PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
Comfort_Zone
 
Comments: 13
Article views: 1995
 
 
Latest Badges:

 
View all Comfort_Zone's badges.
 

What heritage do I have to celebrate

21 September 2012, 18:41
Heritage Day weekend has started, it is time to reflect on my personal heritage and what I will be celebrating.

The past eighteen years of our New Democracy has been good, it has given me the opportunity to develop and understand that much of my guilt that I believed I should feel about my heritage, was unfounded.

I personally never did anything wrong, never hurt anyone, never stole anything, never voted for the N.P., always treated my employees well. 

It was only a very small band of white people who were privileged, the rest of us were also made to work hard for everything that we own, and it is still only this small band, plus a few blacks, who are privileged.

Hell, I was born into a family who lived in tin-shack in my grand-father’s back-yard, when my parents, who both worked, could afford it, they bought a two-room in Westdene, we bathed in a zinc bath, we use the bucket system, and on a Friday my father brought a liter cold-drink and a packet of sweets home for the six of us to share.

My father was a shift-supervisor at the Gas Works all his life, I visited him often, working in the black coal-dust and soot, the dirty white coat was all the separated him from the black males shoveling coal into the furnaces. My father worked in those conditions all his life, he died at an early age, the conditions plus the many double shifts that he needed to work, contributing.

At the age of sixteen I was sent to the municipality to find an office job, and before the end of the day, I was already in the filing room of the HR section, those days called ‘Staff House’ or something similar.

Nearly fifty years later, I have not stopped working, still battling to survive. I can rightly claim that I am not guilty, that I worked for everything in my life, and that I am not part of the small band of privileged whites in the country.

“What heritage do I have to celebrate?” I ask myself, could my heritage have been different if I was one of the small band of privileged?

I look back at my life, what could have been different?

What if my father was not white? He would have been shoveling coal. 

Lucky I am white, model C school education, and access to a clerical job-reservation position with the City Council. 

Shit, if my father was black, I would be shoveling shit today. 

I am relieved, I smile, yes, I have a lot to celebrate, for the first time I realize who the whites are referring to when they describe the small band of privileged whites, it is me, my family, all my peers, we are the small band of privileged whites.

Today I find reason to celebrate heritage, but it will not be with a braai, no, today I will get out of my comfort zone, and help build South Africa’s legacy.  

 

Cedric de la Harpe

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
13 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
CharlesSzente
How to create long term wealth fo...

I believe, in the real world, life actually follows reasonable principles. Despite the baffle and Bull, the short term push and pull, even exploitation, eventually the multitude of forces kicks you back to reality. For us that simply means, if as a country we want to grow, we have to invest.  Read more...

16 comments 670 views
Submitted by
Gail Shorkend
The world

How the world has changed. It used to be a peaceful world. You had stress. But the stress is not like these days. Read more...

12 comments 141 views
Submitted by
Linamandla Mpolase
Letter to the Capitalist God

I constantly ask myself what is the point of everything? A complex question and awfully deep but I know it is a question not unique to me. Possibly many of you have had similar thoughts. But really what is the point of it all? Read more...

132 comments 1172 views
Submitted by
Dewald Esterhuizen
Humanity a rarity

I am reading so much upon this lion being killed and I see the outrage in America and the extreme extend to which they go to persecute this dentist. Read more...

21 comments 887 views
Submitted by
Jenny Reid
Identity Crisis! What to do when ...

While these people must deal with the inconvenience of applying for new passports, there’s a far more sinister issue at play. Read more...

0 comments 370 views
Submitted by
Ann Muigai
Focus on what truly matters

“Never” is an infectious word, like a flu virus. Once you’ve caught it, everything loses its sparkle. It’s commonplace to hear people say and swear that they will never do, forget or say something. Read more...

2 comments 226 views
 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on Android Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

TV Get us in your home, on your television.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2015 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.