Dear White South Africans

2013-06-17 21:13

I have written a lot of blogs on this platform; in many occasion, I have been accused of being racist and partisan because of my outspoken views on race and transformation in this country.

My blogs get so many comments that I cant reply to each and everyone; So I always opt to be silent because of my inability to thoroughly explain what I think and feel.  And this is the reply that will best fit all comments in most of my blogs. I'm not its author; unfortunately , the author is unknown. Only UCT Confessions Page administrator knows.

To all White South Africans

I would personally like to thank you for your contribution to SA. I know that you guys are blamed for a lot; but you're not thanked for the positive things you've contributed. And I would like to express much gratitude and appreciation for your efforts.

I know that not all of you are racists. I know that not all of you supported Apartheid. I know that some of your parents fought alongside our black parents in the fight for freedom. I know that some of you give your time to help out in black communities. I've seen this in SHAWCO which is dominated by white people. Which saddens me, because black people complain but we don't want to help each other out. So again thank you white people.

I know that not all of were responsible for apartheid and the centuries of racial segregation; but now you have to share the consequences with those who perpetrated it. Most of all, I know that the white people of our youth generation were not even really involved, but still you guys have to bare the consequences for the actions of people you did not even know. For that, I apologise. And for that I am sorry. I understand why you would be frustrated. I'd also be frustrated if I thought I was being unfairly punished for something that I did not do.

BUT please try and understand somethings before you continue to vent frustrations and sometimes hurl unwarranted insults by claiming that black people are lazy.

1) People often forget that racial injustice and segregation began way before Apartheid came into effect. By 1913, blacks had been confined to a minority percentage of land they had lived on for centuries. Something like 13% of the land for over 80% of the population at that time. As you know, land was (and still is) a valuable resource, not only economically but also it represented a family's integrity and honour. And when you strip people off their land, you strip them not only off their economic well being, but their dignity and integrity too.

Now I know that a lot of white people were not directly responsible for the removal of black families from their homes and land. And it was the racist state. In fact, most white families had to pay the state for that land. But what you have to understand is that policies such as Land Redistribution, are not meant to punish you ( the white people) but are trying to right a wrong of the past. For the millions of black people who continue to toil, die and starve in over populated squatters; to receive a piece of land upon which they can at least try to rebuild their lives and dignity is something that can change their lives for the better. For they were not paid for the land their families lost, they were forcibly removed. So please understand that no one wants you to be punished, but people want their dignity, land and security back.

2) Another issue is the economic problem. For years, black people were not allowed to participate in the economy. They were seen as a source of cheap labour. In fact the only reason they were allowed into the cities was to do menial labour for peanuts. Even the so-called bantustans were seen as resovoires of cheap black labour, upon who's backs the great economy of SA would be built for nothing. Black people were denied access to skilled jobs (policies that reserved certain jobs for whites ensured that). Black people's role in the economy was strictly as cheap labour. The best job a black person could get was to be a nurse, policeman or a teacher. There was cases where black people were lawyers, doctors and engineers, but they could not practice their professions freely and fairly. They were only allowed to do so in the black land reserves. As such the economy was exclusively restricted to the meaningful participation of white people.

Now again, I know that many white people today cannot be blamed for the racial economic policies. But what many white people fail to understand or acknowledge is that whilst they may have not been responsible for those policies, they were able to enjoy the benefits of those policies. They were able to participate and access the economy. They were able to make money and create a future for themselves and their descendants, who now can enjoy the fruits of their parents labour and participation in the apartheid economy. You have to acknowledge this white people.

And so policies such as BEE are not meant to punish white kids who want to apply for jobs, but they are a way of expanding economic participation and access to those who were not able to gain access to the economy before. They are not a way of stealing white people's wealth, but they are a way of making sure that any new wealth is shared with formerly disadvantaged peoples. Now personally, I fucking hate the way BEE has been implemented. Its only benefited a few black puppets who traded political power for economic power without actually deserving a spec of their newfoundwealth. People like Cyril Ramaphosa once represented the political interests of the most marginalist echelons of society by representing mineworkers. then benefited unfairly from BEE and represented the most elite and bourgeois of society, even playing a part in the Marikana incident. Many black people have not enjoyed the effects of BEE, and as such, the majority of black people are as frustrated with BEE as you white people. The idea behind it is noble but the actual execution is fucking disgraceful.

Anyway, white people, please understand that black people don't want to steal your wealth or prevent you from success, or exclude you from jobs, they just want to enjoy the same benefits and access of our economy. So don't feel punished.

3) Education policies have always been a thorny issue, especially at varsities. So let's look at the historical context of education in SA. White people were given a world class education. And it truly was world class. Whilst black people were specifically given an education that was "fit for the bantu" in the words of Verwoed. Black people would only be educated insofar as their participation in economy was allowed. That is, they would receive the most basic education that would allow them to communicate with their white masters and make them the most efficient menial, unintellectual, cheap and suppressed labour. It was intended to make sure that black people and their future generations would remain, not only economically inferior, but educationally inferior forever. This resulted in large numbers of illiterate black people who did not wish to be taught in afrikaans. Large numbers of unskilled black people who then would struggle to put bread on their table for their families. And because their education was poor. Their access to economic wellbeing was consequently as poor. And this has been perpetuated and recycled for generations up until 94'. However, the ANC's incompetency in education has compounded the situation and made it even worse. So the few black kids who manage to make it to matric, are heroes in their own right (not the economically and financially blessed blacks really). There are kids who are orphaned, who then live in child-headed homes, have to walk 16km to a school where a teacher is not even qualified to teach them, then have to wonder where they'll find food to feed themselves and their siblings, and then still find the strength to make it through the education system.

Anyway, white people, university racially based admissions systems are not meant to punish you anyway for being white, but they are trying to readdress this problem. Although I now believe that the race based admissions should be replaced by economic class based systems rather. Which would also help poor white people.

In conclusion, although this is probably a thesis; I feel it is important to try and address the concerns that white people have and try and help you understand. Black people do not want your money, sympathy or your skin. Black people do not want to punish you for the wrongs that were committed in the past, because frankly, most of us weren't alive then and neither were you; but what we'd like is to live with dignity and not in squalor; to gain an education to achieve our dreams like you and to be economically emancipated so we can provide for ourselves and families. We want to live in harmony with our fellow white south africans, play sports together and live together. We don't want to kick you out because this is your home too. But all we want is your co-operation in helping to address the issues of the past and not for your to live in denial or to believe that all should be good now that we can vote. There is still much to be done, and it cannot be done with negative predispositions and mindsets. Please stop throwing a blanket label and saying black people are lazy and only want to get rich by taking from white people through BEE. Because i would not say that white people are lazy and just want to live off their apartheid inheritance.

Lets just respect one another and acknowledge that this country is for everyone.

Much Love to all South Africans

The post is on UCT FACEBOOK CONFESSIONS PAGE. Bound by the rules of the page; the Confessor remains unknown but the views are shared by us all. 

Follow on Twitter @esethu_u


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