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CraigJoseph
 
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Proudly white, racist

09 May 2014, 22:00

The wealthy elite, privileged whites, racists, whiners, whingers and a whole lot more. These are the terms and phrases that the majority of whites are labelled with by some of our country's political parties.

Unfortunately, this is prevalent on a regular basis, rather than one or two isolated incidents.

This is the first election where a whole generation of "born frees" were able to make their mark and change the course of this country's future.

Even after the 1994 elections, the stench and after effects of apartheid still lingered in the air despite having made a peaceful transition from an oppressive regime to a democracy. Back then, being a proud white was nothing to boast about with good reason.

I cannot speak for the rest of the white population in South Africa when saying this, but the above mentioned terms and phrases used to describe whites in South Africa, has had a negative impact on my self worth in this country.

Being in my mid-thirties, I can safely say that neither myself, nor my parents before me, gained any benefit from the apartheid regime.

I grew up the youngest of three children, with a very modest lifestyle. My parents battled financially but made sure that we never went without. We were taught good morals and understanding of the real world and the unfairness of the apartheid regime.

My upbringing has stood me in very good stead to this day. I have worked my way up from being an employee of a company, to running my own. It took blood, sweat, tears and many late nights in reaching this accomplishment.

The staff I employ are multi-racial and we all have one thing in common, a brighter future for ourselves, but most importantly, for our children.

Yet, despite how I managed to get where I am, becomes irrelevant because I am painted with the "privileged white" brush. I wish I knew what "privileged white" meant in the context it is used.

By no means could I ever be described as the "wealthy elite". As for being labelled racist, I am very outspoken about the government of the day. Does my call for accountability and better governance of this country deserve to be seen as racism?

I am a whiner and a whinger, because despite paying my taxes for the improvement of our infrastructure, education, health and security, my tax money is used for everything else EXCEPT for what it is needed to do.

I am proudly South African and have the best hopes for this country. I am proud to be white and will no longer feel apologetic for the sins of our forefathers. My intention is to positively contribute to the well being of our nation as a whole.

If what I have earned on the back of hard, gruelling labour offends any one - so be it. Don't call me out as a "privileged white". Rather, rise to the occasion and be my equal in your contribution to society.

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