With Privilege comes Responsibility
There is so much anger in South Africa today. Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika – Lord Bless Africa! If we continue on this route, think who will benefit. Not the people. Not the youth.
This post will be a little all over the place and perhaps a little controversial (not my favourite thing!) but I want to start a positive conversation.
There have been many conversations around “White Privilege” and I felt I should clarify some misconceptions. White Privilege does not mean you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth. It does not mean that your parents didn’t work very hard to provide for you. It does not mean you had your university fees paid for or that, when you turned 18, you were given a new car.
It does not meant that you have had an easy life or that you have had no problems in your life. It does not mean that you have not worked hard for every cent that you have. In fact, even the homeless, “white” person down the street has White Privilege.
White Privilege does mean that at times things are a little easier for you than a person who is not “white” and I know, I also felt that this is an unfair remark …I have really wanted to understand this and I have started to understand as I have helped others. Work with others of different colours, try and help them achieve their dreams, walk in their shoes for a bit and then you will realise that it does exist.
Also realise that this is not the only privilege that exists. There are some that cross colour lines, such as money.
Understanding this and looking at the past in South Africa, however, does not excuse abusive remarks from others. If I am a good person, trying my best to succeed and assist others on the way – what is your right to abuse me or others like me? This is NOT the way to start a conversation but rather a way to end it and incite Violence. Violence is not okay!
Do we want to work together? We agree that the what happened in the past was wrong. How can we work together in finding solutions?
It also does not give anyone the excuse to expect everything to be given to them without the work being put in.
No-one deserves to be attacked because of their race. They didn’t choose what race they would be and neither did you. The youth have grown up in a different world and WE, as parents and leaders, should be leading them the right way. We should be teaching them to respect people of all races and cultures and to judge people by their actions and not the colour of their skin. We should be teaching them to respect their elders and not to talk down to them (irrespective of the colour of their skin). We should be teaching them love and patience. We should be teaching them that when you are able to provide for yourself and your family, that you should reach out to others who are less fortunate.
AND PLEASE – let us teach our children not to swear. When can swearing ever be used positively? It will always offend and means nothing. Give your children a voice with words that actually mean something! Give your children the words that they can use to change the world for good!
Youth of South Africa, be patient with those who have gone before you. We have grown up in a different world. We are still recovering and it will take many years. Also, judge people by their fruits – don’t follow those who do not bring solutions of peace and growth.