To say that it disgusts and disappoints me is an understatement. In reality, yes, racism still exists. So does inequality, prejudice, anger, hurt and sadness brought on by past events in our historical experiences.
Yes, South Africa had Apartheid. The operative word being HAD. Yes, we still have an imbalance of skills, experience, knowledge, know how and opportunities. Yes, we still have gender issues, diversity issues and cultural misunderstandings.
But above all of this, we have one thing that sets us apart from becoming animals in our behaviour.
We have CHOICE!
We have the choice to move on, move up and grow as a country. We have the ability to make decisions that are positive, uplifting and all encompassing of each person who belongs in this beautiful country of ours. It is not a Black country or a White country. It is a stunning country filled with amazing people who come from different ancestries and each and every one of them deserves to be here because each of them have stories from their past histories of families who have fought, died and bled for their place here.
Yes..regardless of what language you speak, what food you eat, how you slaughter your cow, grow your food, eat off the earth, fast, believe or not, you deserve a place on this earth. The fact that you currently live in South Africa is a privilege and honour. One that we are taking for granted.
We are defiling our gorgeous country with the filth that falls out of our mouths. It is as simple as that.
Our words and actions speak very loudly about how we treat each other as human beings. Not colours, ages, genders or language groups. Seriously, if you were honest with yourself, there are people in your own language group, family, community, religion, home or culture, that you cannot stand to be with. That is called personal choice - not racism!
Why then, when there is a challenge, someone dies, gets raped, killed, hurt or abused in our country, does it becomes a race based issue. That is beyond pathetic.
If we saw ourselves as human beings then and only then can we start to take responsibility for the havoc we are reeking across our country with our hurtful words.
If we just saw each other as human beings without the bullshit story that everyone is racist - then we can start to deal with the very real issue of counteracting violence against men, women and children..Yes!! I included men in there because men get abused emotionally and physically and get raped too. Let's suck it up and know that it is a reality and stop hiding behind this veil of secrecy.
Women got the sick end of the stick for a long time and now is their time to shine too. I understand that and acknowledge that we have all come so far with much sacrifice and there is still a long way to go. For all of the womens rights that I enjoy and benefit from, I am truly grateful.
I do think however, that it is time to create a balance now. A true balancing act where our mindsets are changed, adjusted and refocussed to include people in our lives without having to fight for a place in society or be disadvantaged based on gender or race.
As a society, we are so hellbent on creating impressions. The impression that our country is so filled with violence, murderers and rapists. Every country has that. We should stop acting as if we are so unique in that regard. Are we so fickle and childish that all we can promote is negativity and stupidity?
In my travels internationally, I have always heard that South Africans are thee most well spoken, hard working, friendly and thoughtful people. Why then are we creating an impression of people who are negative, unforgiving and thoughtless through the abuse of power and words wielded by our politicians and social networking updates?
This current, new form of Apartheid, because that is what it is - A seperation - is more dangerous than anything any government could have leashed upon a countries people. This one is a seriously dangerous game being played through words.
The inappropriate comments, thoughtless personal opinions - and yes, some of our politicians are really opinionated - have left much to be desired.
Politicians can randomly make comments against an entire cultural or language group and cause an uproar which affects millions. There is no consideration for the aftermath of destruction, feelings, hurt and anger that it triggers. And No, it is not just the people from that culture who feel upset. It is affects people across the board.
If all of us focussed on positivity, doing our small bit for the greater good of humanity then we will start to see real results. Not superficial ones.
As South Africans we can take charge of our country again. We can do this by simply acknowleging that everyone is a human being. No, you do not have to like every single person you meet. That is called personal choice. The difference there is that you are choosing not to interact with someone based on personal preference because of their behaviour, not the colour of their skin.
If we have abuse in this country, it is because we have not addressed the causes. We are focussing on the symptoms. We ought to start to listen thoughtfully to our fellow human beings more and maybe, just maybe, we could prevent a person who is emotionally distressed from bullying people at home, killing themselves or being abusive. If we became more aware of people around us and stopped skirting around them based on the colour of their skin, and really connected at a deep level, then maybe we could talk. Actually talk, communicate, listen and understand where people are coming from. Maybe, just maybe, you could listen and give advice to someone who has a problem and help them to find a solution that uplifts their lives.
The beauty of coming from different language and cultural backgrounds is this - you come with different knowlege, wisdom, thoughts, understandings, values and perspectives.
It is so refreshing to get a different point of view. People are just waiting to feel valued for who they are. They are waiting to share their amazing points of view if given a chance. Women AND Men are waiting to lend a hand with their fantastic experiences and wisdoms.
Let's work together to find a balance.
A balance where women deserve to be in management positions with equal opportunity WITH guidance and experiences being shared by men who held those positions. Lets dream and think big. Let's stop being so selfish. And when I say equal opportunity, I do not mean, that women ought to be dumped into positions for the sake of it, with the intention of proving that they will fail. They must be given the correct training to help them succeed.
Lets respect the contributions that Men have made. After all, they have done so much and achieved so much - they deserve to be acknowledged.
How about we become more inclusive! We stop throwing people out of the work place based on their previous historical advantages and link them to mentor people who deserve and want the chance the succeed in a professional work environment. Stop putting people who are inexperienced into positions that sets them up to fail. That is so unfair.
Let's build our economy through working together. Saamspan, Unity, Samewerking, Tirisano, ukuBambisana. After all, our country's motto means " Unity is Strength". Unless I have misinterpreted that, it ought to encompass everyone who lives in our beautiful country, not one particular race group only.
Let's bring back the experience, knowlege and wisdom of people and balance it out with the exciting innovative new thinking of our young people in our country. Regardless of the colour of their skin colour.
Lets embrace each other and stand together. Lets stop using racism as a excuse for our inadequacies. Lets stop being lazy and grow up. Let's hold our politicians accountable for their words, actions or lack thereof. Let's take charge of our lives again instead of allowing it to be manipulated by stupidity, squandering of our funds, laziness, blatant fraudulent activities, overspending on entertainment and underspending on upliftment of our country. Now is the time to stand up and be counted.
We are not living in the dark ages without choice or understanding. We all have choice. Most of us have access to technology or media in some form be it a cellphone, tv, computer, internet cafe, school, newspaper etc.. The other form is word of mouth through community meetings.
In South Africa, ALL people have had full access to most neighborhoods, education, school, university, technology, jobs, any choice of car, all modes of transport, restaurants or beach for the last 18 odd years.
South Africa is practically a grown up teenager that is graduating from High School. One that is young and innocent enough to dream big and to experience a world filled with possibilities but old enough to leave home to explore.
It is time, for the fathers and mothers of racism to let their precious child go free.
This New South Africa - our teenager - has gone through the uncertain childish stages, has thrown tantrums and undergone alot of education. Let us entice this child of the world to grow its knowlege and wisdom through spreading love, laughter, joy, thoughtfulness and embracing every woman, child, man and nature to create a country that we can all be proud of.
Let's take this child with a fresh mind and willingness to learn and give it every opportunity to grow.