population should be embarrassed that we simply cannot get along. And why are we like this?

Yes we can point to the ANC using the race card whenever they need to stir up the masses, yes we can point to the fact that white people tend to say "it's because they're black", yes we can point to the fact that black people say "I hate you because you are white and for what you have done to me" and we can look at many other differences on a social and cultural level, but let’s not get into all that today. As grown-ups, as adults and as leaders of our future generations we should be ashamed of ourselves. We are not leaving a legacy of nurturing, of love and just simply getting along. What we are doing in South Africa today is so terribly destructive, so upsetting and so worrying.

Apartheid is now something of the past, it was seriously damaging to this country and the majority of the population, but there is no point in blaming whites for what happened in the past. Even more so the percentage of the white population born after 1994.

We as a country need to realise that there is no "quick fix" for the inequality challenge we face, there is no way for every South African to immediately have a job and a decent living without doing the hard work of getting there. We as a Republic and as a people need to come to terms with the fact that the end goal of having an equal society is going to take many years of hard work.

Nationalisation of sectors in any industry is not the solution for many reasons, the handing out of top corporate or governmental positions is not the way to get this right. Yes it puts a smile on a couple of faces, who, before they received that specific benefit would be the ones complaining about how everything in South Africa works, but afterwards forget about where they'd come from, the opportunity that was undeservedly given to them and the fact that they should give back some of what they are spoon fed.

 Like I said there is no "quick fix" to these South African problems. However, we should not be looking at this in a negative light but rather as an opportunity and a privilege.

We are lucky to live where we do, to have the opportunities we have as a country and most importantly we are lucky to be in South Africa during this time. This isn't about a generation making a difference, or a group of people or a race for that matter. This is about South Africans, each and every one of us pulling in the same direction, to build opportunities for each other and not just for us.

It's about all of us simply getting over these racial problems and being bigger people. We HAVE to do this. We as a country have to accept the fact that we are going to be living together for a long long time, that the financial inequalities aren’t' just going to disappear, that as long as there is money there will be rich and poor.

What we need to do is focus on ensuring the poor are not living in poverty and that the rich are rich because they worked their butt off to be.

We have to get over being racist and start getting into loving each other and building on what already is one hell of a country. This land of ours, and the people in it are truly incredible, we can be kind, we can be giving, we can be accepting and we can be happy, sheesh we can even host some of the biggest events in the world better than anyone else. The problem is we do this in patches. COME ON SOUTH AFRICA, LETS MOVE AWAY FROM BEING RACIST AND MOVE TOWARD BEING ACCEPTING.

No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.

NELSON MANDELA

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