#000 and #fff

a bit of black and white, if you will.  If race and racism are not your cup of coffee/tea you are at liberty to stop reading.

Why is it okay for a white person to complain about the 'quota' system AND rejoice when it fails to make a South African team win?

I fail to understand why white people fail to understand the inherent imbalance, injustice of the previous regime.  I am a scientist, so I'll break down some facts (to the best of my knowledge and I stand corrected).

  1. at least 70% of the population is black
  2. at most 10% of the population is white
  3. at most 80% of the wealth is in white hands

So, BEE, BBBEE, Quota's are at most seeking a 25% non-white races in the mix of whatever.

Is 25% too much to ask for? 25% of 80% is only 20% of what is in white hands.

These systems are merely asking that white people share a small part and you can still keep the lions share.

BUT, the argument goes

people should be allocated a position, post, job, role only on merit, not skin colour.

That is, in all honesty, a fair argument, I can't argue with that, I too wish I'd be treated the same, not as a black person, a person who possesses the skills (or requirements) to do a whatever I'm tasked with.

The key word is possess, of which Answers defines as:

To have as a quality, characteristic, or other attribute

it's as simple as that. So then I ask the questions

  1. how many black people are educated beyond secondary level?
  2. how many black people have the skills in engineering, business, economics, international sport?
  3. how many black people have the experience in government, policy development, socio-economy, economics, development, management?

if they are, what would the percentage be? BUT most importantly before 1994, where would they have got these skills from?  Where would they have got the education from?  Where would have got the experience from?

So, if we still to use that, albeit valid, 'merit' argument what would have been different between 1994 and 1986 with respect to 'racial' imbalance?

If white people preach and believe in the idea of racial harmony then they have to take cognisance of the fact that Apartheid existed since 1948 (aside: I am beginning to feel as if the greater white minority is in denial of this fact).

The other argument is:

I cannot be be punished for what my ancestors did.

True, once again a fair argument, can't argue with that, BUT here is a question for you:

Why then am I (black) being punished for what my ancestors did not do?

Now, these two statements have only one conclusion:

How do we then address -- what your (white) ancestors did to my (black) ancestors -- to put us on two equal playing fields?

That is open to debate how to achieve it --- but right now, all we got is BEE, BBBEE and the quota system --- if you, black or white, have a better idea let us know.

Racial harmony can be achieved through constructive dialogue, not name calling.

And lastly, here is another thing:

Why is it easier for a white South African to talk shit 'bout South Africa and proclaim why they are happy to have left for Australia, UK, Germany e.t.c?

First of all, if you left, then why is it your objective to continue to care 'bout South Africa. 

Secondly why are you comparing South Africa to another 'European/Western Country'? Choose any African/Developing country, then maybe we can compare apples for apples.

Thirdly, if you could leave the country, if you have resolved yourself to not being part of finding the solution --- and leaving is not. 

In my opinion any expat that left the country and claims it was better to live here before 1994 --- implies that Apartheid was good, for the few.

I do not like writing 'bout race, but it appears a minority within and outside this country, are making the loudest noise that is not reflective of the entire country and claiming they are.

I hate being misrepresented, it undermines my intelligence, and to me that is the very definition of racism.

Back to the numbers again. Lets say we have two individuals born in 1977. One white and the other black.  They both finish matric at the age of 18, which will then be 1995.  What would then be their basis for 'merit'?  Whilst you think of that, take these into account:

One would have received a sub-standard primary and secondary education.  One would have parents who were born (assuming they have children at the age above 24) in 1953 (6 years after Apartheid was official). One would have grand-parents who were born in 1929 (the ANC would be 17 years old).

So, then how do we re-dress this imbalance, how do we empower those who didn't have the opportunity to acquire knowledge, experience and wealth (not of their own doing), --- to those who were given knowledge, experience and wealth as a privilege?

and that is what I think racial harmony should achieve.

In closing, although I do feel this way (as I wrote) do not confuse that with lack of insight --- to know 'bout racial injustice and fight for the balance thereof does not mean I am racist.  To voice an opinion about the separation of races does not mean I endorse racial segregation, BUT, do know that truth is different from what is reality.

In general it is easier to see colour than it is to find peace with the differences in it.

I do hope this is the last time I write about 'race', if you need to know my stance it's all in this essay.

Aluta, Continua.

black, white, race, racism, apartheid, south africa

great article

  • dneo
  • 15h37, Mon 24th
    Mar 2008

Yeah...great piece, indeed! Thanks!

I mean, to me it makes perfect sense. Apartheid fucked black people over in such an intense way, that some of the repurcussions will never be repaired. I'm not a whinger, and I do know that I'm more fortunate than most black people. But it always amazes me how white people just don't get it or refuse to do so. Equality does not simply mean pissing in the same toilet or riding in the same bus! It would seem we expected to be happy that the dompas has been done away with and leave it at that! BATHONG!!!

Anyway, wrote a letter to a newspaper, in a bid to quell my frustration and anger...it didn't help! I think it's going to stick around for a while!


  • Lulu
  • 12h42, Mon 31st
    Mar 2008

my voice is coarse from screaming out these sentiments for a while. thank you for pushing them out. eish, sadly though, some apartheid laws were put in place long before '48. some incredible books talk about how our people were severely disenfranchised. "randlords", "tell freedom". etc etc.

thanks again.


thank you
thank you
exclamation mark

i feel like printing out your post and having it on hand to orate everytime another person whinges about the state of the nation. i get so mad sometimes. so mad that i can't speak. and my voice starts to shake and and and

these are the parts that made me scream

these are a few of my favourites
as i read these parts i screamed
i know
o a tseba

"where would they have got these skills from? Where would they have got the education from? Where would have got the experience from?"

"Apartheid existed since 1948 (aside: I am beginning to feel as if the greater white minority is in denial of this fact)."

"Why then am I (black) being punished for what my ancestors did not do?"

"how do we empower those who didn't have the opportunity to acquire knowledge, experience and wealth (not of their own doing), --- to those who were given knowledge, experience and wealth as a privilege?"

thank you thank you thank you

  • ella
  • 16h04, Fri 04th
    Apr 2008
  1. , , confirm
  2. that this is my and you
  3. can find out who I am from this
  4. With that said ,
  5. is what I wanted to with you. — and yes, please