Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Where is the compassion?

I am exhausted by, shocked by, disgraced by, hurt & saddened by, SO ANGRY AT!

the people who condone Apartheid. Who say that non-white South Africans did actually benefit from Apartheid. Who argue that Apartheid “wasn’t that bad”.

Even, but many degrees less so, at the ignorant who claim “Life was better then than now. Look! Even this one black person claimed so!”

Apartheid was a form of government that sought to oppress human beings under the pathetically simple difference of the colour of skin.

It told, and treated as such, people with a darker skin pigment that they were stupid; that they were undeserving; that because they were stupid & undeserving they would not be afforded the majority of rights; that the Apartheid government knew better & acted as such.

Oh the benevolence…!

It ensured that people with a darker skin tone could not access public education (Bantu Education Policy 101) & public health of a standard that people with a lighter skin tone could.

Non-white South Africans did not have the privilege of accessing private health or private schools because Apartheid policy ensured they could not be employed into jobs that paid well enough.

They were made dependent on the state, by the state’s policies, and then were made to bend & break & live sub-human lives because of the state. Benevolence? Oppression?

I have just been told that black South Africans received schools because of Apartheid. And this therefore means that they did have some benefits under the Apartheid regime.

Should this make them grateful. Ag Gee Voster en Verwoed, you kept telling me I was stupid, dirty & sub-human. You ensured my family was split up. And that I had no choice of voice, movement or who governed me. But you did give me a building to learn Bantu Education. You’re amaaaaazing.

Would these schools & clinics & roads &….shacks?... not have come about without Apartheid? (I would argue they would AND they would have come with decent resources AND funding AND maintenance under 90% of other governance options, unlike the Apartheid government offered up).

Any infrastructure created for non-white South Africans was created in spite of Apartheid, not because of Apartheid.

Their areas of segregation (which they had no choice over) were allocated minimal government funds and so their schools & clinics had minimal resources – to a degree of human rights abuse.

Why can some white South Africans not comprehend that humans were abused physically, psychologically, emotionally, and economically for decades. And that THAT WAS WRONG!

That this hurt people. Millions of people. That it affected people. Millions of people.

How can some white South Africans laugh this off? Condone this? Support this now that their eyes have been opened, now that they cannot “turn that blind eye”?

Was Apartheid education that good at brainwashing these people?

Did it brainwash the compassion out them too?

Do people really still hate so much, based on skin colour? That they do not see a human being standing in that skin?

“How on earth you can claim that policy & practice of Apartheid, which never aspired in any way to treat black South Africans as “equal” or even human, benefitted black South Africans is incredibly insulting. You are saying “be grateful to your oppressors”. Have some respect for what the non-white people of South Africa have gone through and survived”.

(I have to stop reading the comments on online articles!)


po said...

I totally agree with you on this one. It shocks me when I read or hear people say "remember the good old days when we could sleep with the doors unlocked..."

Those good old days were only safe because SA was a police state with tanks and constant police presence int he townships. The average black person lived in constant fear and was subjected to random police searches for very dubious reasons. Sounds fun, hey, like real good old days.

It's amazing at what expense those good old days came, and yet people still pine for the good old days. I think Es'kia Mphahlele's autobiography should be compulsory reading for all white people.

Anonymous said...

Trolls. The internet is alive with trolls. I just hang out for the real people. But I agree. So depressing.

Anonymous said...

Mabe in your opinion, but I dare you to read this article and tell me what part of it is not empirical.

Champagne Heathen said...

Wow, how long ago was this! And so much has happened in SA since!

Po, I have that book on my shelf! Time that I read it, I reckon!

Dolce, I guess it is up to me to start turning a blind eye to these trolls though! Not sure why I keep allowing myself to worked up by them!

Anon, I'll try take a look when I have a moment to read & concentrate....although.. I am really concerned (have a sneaky suspicion?) that it is not going to be "happy smiley" and objective as I prefer my current reading to be.

Champagne Heathen said...

Anon, I literally scrolled down it. Picked up about a few points I have serious issues with, and could debate empirically, along with the extremist shouting scrolling banner at the top & the "Boycott these media publications", and, honestly, I do not think I could be bothered with more.

I have made a conscious decision to try to stop fighting people who only want to be fought but do not want to stray from their hating ideology. I am tired of hate, and I see my irony in hating hate, and so will stop hating hate & people who choose to hate rather than attempt love & reconciliation. Apartheid & SA's past might not be the cause of every social problem in SA, but damn if it doesn't do well in shedding light on nearly all of them. To argue that Apartheid is simply an innocent, well-meaning or even mis-meaning political system that is now only a "scapegoat" is absurd & either naive or is racial hatred.

I tell you what, send that article to several political journals, get it published, and see what political peers have to say about its empirical validity. I reckon that they will expose its flaws in logic & facts far better then I would.

It does make me nervous that the supporters of Apartheid & 'continued racial division of SA' prefer to stick to selective pages on the web rather than get themselves engrossed in mainstream debate. There might just be a reason that the majority of people view Apartheid in such a negative light...