So, as I mentioned in my previous blog, here I am 25 years post apartheid, a South African White and previously advantaged female. Well, perhaps less of the ”previously”, as I will always continue to reap the benefits of having had those priveleges and advantages over my non-white counterparts. A concept which is SO foreign to SO many.
I grew up with so many more opportunities than my non-white counterparts. I grew up in better living conditions, a better environment, better education, better health care, had more opportunities….the list goes on. I also grew up with the privilege of not having to worry about being racially profiled, and not having to live in fear of my or my family’s freedom or safety every day.
Please do not see me as some liberal free spirited flower child, who sits under a tree, sips milk and peacefully sings along to ”Kumbaya” type of gal. ‘Tis true, that song formed a large part of my background music as a child, but that is only because I have a couple of brothers who did in fact grow up in the Sixties, sat under a tree, sipped milk and sung along to Kumbaya. Do have loads of love for that song though……but as I mentioned previously…I was the indifferent and ignorant teenager, and my teenage years were only in the Seventies…so I just listened to the song for enjoyment.
Things have certainly progressed in the right direction in South Africa. There are more opportunities for non-whites, access to better education, health care and living conditions. There are, however, a vast majority of people who still cannot afford the better education, health care and living conditions. In fact, those that can, need to be commended, as their road to get there cannot ever be underestimated!!
There is also still so much ignorance on the part of so many of the White South Africans. It literally baffles me to my core, that people cannot comprehend the long term effects of racial inequality.
They accept that the prejudice, bigotry, hatred and segregation that once was, was not acceptable. However, too many White South Africans make the most ignorant, lamebrain and dimwitted statements and observations.
Now, being lamebrain and dimwitted is totally on them. Ignorance, however, might not be totally within their control, especially in the current climate. However, this I shall get to another time. I just need to get these statements and observations off my chest for the moment.
Whenever I am present during such discussions, I (loudly and passionately) voice my opinion. I used to believe that people just needed to be more informed. I almost pitied them for being so out of touch, with what for me was so apparent. But one thing is for sure, and it is not through lack of trying…….I CANNOT GET THEM TO CAPICHE!!!!!
So back to those statements and observations….
”There is no excuse for a non-white South African to be struggling anymore. They have the same opportunities as us now.”
Do they really??? So the fact that their parents were not able to receive a decent or any education, were prevented from amassing and maintaining wealth the same way our parents could, has no impact on their children’s lives today???? I think not!!
So you are saying that your children’s non white counterparts, whose parents did not receive the education or opportunities you had the privilege of receiving….in fact the RIGHT to receive, are on an equal footing??? How is that even conceivable??
My son even manages to comprehend that, while he finds studying for his degree tough, in his privileged surroundings, with his electric lighting, a full stomach, and a car to drive to and from University, his situation is IMMENSELY different to the vast majority of his non-white counterparts. Many of the students do not have all, or any of these luxuries. Yet, they work harder, get up earlier, get home later and so many even do better. And when I have to hear that the only reason they get better marks, or even pass, is because they are graded differently, I want to erupt into flames!!!
WHAT CAN YOU NOT COMPREHEND???? Hopefully the world will reach a stage where the disparity created by racism narrows, and non white families WILL have the means and opportunities of their White counterparts. But if you think that this is where we are now……oh brother….what chance do we have of righting all the wrongs??????
Another dumbass statement….
”Our kids better apply to Universities overseas, they will not get into the Institution or Degree they want to here, because of their skin colour.”
Now, full disclosure, when I was looking to apply at Universities for my son, I almost thought that maybe these blanket statements, that are so frequently and comfortably voiced (with such authority mind you), might bear some truth. Not a conversation took place between parents where this topic was not discussed. Perhaps you ARE that liberal free spirited flower child, that refuses to accept the true state of affairs, I thought to myself.
I also assumed that all these kids would in fact not be educated in this country, as apparently all these parents had spent a good year discussing how they have to send their geniuses off to greener pastures to be educated.
Amazingly enough, all the White children (who apparently are now the disadvantaged, according to their parents), that I knew, managed to get into the Universities and the degrees that they had chosen…..in this apparently ”awful country” of South Africa. Of course there were one or two who might have had to settle for studying towards a degree that was their second choice, but who is to say that this had anything to do with them being the ”wrong colour.”
There are some faculties at the Universities that have a more rigid quota system, but this is to try and equalise opportunities. This DOES NOT mean that the non-white student who was accepted over the White student, did not deserve their place. They still need to have sufficient points to qualify. Even then, there is inequality, as there is still a large disparity between historically-Black and historically White schools…..and even Universities. Hence, it is still the White students, who have an advantage of their counterparts, who might not have attended one of the “better schools”.
These pundits truly believe that the Universities in this country will accept a non-white student with absolutely no, or limited academic ability, over a White student who is apparently considerably more deserving, just to fill the quota. Yes…….please listen to the reasoning, and tell me I am not going mad for wanting to explode into flames when I have to listen to this tripe!!! People genuinely have the conversation that the non-white applicant, who had passed Grade 12, probably had not ”deserved” to pass. They believe that the adequate points they attained to be accepted for any given degree, in all likelihood were inflated, so that they could be accepted over the much more deserving White student. They were apparently accepted only because they were previously disadvantaged. ”Reverse racism” they cry out…………where is that damn rolly eyed emoji when you need it??
So to sum up…..these blithering baffoons believe that the uneducated non-white person was accepted to study towards a Degree, and their brilliant honey bunny (or hunny bunny’s friend/friend’s sister/friend’s cousin) was not ALL BECAUSE OF REVERSE RACISM!!!!! And if that wasn’t enough rot for you…brace yourselves….because apparently these uneducated and undeserving students will, in actual fact, get their degrees whether they pass or not ALL BECAUSE OF REVERSE RACISM!!!!!
Part of me wonders (and hopes) that if these geniuses spewing out this dribble, were to actually read the last paragraph, they would understand how UTTERLY STUPID THEY SOUND!!!!! But probably not. They will probably (and in fact do) just shake their heads, and discuss what a ranting, raving and emotional nutjob I am!!
Yet, if they are to be believed, all the professionals in this here country of mine, in the near future, will actually be uneducated and unqualified. Imagine that?? Clearly this is absolutely absurd. Please tell me this is absurd!!!!!!
Ofcourse, once their children are getting close to graduating (for the degree that they were not going to get into…because they were the ”wrong colour”), these parents then start with the next series of statements and observations….
“Our kids will never find a job in this country….they need to go elsewhere….there are no opportunities here….they are the wrong colour.”
Are they really? I know many White graduates that secured a position. Maybe they slipped through the cracks…who knows?? Or maybe….now hear me out on this one…….THERE ARE IN FACT OPPORTUNITIES FOR THEIR CHILDREN IN THIS COUNTRY!!!!!
Yes, the playing fields are levelling out. Yes, White job applicants have more competition than they had in the past. But this does not mean that there are NO opportunities for White applicants. It is harder than it used to be. There are times where promotions are given to the non-white applicant over the White applicant, but this is all necessary in order to right those wrongs that took place over so many years.
Is it fair? Maybe not. But it is certainly more fair than the previous era, don’t you think??