Monday, February 18, 2008

The Bubble Has Burst

I am tired of the emails going around about how South Africa is completely falling apart. And the way to prove this is to compare it to life before 1994.

Well, the life that us white people lived. Except the blatant distinction of that seems to go unmentioned. When us white people had roads, us white people had good health care, when us white people had smaller schools and more attentive teachers.

Many of these arguments are quick to base their validity on that even a black person has said to them that life was better before 1994’s democratic political change.


You have asked every person who was imprisoned because of their political beliefs and outspoken ways whether life was better then? You have discussed this topic with those people who were beaten, tortured, had family members murdered or exiled about how they like the political, economic and social order then versus now? What of those men and women who were not allowed to love or associate with each other because of their skin colour? The thousands of people who were woken up late into the night to a raid or forced removal?

Whether South African men and women who were once termed “Non-White” prefer to go back to the subhuman role they had been allocated by a racist oppressive government, one they were not even allowed to vote or speak against. Back then before the year of 1994.

Pre-‘94 involved Pass Books. Restricted movement. No vote. Bantustans. Propaganda. Two States of Emergencies. Raids and Riots. Forced Removals. Murder and torture. Economic exploitation. Being told daily that you are useless, worthless, less than, that you deserved to live as a subhuman, and you required a white master to order you how to live each day, because you are too stupid to do this properly.
Do people who send the racist simplistic emails around not realise how the Apartheid propaganda still lives in their heads. Voster and Verwoed win each time you argue that Just look at this example, see how it shows these black people cannot govern a country!

Why is the argument that we either live as we do now, or that we return to a state regime that worked for 20% of the people, mainly by ensuring the oppression of the other 80% of the South African population?

I have no desire for our country to return to pre-1994. Call me mad, but I do not believe in racial oppression. I believe in striving towards & fighting for human equality.

Are the majority of white people now oppressed, as seems to be ridiculously concluded in some articles?


We have passports. We have choices. We have voices. We have freedom of association. Freedom of movement. We can vote. We can create political parties. We can march to government buildings to shout about how we cannot tolerate crime any longer. We can march without fear of tear gas and bullets. We can start newspapers or newsletters or blogs. We are able to receive basic education and health care. Now we can access grants when we reach dire straits. We have job prospects, even though now we have to fight to get these.

And should you sit cursing my words, think firstly that if you are reading this that means you have internet access, computer access, time to take out of your day to read this. Do you have a house? A car? An opportunity to accept a job? Where did you travel today? Were you stopped by a policeman and asked to see if you were entitled to be in that area?

This country is riddled with troubles right now.

Fight against our government’s wrongs and mistakes. Definitely.

But how can anyone who believes in Universal Human Rights argue that life was better under the Apartheid government?

Fight for now and towards the future. Why are you arguing back to the past?
The Bubble has burst.

A thousand and one new cultures have come flooding in. We need to learn about these, rather than to try to reconstruct The Bubble. Jobs now have to be competed for, like they do in other parts of the world. A good life is no longer achievable through the oppression and near-enslavery of other people.

Now it has to be achieved through holding this government accountable, and making our voices heard and our anger felt when all South Africans are having our rights dismissed.

What should every South African be receiving now or within the next generation? And what did white people only receive before ’94 because of an oppressive racist regime?

“No, but that’s not what I was saying?”

Really? What implied conclusions were you supporting then by writing or forwarding that article?


ATW said...

that hits the spot. well said. xxxx

i enjoyed vodacom's allan knott-craig's take on things today.

Even I, whose only negativity emanates from fear of harm coming to those whose innocent lives depend on me, conveniently forget the fear of schools & shopping centres where bomb evacuation drills were de riguer. Let alone the countless largely innocent and helpless bodies loaded into state mortuary vans in the kzn killing fields of late 80's & early 90's.

People are watching too much carte blanche and not enough special assignment.

maybe the 2 of us are going to be the last here to turn off the lights but I'm up to that challenge.

maybe as Bob Owen said : "All the world is queer save thee and me, and even thou art a little queer." - Robert Owen, 1828

Cat Bell said...

thanks champs. very important post. i totally agree.

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU for saying it how it is! This is an important post and I hope many have read it!

Anonymous said...

"Jobs now have to be competed for, like they do in other parts of the world." I have to disagree with this statement as a large proportion of jobs available are classified as AA/EE only, thus non-blacks are not given the chance to "compete for the job" as they are excluded completely. It's reverse apartheid.

Champagne Heathen said...

atw - ah thank you! I'm happy to see people do agree with me. I was starting to feel a bit crazy with the opinions I am watching around this and how I am being slated for saying this.
I'll watch his piece on it just now.
Me? Queer? :)

Cat - Thanks babe!

Sergeant - Thanks! Any other thoughts on it you want to email me? Time depending?

Anon - Reverse Apartheid is hardly a proportional comparison. Or perhaps read the entire of the post again. And take note of the pictures.
White people in this country are still afforded all universal rights. And many... wait... All white people I know of are gainfully employed. And should we disagree with this form of economic policy, in an attempt to equalise dramatic inequalities, we have countless peaceful choices available to us - from voting, to loudly shouting our opinions, fighting back against it through so many democratic means, to the very last and dramatic choice of using the passports we own to move across borders.
1994 did not invert the politial system of this country. IT CHANGED IT COMPLETELY. So rather use the new incomparable system to ensure your rights are met, rather than harping back to an internationally illegal oppressive racist form of state rule as your means of judgement.

Anonymous said...

lol is it not racist to exclude a group of people from applying for a job based solely on their skin colour??? and well it may have been implemented to counteract and make up for the gross inequality in the past, when is there an end to these policies? and whilst all the white people you know are employed, I however know someone with their masters who can not get a job in their field because of their race, it really is a fact, anyways I'm related to that person and the only white people I actually know are the ones I'm related to, I used to hang out in a township in the 80's, you seem to like letting people you know that you drive around certain areas oooo. Anyways, the term reverse apartheid doesn't apply I agree, but employment wise there is discrimination and exclusion.

Champagne Heathen said...

Anon - then you need to clarify your argument here, please. This post is about the current state of South Africa not being comparable to the state of South Africa during the Apartheid era.

And to compare the two & call for the return to the Apartheid era (as life was better then, as the argument goes) is to disrespect millions of people & call for reinstatement of an oppressive dictatorial minority rule.

How does the policy of B.E.E. prove that the entire state of SA governance now is comparable to the state of SA during Apartheid? Or that such a way of life that was lived by the vast majority of South Africans during that Apartheid era is justifiable?

"When is there an end to these policies"...please show a progression of racially discriminating policies that the Mandela or Mbeki governments have being gradually implementing since democracy came into being. Then we can argue about a noticeable start.

This post is not about B.E.E. & so I am holding back my comments & personal views on that policy so it does not disgress to such a conversation.

But to leave you with this: Can you prove that your example person has been discluded from every single job opening of their qualifications & experience based purely on their skin colour? No other factors played roles? Maybe the other candidates were better suited? Have they tried for every single such job opportunity? etc.

Champagne Heathen said...

Also, I have been confused about your inclusion of the following statement in your argument:

"I used to hang out in a township in the 80's, you seem to like letting people you know that you drive around certain areas oooo."

And then had the brainwave that it actually supports my arguement. You have alluded to you being white. And you were free to go where you wished during the 80s. Unlike many people in South Africa, because of the then legal policies. The freedom of movement white people continue in today's South Africa.

Your B.E.E. argument continues to play in my head, and for now I could also add (although I am really trying to avoid getting into B.E.E. talk) - at least your friend is legally allowed, if not even encouraged by the state through economic entities - to be entrepreneurial. If you cannot find the job, start one, and so also help many other South Africans by gradually creating other job opportunities.

Be aware of how extreme the racial employment policies against black people were during Apartheid, before assuming today's are those ones inverted.

Anonymous said...

you seem a bit confused in your reply, I never commented on the majority of your post, just the bit I quoted about everyone competing for jobs, as I found this statement inaccurate, so I don't get why you say in your second reply, "And to compare the two & call for the return to the Apartheid era (as life was better then, as the argument goes) is to disrespect millions of people & call for reinstatement of an oppressive dictatorial minority rule" lol who the fuck is calling for a return to the apartheid era, I'm only referring to the unfairness when it comes to jobs, and the exclusion of non-blacks for alot of posts, and not just whites, indians and coloureds are also denied advancement etc in some companies because they are not black. And I took back my reverse apartheid statement and said yeah thats the wrong term to use, ermm how are your reading skills?

as for being free to move around, funny enough in my school in 1990, 1991, whites were the minority in my class, I lead a different childhood to most whites, I grew up with predominantly black friends not white ones like you probably did, nothing I say has a racist slant, I always used to say I hated white people while I was growing up, so sure that was racist of me, but anyways moving on, if you re-read my first comment, it was only to do with me thinking your statement was inaccurate, which if you consider things you'd agree wouldn't you?

So in case you reply to this, don't delve into all the other stuff when I was/am simply addressing one small portion of the entire post, which is factually inaccurate.

Champagne Heathen said...

"I never commented on the majority of your post, just the bit I quoted about everyone competing for jobs, as I found this statement inaccurate"

I do not believe that the statement you highlight is inaccurate: "Jobs now have to be competed for, like they do in other parts of the world".

Should a white person seek out employment in a particular field, you can find it. Any South African now can & is legally able to. But now it does involve much more active and intense competing & creating thinking & action. As is the case in most countries that are open to the global economy.

One specific post at a specific company might have B.E.E pasted all over it, even a few might, but not every job opportunity in that field is closed to you because you are not black. Even if this means you have to create your own opportunity through entrepreneurship.

“so I don't get why you say in your second reply "And to compare the two & call for the return to the Apartheid era (as life was better then, as the argument goes) is to disrespect millions of people & call for reinstatement of an oppressive dictatorial minority rule" lol who the fuck is calling for a return to the apartheid era"

The people who have written up the emails sent & forwarded that I refer to in my post.

Your final sentence of your first statement links the rest of your comment to this post. It relates to this post & it concludes the rest of your comment. I have argued about how your comment, as it comes off as a whole, relates to this post.

In the next comment you say the conclusion should then be taken away. In doing this, the rest of the first comment loses relevance to the post. I have asked for clarity then in the relevance of your comment to this post. Which you now have said is a stand-alone, out-of-this-post's-context, comment on a single sentence.

"And I took back my reverse apartheid statement and said yeah thats the wrong term to use, ermm how are your reading skills?"...

What then is the correct term to use?

NOW we have come down to that you dislike a sentence, on its own & entirely out of context of this post. NOW you are saying that you are not voicing your opinion on the theme or points raised in this post.

Now that is clear – only after following the extraction of a term you made use of. The use of which is being flippantly used leftrightandcentre in today's society. Which, when tripped up on, a person is so quick to say, "But that's not what I was saying”…

“Really? What implied conclusions were you supporting then by writing [it]”

Anonymous said...

Very well said!

I might not be happy with the way things are at the moment, but I would never wish for the old style of government back! Or forward emails to that regard.

As a country we have so much potential, it just seems we have lost our way a bit at the moment.

High in Dubai said...


Thanks so much for this... You have no idea what posting this means to me!

Champagne Heathen said...

Ordinary Life - Yes, we have problems now, but reverting backwards is not the solution, even if that is all most people have known. It's time to show there is so much more than just the 2 options.

High - I am very pleased then! I would love to know more about why?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

By the way, your post was very good. I enjoyed it.

Champagne Heathen said...

Amended Comment from Person named Bemused:
"[Name Name Name]
I always enjoy how you deal with criticism by drowning people in massive amounts of rhetoric. I think that you think that simply overpowering people with a filibuster of a reply will scare them enough to make them go away.

Are you an expert on the job market? In all fields? If not, how can you argue with this anon person"

If you’re going to put a name of mine up, why don’t you put your name in the comments? Play fair and all.
You know the rules here, and I’d appreciate the respect of you sticking to them – such as sticking to the blog nickname.

But, looking at the way you argue… you prefer to make it personal, indicating that you have inside information on me, and by using a patronising tone. A tactic of getting me on defence, rather than offence.

I can argue, because it is by arguing we learn. Throwing ideas around is how people progress. Playing Devil's Advocate is how we show up gaps in our arguments, and either we must amend and so strengthen the arguement, or we must give it up.

Belittling people who do so is one way to gain power but is also away to prefer to stay stagnating – you never really have to test your ideas and opinions as long as you can take the focus off the core argument - undermine the opposition through personal attack.
“How cute, but really little girl, let the adults play at adult topics [chuckle in bemusement]”.

I use words not to be verbose but to make sure my argument, in so few words as I can possibly use, comes across as clearly as possible. Plus, using richer words is what makes me enjoy writing, and makes people read the writing.

If you have come here to make a point, make it intelligently, and not through skirting tactics. What is your opinion on the job market? What is your knowledge of job trends? Has the argument between Anon and I made you now consider this & perhaps seek it out?

Anon’s argument is to reach conclusions through what they have witnessed through a few examples. Whereas mine is wanting to know what the general trend is, as I believe, a very different conclusion will then be reached.

Is this Rhetoric or Logic 101? But then again, what is philosophy, but lots of babble, hey? Or is it what makes us think further?

Anonymous said...

Not richer words. Lots of words.

I like what you do, I really do. I think you have one of the few blogs that actually adds value, instead of the self-important crap or barely literate retard spewings that litter the "blogosphere". I was just pointing out that you seem to react to other points of view by absolutely flooding the Comments page. Just a thought.

No inside info, just the usual internet stuff. You guys aren't as anonymous as you think.

P.S. Look up "bemused".

Anonymous said...

I and most people, not knowing the
proportion of white and non white that may agree with my statement, is
that if we compare the state at which the government is rolling out for instance;
housing and free education- is done in a way that I think as a VOTER of this country's
democratic rule and change that comes with it, think that the RDP housing and affordable
housing developments in this country are absolutely unacceptable and is below what our
parent's parents got in the pre-1994 era. I mean they received 2 bedroom
houses(previously known as matchbox houses)with full kitchen+lounge and NOW,
RDP houses and you are still expected to extend it to accomodate our terribly, large,
Black families. How is that the policies of SA seem to override the facts brought forward
re:statistics SA where there were proven stats on an extremely high pregnancy rate, followed by
the new bill of rights for 12yr old kids(I'm totally torn in-between as a mother of 2
girls, 4 and 5 yrs respectively),unemployment and the enormous interest rate hikes. How are we expected to survive another
decade or two in these supposedly Better circumstances, post '94 era. The answer for most
is "you work HARDER and pray for a miracle that non of those horrifying suicide bombs and wars don't breakout before I enjoy the
privileges of reaching/exceeding ones goals.

i am a 23yr old who considers herself to be one of those who are "For Democracy", a career
driven young indivual who has not even a diploma or certificate to fall back on, but i can
already forsee myself, not ever owning my own house/property
white picket fence, apple tree and my own drive way/pool, why? building costs have
skyrocketed, getting a bond with a monthly salary of 10k is not an option because of the
amount you cld be qualifying for(which is low in conjuction with the affordable housing
option). The best option is to wait for one who will stand surety for me or for a salary to be
increased to twice my salary, just to afford a property deep in Soweto.

i think people are just getting fedup with slow rate of democratic change, but i also think we also need to be reminded of what the true meaning of democracy really is?
At the rate we all are going, we want to be in the same league as the global world before we can understand that we are already apart of the increasingly better, global economy and that Democracy
is a process and it WILL take time.How much time that is, we dont know!

Champagne Heathen said...

Bemused - my long replies are not a tactic. I am just long-winded. Always have been though I do struggle against it. I try to not be, but balance this against wanting to get all points out during my moment to "speak" & to make myself as properly understood as possible in an argument, as I account for personal bias in hearing another's side of the argument.

Perhaps if you did know more about my personal side & background, you'd realise why exact wording of what I mean is of fundamental importance to me in debates.

Yes, I got "bemused" wrong I see. Again. One day its meaning will stop meaning "mild amusement" in my head and rather mean "perplexed/ confused etc".

Thanks for the kind words.

Anon - Thanks for the comment and adding new interesting points. I wish I could pay it the attention it deserves right now, but my mind is spent by the end of the day, so I'll get back to you tomorrow. Although, I really appreciated your last paragraph!

Patchwork said...

It has been an interesting conversation. I read it with gleeful smugness. Champs ... I even posted the link to this blog in my world famous Anti Zuma facebook group. It sparked off great debate. Thanks for the candid analysis.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry, I do it too.

Meant it though, I'm a fan. Very hard to find a blog these days with anything IMPORTANT to say.

I tell people about you, hope they read.

Anonymous said...

I know this is a few days late, but I just read your post and well told! Totally agree with you and thanks for saying it.

And to all those negative on the economic/job side, you should live abroad for long enough to see exactly what goes on in other countries and you will realise there's (work-related and other) predjudice everywhere, and that SA actually has a lot to offer, besides being a good example of how a strong nation survives, despite it's legacy.

Anonymous said...

Anon - Thanks for the comment and adding new interesting points. I wish I could pay it the attention it deserves right now, but my mind is spent by the end of the day, so I'll get back to you tomorrow. Although, I really appreciated your last paragraph!


ANONYMOUS a.k.a Leritz
(thats my real name) what happened to you giving my post the attention it deserves, you just slapped me with a 5 liner, instead of i don know sumthin more tear jerckin than what you've been giving "bemused"...

Champagne Heathen said...

Bridget - Ah, thanks. Any chance I can find out what your FB group is - I'd love to see that line of conversation too!

Bemused - thanks!

Jozimemories - Thanks & it was a pleasure. I'm happy that this post seems to have got people thinking & considering - and yes, from what I have been told/ read about/ seen for myself, the overseas job markets are not all Land-Of-Milk-And-Honey as we seem to assume back here.

As one Anon said: "i think people are just getting fedup with slow rate of democratic change, but i also think we also need to be reminded of what the true meaning of democracy really is?" We're in a balancing act right now - and we all need to carefully manouevre from this place to the next more-cemented stage.

Aaah, Anon/ Leritz - Don't stress. I am around & never forgot about getting back to you. I've just been a bit too frantically busy to "think & talk intelligently" & then away from the internet. Also, I hoped from my quick comment to you, others would reread it & take note.

For me, your comment highlighted the difficult balance SA is now really dealing with. The honeymoon period of "freedom for all" & democracy's glittering title has worn off. Now citizens require daily signs of progress and equalising out the societal imbalances. But are some people getting distracted? Taking it on a different course? Should us citizens be more patient? Are they not advertising the subtle progress happening through, say, grants? Are the RDP houses just superficial signs or real improvement for people who haven't had proper housing before? Is the media overhyping the troubles & glitches?

Our current position is not easy to see. The balance is very sensitive at the moment. But right now, we have the universal laws on the citizens' side, that we have many many options & forms of access to state institutions available to us, so we need to keep that in focus while we do get twitchy over occasional media-exposed events/ statements/ policies etc.

Patchwork said...

Sure, there Wall is very active though with several hundred posts a day ... this was a ways back. The group is called Help us stop Jacob Zuma from becoming South Africas next President

Champagne Heathen said...

Thanks Bridget - and indeed - quite a bit of backtracking there to find it. Kind words from them.
I just received one of the articles that sparked off this post from another mate...I hit REPLY ALL & sent them this link... how to lose friends and unimpress people!!

6000 said...

I would argue that while things are less than rosy right now, things are less than rosy elsewhere as well.

When I first arrived in SA, I became aware that a number of people (44 million or so) viewed my homeland as being made up of "whinging poms".


Cos I've never seen moaning like here. One bandwagon after another, fuelled by a desperate media which fills us with more polarised misinformation each and every day. Crime, Eskom, Petrol, Zuma, I&J Fisheries etc etc. And as interest in one develops - how amazing that intyerest in the others decline. Which just proves to me that is a small, but vocal, minority group of (probably white) people running the public opinion in this country.

Which, when you think about it, is pretty much as it was pre-94. Quel surprise.

6000 said...

Oh - and my Big South African Crime Post which is up for best post in the upcoming SA blog awards 2008.

Champagne Heathen said...

6000 - I don't know if I'd agree with you to such a dramatic extent, but I do agree. I think we are being bitch slapped into realising how good and unreal we actually had it back in the day. The real country is finally demanding to be taken notice of & embraced.

I'll be sure to check the posts out tomorrow and CONGRATULATIONS on getting your post nominated!! :)

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