This is my brief-ish response to the post “WHAT EXACTLY DID WE STEAL FROM YOU” on Shane’s blog. I actually reblogged this article a short while ago for context, so feel free to check it out on my blog. Alternatively, here’s the link: http://goo.gl/lt3qTj
Every time I see a demagoguery laden post such as this, I always tell myself I am not going to respond to it but I always end up getting sucked in. Ah well, I can’t help it….
Firstly, well done on the profanities. I find that’s the best way to progress discourse on the racial issues that are affecting South Africa.
With regards to bringing “civilisation” to Africa; this argument is fast becoming mundane and borderline banal. Let me use a very basic analogy that you will hopefully understand:
You get to someone’s house and find them and their family sat on the floor eating their dinner using their hands. They’re sat around a fire which they are using for warmth and light, a fire they used to cook their dinner. You arrive with a shiny fork and tell them to use that instead of their hands; you give them chairs and tell them to sit on those rather than the floor; instead of sitting around a fire, you give them a dinning room table to sit around, lamps for light, heaters for warmth, and a stove for cooking.
I ask you then: Have you introduced civilisation?
To what extent was this family uncivilised prior to your arrival? They were eating cooked food, conversing, were warm, and had light. Where exactly is this lack of civilisation you speak of? It is a fallacy to assume that Africans were living a life of, to use your words, “savagery” prior to the arrival of white settlers. Their needs were met, they ate, they reproduced, they adapted to the changes brought by Mother Nature. How is this savagery? How is it uncivilised? Settlers merely came with different methods of doing things. If you do your household budget with a pen and note pad and I bring you an iPad with a budgeting app, have I brought civilisation?
As for the “what exactly did we steal” argument, I can only describe it as denial, which as you know is the probably the most common defence mechanism at our disposal as humans, especially in the face of atrocities. From the holocaust to slavery, from colonisation and numerous genocides to apartheid, there is always some form of denial associated with these acts. I kind of understand it. It’s not easy to face such realities especially if you have an association with the perpetrators. It’s much easier to refuse to admit or even recognise that something has occurred and, in this case, is currently occurring. Would you want to teach your kids that one of the reasons they have a much better chance at life than a black child is because of past injustices? I wouldn’t either if I was you. It’s much easier to call black people lazy savages waiting for handouts. Why do you think the British government for a long time conveniently skipped Colonisation from its school curriculums?
The problem with denial is that it requires a sizeable investment of energy. Look at the hate being spewed by yourself and the numerous comments in response to your post. There is hardly a single intellectual response. Only numerous paranoid white people calling black people monkeys and savages. I wonder if one day any of you will realise that it’s much easier to face the truth and play your part in rectifying it than to carry all this hate and denial.
One of the comments on your post talks about how “white people are suffering in South Africa” because of the “black government” and “reverse apartheid in the form of Black Economic Empowerment”. To this commentator I ask, “Where are these suffering white people?” In fact, I think those that ran away to countries like Australia post 94 are probably closer to “suffering” than those that stayed. As the recent census showed, over 82% of white people still live in the upper class of South Africa’s society. Furthermore, it showed that, if white people stopped amassing wealth, it would take black people almost 52 years to catch up. And all of this in a country that still allows “white Afrikaner only” apartheid-esque communities like Orania and Kleinfontein to exist freely. I wouldn’t mind that kind of suffering for black people.
South Africa is predominantly made up of two groups of people:
1) the black majority who were battered into a severe inferiority complex through years of abuse
2) the white minority who were battered into a severe superiority complex through years of preferential treatment.
People forget that apartheid messed white people up too. The only difference was you were living comfortably and continue to do so today. Otherwise, you’re just as messed up. That’s why there are so many white people who get upset when they see successful black people; it’s because they can’t comprehend how it is that a black person is better than they are. Truth is, that black person has always been smarter and better than you. The only advantage you had was the protection afforded to you by apartheid. That protection gave you the aforementioned superiority complex which is what makes you SO mad at any black success story.
Intelligence and success is not race based. There genetically exists nothing in the racial make up of an individual that makes him greater than another. So to think you are better than another human being purely based on your race is like concluding that one car is faster than another purely based on their colours; it’s ignorant, nescient, retarded, and just plain silly.
One just has to look at society (or the responses to your post) to see that South Africa still has some way to go before realising racial harmony, if that is at all possible. But while racialism continues, so does the ticking on this time bomb we are all sat on; and one day the ticking will come to an abrupt end…and you know what happens then…(((BOOM)))…everybody dies.
***just scribbling my response***
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