Dear Mr Youngster, sir.
Where to begin? Where to start deploying a thought process whereby one single individual has released the country's angst and fury? You have made me so incredibly angry. Not with you. Not with those who share your thoughts (if any), but angry with myself. Angry that I have allowed myself to be influenced by your negativity and pessimism. Particularly in denouncing the country that I love so much.
Let me put things in perspective. I am 22 years of age. I was born the year Mr Mandela was released from prison. I attended public schools since I was 6. Every school I attended, there was at least a 60 - 40% black to white ratio.
I was born into hardship. My mother had three children to raise, without any contributions from anyone. She had no qualifications and only received her matric at the age of 45. We grew up just above the breadline, barely having food and clothes, never-mind a car and other worldly possessions. Yet, somehow she made it work. Not because she was white. She did so because she could not bare us to live the same impoverished life she had become so accustomed to.
I may not have grown up in the township, in a one bedroom shack that i share with 4 other siblings, but trust me, we all feel winter's bite when there's little food to go around and barely enough clothing to cover your skin.
My father left my mom. They never got married. He had an affair with her, lying about his other spouse at the time. Hence, the product before you. Minus the parental figure. Frankly, I wouldn't mind if he were no longer living.
Growing up, I was never aware that my "whiteness" afforded me any special "privileges". My mom left Portugal when my siblings were babies, if only to give us the best life she could. Not to mention that her husband at the time was incredibly abusive. We knew no one in this big, unfriendly "rainbow" nation. Yet, we made it work. Why? Because she did not want us sinking into the same lethargic mindset, that as the "general" public, others have become so accustomed to i.e. people like you.
I worked hard at school, pushed to excel mainly by my teachers. At this time, my mom was in London because there were no job opportunities for her in SA. My entire high school career, she lived there. Thus, without a mother and father, I was raised by my siblings. So in fact, you could say the same for me. Having neither a father or mother whilst growing up.
In no way am I comparing this to the thousands of black South Africans that have to raise their brothers and sisters, especially those below the breadline, because I know that our circumstances are vastly different. All I am doing is bringing you up to speed.
I graduated from school with 4 distinctions, an honors blazer, prefectship, prized speaker award and various other accolades. I then made my way to a prestigious, traditional university. One of the few still left. I was able to attend such a remarkable institution because of my matric results.
With this, I managed to acquire a scholarship. Being white though, I was given less thought further down the line. Thus, for the next two years I literally begged and pleaded to be afforded a student loan through NSFAS.
Whilst at varsity, I held various leadership positions at my residence and within the student body. I achieved the coveted Top 100 Students for Student Leadership in my last year there. I was heavily vested in community engagement projects, and lived with people from every color, creed, and age imaginable.
I am now in my first year of the "working" world, and after struggling for the first 6 months to find a job (doing bar-tendering to keep myself afloat), I am happily engaged in something that I enjoy doing. I am learning and experiencing things everyday, and this in turn, has helped me grow in leaps and bounds.
Now, let us have a look and see how many times I mentioned my race whilst growing up. Not once. How because I had it difficult, that I blamed the color of my skin? Not once. I forgot to mention that during my time at varsity, I studied two very discerning skills - political science and journalism.
Politics taught me an array of fascinating concepts. It enlightened as to the many ways in which WE can get along, but choose not to. I could say a million things about how politics in this country is structured in such a way that benefits certain individuals. How it is built from the top down to do so. How political parties are created to benefit a certain, minority elite - regardless of race. I could speak about how class has become the new and contested issue, and how in spite of this, everyone still seems to be talking black and white.
I could talk about the ANC and how they do their utmost to ensure stupidity through an endless cycle of non-education, self-entitlement and a complete lack of responsibility for their former comrades. I could also talk about the DA, and how they would most likely do the same if given the chance. Why? Because the simple fact of the matter, is that political parties DO NOT work. We have seen it in America. We have seen it in Britain.
In country's where there are a variety of different viewpoints, opinions, attitudes, outlooks, perceptions and ideas. Political parties that are outstanding on one or two issues, simply do not and cannot be representative of the entire populations' ideals.
Democracy, capitalism, commercialization, and materialism. None of this works. Not in harmony, anyways. The sooner we realize this, the better. The time has come where we need to look at fighting for the people. I am white. Will you deny me the chance to fight beside you? When both yours and my integrity have been taken away by the greedy hands of the government, will you strike me down because I am white?
I suggest you take a look at a little movement by the name of Abahlali base Mjondolo. Not familiar with it? Not surprised. Its being avoided at all costs, intentionally. The reason that many of the worlds protests are not being broadcasted via various channels is because media houses are owned by the same corporations that pay to protect their very interests.
We cant keep doing this people. We cant keep placing the blame. We cant keep blaming ourselves, we cant keep blaming others. We cant blame the education system. We cant blame the government. We cant blame blacks, whites, indians and coloureds. All we can do is to try and move forward.
Mr Youngster, I do not bore you with facts and figures as to how something was said, by whom and in what context. Because I know that you will try and use them against me. I am only 1 person, someone who has tried to overcome adversity, both through positivity and the willingness to work hard. Not because I am white. All I am wanting to do is show you, that as a population (not South African but as the human race) we need to change our way of thinking.
I dont hate black people. I dont hate that I was placed in unfortunate circumstances growing up. I dont hate the way I grew up, because it taught me a good deal. I am glad that I wasn't raised in a glass house with all the trimmings. Give me a township any day, because at least they know how to live as a community and stick together. Everyone on News24, I plead to you. Stop writing articles that will bring about racist conversation. Your comments are no longer appreciated, nor wanted.
I have chosen to become a part of the new South Africa, of the South Africa that lives on this land as is, not as it was before I was born. Yes, it really is a thing. But it starts with you. You. ngster.
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