The white landscape, a diverse landscape...

2014-11-24 14:59

South Africans are guided by their perceptions about each other. We all have impressions about the different kinds of people in our country. We all are guided by our attitudes in our daily dealings with other people. Unfortunately these perceptions are not always accurate.

What forms the basis of these perceptions? Where do we acquire our knowledge and attitudes? Is it in our day to day encounters with each other? Or is it there more to this than meets the eye? In my opinion South Africans have yet to learn that we are influenced by forces which are sometimes beyond our control. Things like the society we live in, the political “temperature” of our country and the daily ups and downs which are portrayed in the media, all have an influence. Unfortunately these things are not always an accurate portrayal of the true character of ordinary South Africans.

What complicates matters further is that South Africans at their very core are politically divided. This division causes us to become alienated from each other. A further problem is that this division causes us to stereotype each other. To make things worse is that there are members of different race groups who take it upon themselves to act on behalf of the rest of the group. This creates a psychological pandemonium, because these so-called truth-bearers become the flagships of the different race groups.

Lately there has been a lot of “hype” in the media about a certain Afrikaans singer singing “The Voice” at various occasions. Although I have nothing against “The Voice”, the type of behaviour shown by this particular artist creates an unnecessary political stir. What’s more is that it creates the impression that all white South Africans are consenting towards this kind of behaviour. Nothing could be further from the truth! Please remember that we are not all alike! We are not all racists!

We want to move forward and we don’t all cling to the past. A lot has changed in this country. Along with it a lot of us have changed. We have gained different values. We have learned to accept that the privileged position that we had in the past, is indeed something of the past.

South Africans need to learn not to judge a book by its cover. We need to move on beyond the colour of our skins and accept that being part of a specific race, does not automatically mean that we are like the rest of the group. Yes as white South Africans we don’t always condone everything that the government does. We don’t always agree with everything that the ANC does and when we don’t, we speak out. However that does not mean that we are racist! Criticism does not equal racism! Also that does not mean that we want to go back to the way things were before 1994. Please cut us some slack! Give us a break!

It is not easy to live in a country where you have to look over your shoulder every minute of every day due to the fear that one might become a victim of crime. Furthermore it is not easy to live with the thought that valuable tax payers’ money are being wasted due to corruption. When we speak out about things such as these we have valid reasons. However that does not place us in the same category as prominent public figures causing a divided society to become even more divided due to pronouncements that are negative.

Remember that each person is different. We have to learn that different race groups consist of individuals. These individuals are not necessarily alike There is no homogeneity in a specific race group. There is no homogeneity among white South Africans. Learn to judge us as individuals, for the white landscape is a diverse landscape...

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