Racist Rants – Are We Ignoring Racial Reconciliation?

2016-05-10 06:34

I was terribly upset to read about the recent racial rant, allegedly posted by Matthew Theunissen on his Facebook page.

Do I condone what he allegedly wrote? Absolutely not!

However, it occurred to me that what Matthew did, was take the "bait" that was dangled in front of him, and react like I fear a large number of frustrated White South Africans may want to react – granted, they would likely be more diplomatic and take more care in their use of language!

What this rant has done, however, is fuel and entrench the racial divisions within our fledgling democracy – something which, unfortunately, benefits certain of our political parties!

Now, that is a concern! – having political parties, within SA, that benefit from the creation, and entrenchment, of racial divisions!

Reverting back to the Facebook rant, I, as a White South African, am aware that White frustration is growing daily – I hear it, I see it on social media and in comments on news articles/opinion pieces – it's really not good and can, on occasions, even get quite nasty!

I can hear people interjecting now, saying: "yes, but what about Black frustrations?" – I agree, and I'll get to that!

The big problem with the frustration amongst Whites, is that it's generally being bottled up and I'm concerned that our Nation's leaders are probably oblivious to this – it remains hidden because SA's Whites are bound by the restraints of "political correctness", and of "White guilt" – but that doesn't mean that it will always be hidden!

To understand where White frustration is coming from, one needs to consider the following:

• White farmers, and their families, are being tortured, raped, and murdered in droves – some even refer to it as a 'genocide

• Whites, mainly youth (and therefore predominantly those who never experienced Apartheid) believe that they are being discriminated against by virtue of B-BBEE (as implemented) and by sports team quotas. Unfortunately, to promote a B-BBEE employee, or select a Black rugby player/cricketer, purely on racial lines AND NOT ON MERIT, a deserving White has to be retrenched from his job, or dropped from a team – this extremely unfair outcome cannot, unfortunately, be avoided!

• Whites often complain that they are dealt the "race card" immediately they criticise a Black person … regardless of the validity of the White's argument

• Many Whites find the words of the so-called "liberation songs", often sung by our prominent Black political figures, to be extremely disturbing and threatening

• Streets, with names which weren't remotely associated with Apartheid, have been renamed after liberation struggle heroes/heroines eg 'Edwin Swales VC Drive' (on Durban's Bluff) was renamed 'Solomon Mahlangu Drive' – Edwin Swales was one of five South Africans who were awarded Victoria Crosses in World War II - South Africans were then fighting the racist regime of Adolf Hitler/the Nazis! (The Victoria Cross is the British Commonwealth's highest award for bravery).

• Black university students appear to be able to wear T-shirts, inscribed with the words "Kill the Whites", without being censured!

Is it therefore not surprising that SA's Whites are feeling more and more threatened, and unwanted?

The "kneejerk" response to that question, from many of my compatriots, would undoubtedly be: "then leave the country!"

That is, of course, an option that has been taken by many (too many!), but I believe that White South Africans have a lot to offer the country, as do their Black compatriots – the Nation's Blacks and Whites really need one another!

Our leadership mentioned some years ago that the time for racial reconciliation was over, and that the country was to embark on a phase of empowering its Black people.

No one can fault the need to empower our Black people, but to ignore racial reconciliation at the same time was, in hindsight, very unwise! And yes, Black empowerment and racial reconciliation can, I believe, be done at the same time - it all depends on the manner in which one empowers (and that's a subject all of its own)!

The empowerment of SA's Blacks, over the past 21 years, has achieved some success, but it's been very limited – and that's because it was implemented in a manner that only benefitted a privileged few!

It's widely accepted that Blacks, generally, have not seen their lot improve that much, since 1994 – granted, running water, and electricity, has certainly been provided to many millions of the previously disadvantaged, mainly Black, people – but that's not enough! The masses (predominantly, Black) understandably feel that they're still caught in the "poverty trap" and are really needing jobs which will ensure a sustainable source of reasonable income for them and their families!

So, I'm therefore saying that both Black AND White frustrations exist!

It therefore doesn’t take much "baiting" for the one race to blame the other race for their state of frustration/unhappiness.

Much like the Nazis blamed the Jews for all that was wrong in post-World War I Germany, so too do we see blame being directed at the "other race" for all that is wrong!

This creates racial tensions within the country, and severely inhibits economic growth and social progress.

I therefore believe that in a country as racially diverse as ours, it's extremely foolish to ever ignore the matter of "racial reconciliation".

Blacks and Whites need to live, and work, in harmony with one another, if SA is to prosper.

When we've seen national/racial unity (eg during the 1995 Rugby World Cup, and the 2010 Soccer World Cup), there was a very positive, upbeat, atmosphere in the country – certainly conducive to better productivity and to attracting investment in the economy – and investment (coupled with good education) is what drives job creation, the precursor to the economic upliftment of the masses!

The Government therefore needs to start paying urgent attention to BOTH Black and White frustrations – failure to do so has the potential to bring our country down!!

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