A born-free generation held captive

2012-10-17 11:17

We are born of that generation that fought for our freedom, that league of extra ordinary members of the black community that were at the forefront of what is now most commonly recognized as our Liberation struggle.

They fought for our freedom, for us to have better opportunities – opportunities which they weren’t so lucky to have, they fought for us to have the power to decide what we want to study, where we want to go and who we want to become.

They are heroes, through and through. In a league of the world’s most memorable young generation in our country.

However, this same generation that fought for us to have all the opportunities they never had, are quick to call us “born-frees” – a generation born post-1994. A generation that didn’t really “feel” the pain of apartheid because we were too young to understand all that was going on around us.

They fought for us to have choices, to align ourselves with anything and everything that could possibly be better for our futures, for our children’s futures – the same way they had done for their children.

I am a born free, by default of the fact that I was only 6 when Apartheid ended. I never really felt the pain that people experienced, but I have heard all the horror stories, seen more than enough video’s to atleast have some basic understanding of what happened.

We are constantly reminded of what happened, directly by those who were involved in the struggle – as a means of keeping us loyal, they brainwash us by continuously re-instilling fear about what the “White-man” has done, about how much pain was caused, how much suffering their generation suffered. They say we are ungrateful for not thinking the same way they do, for questioning what the “Black-man” is doing.

Race is always a justification, ALWAYS. They use it to respond to questions about what’s happening in our present times – “You cannot correct everything that happened in Apartheid in a few years”, they say.

They continue to fail the “black-man” that fought so fiercely alongside them during the struggle. They reject their need to up their own values, they continue to take and take from people who can barely afford it, and when questioned about missing money they’re mum about what happened.

It is ironic, you fought for a generation to be greater than you were, yet you reject their ideals and are unable to respond to the most basic questions.

It bothers me that you no longer represent what you fought for and instead possess similar characteristics of the oppression you fought against.

It is ironic, that even though the “black-man” is in power, not much has changed, it is still the “black-man” suffering the most.

It is ironic that we hope for progression by holding onto something that was so strongly considered as a regression.

It is ironic, how thinking differently from them means that you have turned your back on your race.

They fail to listen. To ask questions. To try understand.

They fought for us, we are thankful, but we too are entitled to fight for our future. We ask questions because we want to understand.

We ask questions because we don’t want to draw our own conclusions.

We ask questions, because we want to progress.

You say I am not black enough because I speak so eloquently, I do not appeal to the “general public”, my thought process is “dangerous” and has the ability to “contaminate” the minds of the general public.

By saying that I do not appeal to the general public, what do you mean?

That my English is too good for those without an English education to understand? Yet you forget that I can so eloquently speak in my mother tongue.

You claim that I have forgotten that I am an African because I choose to respond in English? In fact I am proud of being an African.

Maybe our definition of what an African is differs?

I take offense when you respond to people who were by your side in the struggle as the general public. It is indirectly saying that these people are stupid and do not know better when in fact you completely underestimate the knowledge basis of these people.

You say that my mentality is said to be dangerous in that it could contaminate the ideas of the general public. Where is the danger?

The only danger is to your imaginary foes, to the fact that the imaginary foes might now be discarded and replaced by the very real and current enemy to our growing society…You! You - the corrupt official. You - the creator of fear. You - who oppress our people armed with your designer insecurity.

The only way to counteract the venom of a snake bite is to administer the anti venom, and so too as anti venom neutralizes the venom of a snake, so perhaps my mentality is only contaminated by an anti venom only dangerous to the venomous oppression you inject in our nation every time you suck it's blood?

So yes, I am a born free, I am a free thinker, I question things, I analyze situations, I conclude and use that as a basis for my opinion.

If not agreeing to everything you say means I am no longer “black” enough, or not “African” enough, then I take on that title whole-heartedly.

My ideals and opinions might be arrogant in your eyes but so are you in calling yourself a hero. What is a great man without love for mankind?

I guess common sense is not so common after all, so forgive my ignorance.

You can follow me on twitter: @LeratoMannya


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