Yesterday, this A-Z list about things we can't blame on Apartheid by contributor Mike van Graan appeared on Thoughtleader:
Thank you so much Mike for paving the way for bashing the ANC, whilst claiming that most serious issues in our country are not a result of Apartheid. In most cases mentioned, the ANC did NOT blame the regime, but why spoil a good story with facts? Please keep omitting facts, such as AIDS treatment which has completely turned around after Mbeki's rule. Also, thanks for completely exempting white people from all responsibility towards fighting racism. Under your point 'r' you even state that the behaviour of the ANC is reinforcing our bigotry. It really helps that you are not white, because when a non-white person criticizes the ANC the white racists, oops, I mean white opposition don't need to be invited twice to add more fuel to the fire. Nobody has ever complained about any of the things you mentioned, so I thought I'd take the liberty to create a similar list, directed at the ANC. We need more of this innovative stuff to whinge about, so, dearest ANC, please take note of the following qualms I hold relating to your governance:
A is for Afrikaners: I've been told all my life that you were a threat to my people, so it came is a slight anti-climax when you didn't you chase us all into the sea or to Europe when you came to power. In South Africa, my people can study in both government and private schools, watch TV on both SABC and the Dish, read plenty of books and newspapers AND worship in our mother tongue. To top that, a lot of you and your supporters can even speak 'die taal'. Why did you allow all those rumours to freak us out? I am really bummed that I stocked up on all those baked beans and candles circa 1994 and then again in 2013 awaiting Madiba's passing.
B for Bloubulle: You love changing names, why the hell did you keep this one? Because of you, every time I visit Pretoria I have to face exhaust pipes decorated with blue balls. That does not hang well with me...
C for Christ and Communists: I was always told that communists hated Jesus, but then you changed the whole narrative. I'm stuck in a country with people (eagerly) and a president (not so eagerly) awaiting the arrival of Christ, in coalition with communists, traditionalists, capitalists and socialists. I really hate how you keep confronting me with shit outside my comfort zone. Democracy is such a volksvreemde (foreign) concept to us Afrikaners especially.
D for domestic workers: You decided to keep encouraging the (not that cheap but still quite exploitive) unskilled labour system. You haven't made enough progress in improving education and job creation, so I am stuck with someone washing my significant other's dirty underpants and scrubbing my loo. I am nice to her: she is allowed to use my silverware AND have free access to my fridge. What's more, unlike my neighbours' help, she doesn't have to call me 'miesies'. Yet, she uses my two-ply whenever I turn my back. She makes me so angry, that I'm considering immigrating. She makes me realise that neither me nor my friends have much else in common than tardy domestic workers taking liberties. She's exposed what a dumb, lazy ditz I really am.
E for Emsie Schoeman: If you're not Afrikaans you probably don't know about her, but she's been dictating her medieval rules of etiquette to many Afrikaans women for the past hundred years or so with an iron fist under those frilly gloves. This crippling dictatorship has caused my hands to shake at many a party, for being confronted with millions of knives - one for fish, one for butter, one for steak, etc. Studying which is used when has robbed me of some precious internet time. And washing all those doilies after tea parties is such a waste of OMO. Please ban her books: She's keeping us from evolving into human beings without sticks up our behinds.
F for Five-lane highways: In fact, I think our highways might even have more lanes than that; I'm usually too busy cursing at BMW, Taxi and 4x4 drivers to count all of them. Fact is, these roads are too hard to navigate, screw this first world infrastructure...
G for '-gate': Stop causing scandals so these unfunny, unoriginal journalists and cartoonists can stop adding 'gate' after each one, I BEG you! If I hear one more 'gate' I'm going to cyber punch Zapiro and co...
H for Huisgenoot Skouspel: Some 'artistic creations' should not leave the four walls of a talentless person's dwelling. Permit people to create shitty music, but, since you've already proven that you're above the law, please take away these people's platform. As I'm aging, I'm finding it harder and harder to cope with tripple-doef Afrikaans music, usually translated from Dutch or German, with AABB rhyming schemes and made-up noises like 'skaroemba' and 'maja hie, maja ha'. Save an older person and save these people from themselves! Down with Skouspel!
I for internet: For some strange reason, you enabled connectivity with the international community which means we cannot use the classic Apartheid 'I didn't know' excuse anymore. I get to quadruple check facts, so if I become a victim of propaganda, I only have myself to blame. Take away my dongle so I can blame YOU instead!
J for J.Z. (and JuJu): What the hell were you thinking choosing a president (and unleashing a Youth League leader) with such ridiculous initials? Did you honestly think our nation with its crappy slapstick humour wouldn't take a piss at it and immortalise these really stupid nicknames? I can write books about the lame jokes people come up with in this country (such as cANCer and '-gate'). Stop giving backyard 'comedians' ammunition to further ridicule you (and annoy me).
K for Kleinfontein: We have enclaves in South Africa that exclude WHITE PEOPLE. You heard right: I'm white and Afrikaans, but I don't call myself a boer, and I don't feel bound by the vow made after the battle of Blood River. Thus, I'm not free to buy property in this stronghold. Ditto for Orania. ANC, you're becoming an Apartheid state, you're slipping up with your freedom of access policies.
L for Leon Schuster: Along with Skouspel, you could have nipped this man's movies in the bud ages ago, but it seems that fake farting and blackface are considered essential tools in nation building.
M for Media freedom: If you read through my qualms one more time, you'll note that it's my biggest issue...
N for Naspers: To expand further on the above mentioned point, you've been permitting a media monopoly to run apeshit in our country and even buy their way into China! And you're permitting the most disturbed souls to comment on various Naspers sites such as News24 without moderation. Hate speech prevails partly because media conglomerates thrive on it...
O for OR Tambo Airport: You changed the name, but kept the place, and jazzed it up nicely. All of a sudden we have foreigners in our country, telling us SA is not as k@k as we think. Now we need to rethink the way we feel. Thinking is tough, please stop making us do that!
P for 'Pretori-awe': No, this not a bizarre play on words, that's the way some Pretorian Afrikaners pronounce it. Really harsh on the ear. I can't believe you've clung onto this name for so long, I'm 100% pro-change. Just be warned that Tshwane will become 'Tshwone', so you might want to choose another name instead. My advice is to steer clear from the 'a' sounds.
R for Rolihlahla: You made slave names uncool, so we had to start calling black people by their real names. Considering that I'm only fluent in two of the official languages (Afrikaans and English) and many of my English brothers and sisters only in one, pronouncing black people's names are ridiculously difficult. I find our Madiba's name particularly hard. Stop expecting so much from us. As explained above it's hard enough for us to say our own words correctly.
S for sex shops: Having legalised and legislated porn and sex shops, you all of a sudden gave me the opportunity educate myself (shamelessly and legitimately) about sex (without the firm hand of the Dutch Reformed Church and other 'missionaries').This means I often need to explain to my partner how to please me. If he doesn't obey, I threaten him that my pleasure's only the press of a button on a bunny or duckling away. He in turn then calls me an entitled, petty slut. If only I hadn't been exposed to this forbidden fruit, I could have avoided this conflict.
T for Tuscan homes: Readers who are not Afrikaans might not know that the NP taught us all about 'die Roomse gevaar' ( the Roman (catholic) threat) back in the day. Out of spite, you, the ANC just gave the Dutch Reformed Church's fears the finger, and allowed people to litter our neighbourhoods with this hideous, fake, tacky architectural style. There should be stricter building regulations: Preferably only Spanish style should be tolerated...
U for Uranium: Your generally liberal mining policies are harming our environment. Plus there's the threat of smuggling. We might also end up with scanners at the entrances and exits of our airports like in other countries extracting this resource...
V for Viagra: Your free-market system has exposed us to many foreign and obscure influences. Stop encouraging men older than 70 to go all Hugh Hefner on younger women. We might just end up with more of those tacky reality shows, which will further lower our IQs. Down with foreign, libido-enhancing drugs.
W for Western Cape: You could have taken this province for yourself by force, but instead you chose to let democracy prevail. Thus we don't get to liken SA to Zimbabwe or North Korea. How uneventful and dull our existence. Pity us...
Y, which is short for 'why': Why did you expose us to the global community where we picked up these horrible writing habits? Y did u allow SA to succumb to online and cell phone shrt-hnd? Please encourage us to raise our standards and spell in a manner which would make tannie Emsie ( see E) approve. LOL.
Q, X and Z: These three letters don't really exist in Afrikaans: Only in loan words, but I don't like Anglicisms. Why haven't you encouraged us to drop these two letters from our Alphabet yet? Why didn't you do what they warned us you would do? Why didn't you decide to meddle with our language rules, the way we meddled with all of yours during Apartheid?
So, all my white, racist, oops, I mean anti-cANCer brothers and sisters, please join in this mud-slinging opportunity. Let it all out and feel free to add anything else you want to the list. In Afrikaans we say: 'kom ons ry hom holrug' - Hackneying is the way forward!
* To clarify, the writer agrees that most problems mentioned by Mike need work, but as subtly explained in the first paragraph, finds the angle used problematic. She also thinks that about 80% of Mike’s list is a direct result of Apartheid, and although blaming is not constructive, it IS a valid explanation. Let us not forget those dark days - Way darker than now...
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