White People Annoy Me
Okay, I’m lying, it is not the White people that annoy me in this country; it is our race relations or lack thereof.
We have become a nation of denialism and dinner table gossip. The issues that need to be discussed are shunned and those that are brave enough to bring them up in public are ridiculed and called named names in order to discourage them.
For the record, I am not an ‘angry black’ or a ‘professional black’ but a South African citizen that believes that my White fellow citizen really should sit down when it comes to some of the issues in this country. Agreed, I was not there during the times of racial segregation in our country, I narrowly escaped being brainwashed by the psychological poison that was being administered by the apartheid government and I was not offered inferior education because of the belief that all I’m good enough for is to be a garden boy or a factory worker and if I display “superior” intellect then I can become a nurse or a teacher.
Yes, all the above did not happen to me but:
- I am the one stuck with parents who believe that White people are superior,
- I am the one with relatives that live in squatter camps earning less than R1500 per month,
- I am the one is expected to take care of my parents after their retirement because in their struggles to raise me, they never had the disposable income to save for retirement.
- I am the one that had to give up my dreams of being a surgeon because I had to rush towards my financial independence in order to give my mother a break before she is 65 years old.
None of my White friends that I met at varsity and in the corporate environment could say that they have experienced some of the things that I have listed but whenever we would have a political debate, they would be the first ones to complain about employment equity, affirmative action and the tender process.
Irregardless of the fact that White people still benefit from the tender process and the fact that White people still run corporate South Africa.
When we complain, we are told that it has been 18 years since 1994 and that the playing field should be levelled by now. We are told that AA and EE are subtle forms of reverse racism. It is so funny how you can invade someone’s house (call her Nomonde), poison the minds of her children into them thinking they are inferior, biochemically inhibit the physical growth of her children so that they can’t be physically strong enough to revolt against you, torture her for speaking up against the injustice, go as far as to lock her or her children up if they try and revolt and then decide to give them back their home when the neighbours take action against you and your children.
You and your family are no longer allowed to buy in the neighbourhood shops, your kids are not allowed to play sport with other kids and you finally end the madness after suffering and bloodshed. Despite the your cruelty over a period of 90 years, Nomonde proposes that you shouldn’t be punished or evicted; she proposes that all of you can live together as a family and let bygones be bygones. She then proposes that you give her time to rehabilitate her kids and ensure that in the future they can have a fair advantage when competing with your kids. Nomonde went as far as to include your wife in the rehabilitation as she also suffered in your hands.
18 years down the line, your kids are now complaining that they are being mistreated and the arrangement is unfair as they are now being punished for your actions despite the fact that when Nomonde got her house back, she allowed you and your spouse to keep the main bedroom with the en-suite, your kids still kept their bedrooms, she moved inside the house whilst her children remained in the out building that you built for them without proper facilities. Basically, you and your family were left in the same position you were in whilst you kept her and family captive in their own home. Does your family really possess the right to bitch and moan? Does it make sense?
I will not lie; it pisses me off when a White person complains about Black people. It pisses me off even further that we live in a country where a Black man has to be “white” in order to climb the corporate ladder. I can’t stand the fact that Black DJ’s have been fired for saying 1/100 of the things that White DJ’s like Gareth Cliff get away with. It saddens me that we still have areas of this country where a White man can get away with racially motivated assault. Yes, we as Black people are far away from perfect in the way in which we are running this country politically but in all fairness we were thrown into “power” and exposed to trillions of Rands straight from prisons, exile and poverty. It is natural that there will be those consumed with greed and corruption, expecting less would be like starving 20 people for 3 days and then making them serve food at a luncheon without making some of it disappear into their mouths. Yes, some will have the integrity but some will not just steal something to eat at that moment but will steal enough to ensure that they are do not go hungry for at least a week.
My sentiments do not serve to justify the greed and corruption within our government, it is simply wrong and needs immediate action; they do not serve to vilify White people or to label my generation of Black people as victims that should be given handouts. My sentiments serve to ‘sensitise’ fellow White citizens and to allude to the fact that their bitching and moaning is an insult to us as fellow Black citizens. They serve to also ‘sensitise’ the Black people that become part of the chorus, in order to buy face, when White people whinge. We need time to level the playing field and be on par without the whinging of the people that contributed or benefitted from the problem that left us here. It is counter-productive and, to say the least, annoying.
*The word ‘sensitise’ appears courtesy of the African National Congress.
*I am a Gareth Cliff fan. Love his work.
*I am not an ‘angry poet’ or a ‘refugee’.