It seems to me there is an imbalance of some sort that is perceived by either black and white people in South Africa currently. I call it an imbalance because the other has no trust or faith in the other;m and it is perceived because both parties do not engage. We do not talk to each other. We talk to our fellow black or white friends but not to each other. If we do talk; it’s just fluff which is the start of rubbish!
You go to a work function and immediately you will notice: black people talk to other black people and white people alike gravitate towards other white people. The black people will be talking amongst each other about the lack of transformation or the things white people are doing wrong; the same goes for white people.
The question that I have is; why are we both afraid of talking to each other? I mean really talking to each other! I think the answer lies partly in our past. We do not trust each other! We do not trust the intent, we do not trust that the person will receive the information kindly. Our past taught us the other is inferior and the other obviously superior. 1994 came and all the racists and the so-called ‘communists’ died! We woke up changed people and loving! Only a few were held accountable through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the guns were burnt; because finally the bad people were dead! We were transformed! It wasn’t us! The rainbow nation! What a bunch of nonsense!!!!
That whole process taught us to be a nation that doesn’t talk about issues. An example is: the black government says let’s introduce BEE; the white people do not respond but their actions speak volumes! They choose to sabotage the process because it’s perceived that “they will lose their jobs, their children’s future is not secure and they are not wanted; so at every opportunity they sabotage the process (hire an obedient black). The black people understand the need for BEE. My father’s analogy is: like Oscar Pistorius; BEE is prosthetic legs for the previously crippled black person. The implementation of the process obviously fails because like my dad said again: corruption isn’t a black thing; it’s always been there! Even during oppression and we are sort of catching a lift on a bus that has been moving for years. This makes it easy then for white people to catch black people out and expose their corruption; which we see daily. Obviously power corrupts but this is not a black problem, but a people problem!
I think this is where we need to start. Our problems are ‘people problems’ not black or white problems. This we can do through engagement; I mean real engagement! Talking to each other about everything; including the uncomfortable stuff. The next generation cannot grow up with this ‘other’ mentality! We are people! That’s it!
We all chose to stay in this country; let’s work together to make it great!
This is not everywhere obviously and I am encouraged. You go to universities, everyone is the same! You go to some companies; people engage and you see it in the smiles on people’s faces. Why? Because there are no uncomfortable silences and silos and mistrust and all that other nonsense!
We need to stop operating from a point of lack! It doesn’t work! We all have a role to play and there is enough for all! We must all come together and collectively play our roles! First we need to talk! Let’s talk….
So as a young black person I am not afraid to say; I am scared of old white people because I don’t trust their intentions. What are you afraid of?