Why we still talk about race and apartheid

December 4, 2012 § 71 Comments

Originally appeared on the Sunday Independent June 10 2012 at 12:46pm

I feel like I need to clarify my position on race as some of my fellow Capetonians have felt the need to mischaracterize what it is that I said in a column I wrote last week and a follow up one this week. Of course, I don’t need to explain myself and I don’t think I am as I this is something I wrote a long time ago.

the Youngsters

When we blame the legacy of apartheid most white people take it as a personal attack on them for having benefited from the system. Or they accuse blacks of refusing to take responsibility for whatever is going wrong in the country.

This is not the case. Blaming the legacy of apartheid is an attack on the system. We are not asking you to feel guilty. If anyone needs to get over anything, it is white people who walk around carrying guilt. This guilt might paralyse or even make them unwitting racists. Or worse, cause them to overcompensate, thus wiping away any sincerity in their efforts to balance the past. White guilt won’t solve the problems of this country. If anything, it will bring about resentment and that will take us back. We are not interested in moving backwards.

But we will move backwards if we insist on putting on blinkers.

To be honest, had I been white at the height of apartheid I don’t know if I would have had the moral fortitude to stand up against the National Party government. It is hard to go against the powers that be when defiance means prison or torture. Perhaps I would have condemned it in the comfort and privacy of my mind.

But let’s not pretend that black people don’t have a legitimate reason for blaming it for their current condition.

It is undeniable that the vast majority of black people were denied a good education; some were even denied any education. The government of the day did not bother to build schools for them.

Where there is education, opportunity soon follows, and without education blacks got caught in a vicious cycle of stagnation. They saw no real progress for themselves.

Instead of passing on wealth from generation to generation, their descendants inherited poverty and a very clear message that they were not allowed to prosper in the land of their birth.

To dismiss these realities as mere laziness on the part of a black person is ignorance. The black person is still playing catch-up.

On the other side, blacks can look at white misbehaviour through the prism of race without seeing the core of the problem. The black community must not confuse the young white man’s anger with racism. The young white man cannot understand why he has to be at the back of the queue when he seeks employment. Let’s say that he was too young to remember apartheid.

Shall we now punish him for a system that was not of his choosing? Is it his fault that he just happened to have been born white?

Having said all I have, I would like to point out that I am not so naive as to believe that racism does not exist. Sadly, it does.

Whether or not we admit it, we are all victims of apartheid. But we don’t have to think and act like victims forever. The only way we can rise above the situation is to understand the realities we all face. However, this must not excuse bad black behaviour or bad white behaviour.

There are some harsh realities to face about SA. They are driven by the fact that SA is a country of two nations, one rich and largely white, the other poor and largely black. It is a mistake to assume that all blacks are rich because there are a few rich ones, such as Patrice Motsepe for example, but a very tiny percentage of blacks hold wealth. Black people control less than 10 percent of the stock exchange, for example.

Few things annoy me more than hearing a white South African say that he or she did not benefit from apartheid. You don’t need to have contributed to the system to have benefited from it. In our attempt to put everything in the past, we try to forget what should not be forgotten. We should be aware that forgetting is an insult to history and to those who fought for what we have today. We also fall into the trap of emotionalism when we talk about the past and thus forget to put things in perspective.

A white friend said to me that he and I were “the same” because we went to similar high schools, so in his eyes I had not been disadvantaged. I could understand where he was coming from, but he hadn’t looked at the situation from my perspective.

I know it is difficult to stomach, but if you are white, you unwittingly benefited from apartheid. A white person may have opposed the system from the very core of their being and marched with the UDF and been a member of the ANC.

This does not take away from the fact that they benefited.

For a start, being white meant that you had access to better schools, as the government spent at least eight times more on the education of a white person than it did on a black person. What is the result of this? Generations of white people received a superior education and this meant that they had access to better jobs (not forgetting that the best jobs and universities were reserved for white people anyway). Naturally, white people would end up with more money than black people.

This also meant that for generations white people were able to accumulate wealth, knowledge and know-how while black people were left behind. As a result, white children who were born after the end of apartheid still benefit from what their parents benefited from. A nice house in the suburbs, better health care, access to good schools because their parents were able to have a better job because they were able to go to university and receive superior qualifications.

That is then transferred to their children, who start off from a better position than their parents. This principle applies to the rich, too. It’s how they keep getting richer. Understanding this is not about pointing fingers and blaming anyone; all we want is for people simply to acknowledge that they benefited. That will not harm anyone. It is an insult to say that you haven’t benefited when you live and breathe that very benefit.

I know that some will not agree, but these are the facts. This is why we are not the same and we do not see the world in the same way. It is not something to feel guilty about either. It is how the system was and that’s that.

I had to explain to my friend that my first school had no electricity and no water. The school was made of mud huts.

One classroom was shared between two grades. One grade faced in one direction and the other in another direction. Both classes would be in progress at the same time. The school was cleaned by the children. Cow dung was used to “polish” the floors.

The level of education I received during the formative years of my life was significantly inferior. So we are not the same.

When I was allowed to go to a white school in 1991, I couldn’t swim because the schools I’d been to had no swimming pools nor did our homes in the villages and townships. So we are not the same.

When I left high school, my parents didn’t have a car to give me. There was no money saved up for my education because my mother had been unemployed for years and had no savings. So we are not the same.

When I started working, I did not work to help myself, I worked to send money to my mother so that she could eat and clothe herself, so that my brother and sister could continue going to a good school. This meant that I couldn’t do the things that white kids my age could do for themselves, such as buying a car if their parents hadn’t already bought them one. So we are not the same.

When black kids want to buy a house, we don’t have our parents to put down a deposit for us.

Just because less than 1 percent of the black population lives well and can afford to do things like that, doesn’t mean that all black people can be said to live like white people now.

Is this to say all white people were so privileged as to have their parents buy them cars and put down deposits on houses? Of course not. There are many white people who also struggled. Poverty knows no race, but poverty was legislated in SA. As a result of apartheid, white unemployment in SA is at 6 percent, while black unemployment is well over 30 percent.

These are the consequences that black people still live with. This is why they continue to evoke apartheid.

If some of us are where we are today, it is because we had to run faster to be at the same level as some of the white kids in our age group. Of course, when we do get jobs, we are viewed as affirmative action candidates even if we are the best person for the job and until we prove otherwise. We are not the same.

This is not to say that we are resentful. We are simply upset that some people want to pretend that we are the same. Just because we went to the same schools, work in the same offices, do the same jobs and live in the same leafy suburbs does not mean we are the same.

In the end, we will be fine, and we will end the obsession with race. But let’s not sweep it under the carpet before time.

Dlanga is an award-winning blogger and advertising guy who never eats black jelly babies. Now he’s a writer, too, discussing everything from racism to love and sex, money, gender and growing up black in SA. This is an extract from his book, In My Arrogant Opinion, from the Youngsters Series, edited by Mandy Wiener and published by Picador Africa with a recommended price of R85.

§ 71 Responses to Why we still talk about race and apartheid

  • Sibahle Khumalo says:

    Wow, I could have not said it better. What irritates me more than white people saying we are the same, is black people who are apologetic about benefiting from affirmative action. It will take us generations to catch up to our white peers simply because a vast no of graduates( who now got the so called equal education as whites) are sitting at home with no job. This is not directly the white mans fault but also the corruption of our government because the predominantly white companies can now pay a bride to make sure they do not get a beating for BEE/ affirmative action non-compliance. Our government still dances to the white mans guitar, simply because they are greedy for wealth and the white man hold most of the wealth. This way the white can ensure that all their white friends and families have jobs white our black brothers and sister are sitting with their degrees at home.

  • Londiwe says:

    This is indeed very TRUE. We as black people are still suffering and we still have a ling way to go before we are fully healed. However, we do not hate white people, instead we try to live well with them. We still respect them. It amazes me to see the discriminating us blacks, looking and saying we are stupid. And then when we respond they complain….

  • Excellent article Khaya. This type of discussion needs to be more prevalent in our media and social media spaces.

    From my view, once we have started to address these things, made great leaps in redressing the past, started to give back in meaningful ways, there is opportunity to take a step back and look at the larger picture.

    In what ways have some populations in the world benefited from colonialism and oppression in general? What are the international injustices that have benefited some people, and not others? Not to condemn, but to look at the reasons, and recognise that we all have a responsibility towards each other as humanity. That we are all equal, there is great potential in every human, and great injustice in our selfish “me me me” mentality.

    So I am involved in positive, meaningful and relational restitution not only with my black South African brothers, but also in relationship with people who have fled from war-torn countries and tried to piece together their lives in my city. We can’t speak about Apartheid without acknowledging that our responsibility extends to all humanity, that we are global citizens, and that we cannot ignore the poor – for we are all responsible for the future prosperity of every human.

    • nkululeko masuku says:

      if only all south africans can think like you chris and khaya, we the young generation of this country both black and white have a responsibility to make this country a better place for all citizens

  • Khwindez says:

    Its not a surprise that almost all the mines in SA are still not BEE compliant. only the few black people who were at the right place at the right time knowing the right people who had the right money got into the industry of mining. I’m in wet services industry and black people who own plumbing companies, only amount to less than 1% this is a shame, this is a business dominated by white people and it goes without saying how “white” the business is.

  • Max (Nom de plume) Afropolitan and Global Citizen says:

    Its always interesting to read such discussions around race in SA. While it is important to listen to everyone’s side of the debate, history is often left to anecdotes. Years after the day to day events of the past it is easy to romanticise our own experiences and forget about the day to day choices we make in living our lives and what the consequences might be. Yes white people benefited from the laws of the past but today so are some black people. And if you read literature from the 1900’s one can see that the policies of AA were being used to raise the standards of poor whites when SA black Africans were relatively much better off. I am not going to profess that I have a solution to this but what I will suggest is for people to look at the specifics of who they are talking to and about and understand where they are coming from before passing judgement on their patriotism, intelligence and at the most important their humanity. Something has to give that we look at each other within the context that we are living in and try to get along with one another beyond racial lines..

  • Khaya, I agree with you that the white has benefited from apartheid, even though they may not have contributed to it directly. I think the wounds of such times take quite many years to heal. They say time heals and I think one of the reason is because we distance ourselves from memories. It is a survival skill we all have. It doesn’t mean we forget but it allows us to move forward with resilience.

  • Babele Emedi says:

    A brilliant essay Khaya. I am totall impressed. I will recommend this to anyone who needs clarity on the legacy of apartheid in SA.

  • victor says:

    Truth, nothing else but the truth, I agree wholeheartedly, blacks everywhere are playing catch up to whites and nothing is being done to correct this wrong, the current legislations are useless and not enough to deal with the legacy of apartheid, the government need to move swiftly to deal with this virus of inequality before it becomes irreversable.

    • dawid says:

      It is not white people’s faulth that the government is corrupt and stealing the money neccesary for correcting the wrongs of apartheid! They are furthering apartheid at this stage by not doing their jobs! It is within the power op government to do something…

      • I write what i Like says:

        Khaya did not say it was the white mans fault taht our government is corrupt. Read the article again, he said white people benefited from apartheid and that history must not be forgotten as we move on as a nation. It’s not an attack on any race. It’s perspective!

  • ecofreecharter says:

    Hi Khaya, I am glad I found this blog, I will save it and have a look at other comments. Cedric

  • Momcat says:

    A thoughtful and thought provoking post. As a woman and a working mom I have also experienced discrimination but believing in myself and not casting unnecessary blame have helped me move forward. Blaming others for our problems is a trap that prevents us from succeeding in life.

  • Margot Visser says:

    Should be read by everyone involved in education. Learners too.

  • I have a huge problem with your “facts”. You and every other apartheid-blaming coward forget that as white Afrikaners in South Africa were fighting for our freedom against the British until 1911. We also had inferior schools. You are right when you say we are not the same. Instead of burning our English schools we thrived in them. Instead of blaming the British empire for the over 1,200,000 women and children they killed in their concentration camps we prospered. You were not opressed for generations. Your culture of hate, rape, theft and violence has been holding you back for thousands of years.

    • madzidz says:

      It is up to the Afrikaaners to remember what happened to them and not up to us.
      Nobody has a “culture” of hate, rape etc. Circumstances are what have led to these behaviour patterns.
      It is because of attitudes like yours that we as a nation will never move forward and we as a black nation especially will never heal!

    • Okuhle says:

      Your culture???yoh Otto you need to chill!at least you had English schools, if it weren’t for the death of Hector Peterson our parents would be as fluent in Afrikaans as our grandparents.Now to stick to the topic at hand…yes whites benefited from apartheid and no 1 is pointing fingers or putting you at fault but rather stating the obvious truth and yes if at times I can’t get my way I’ll throw in something like ‘as a young female from a previously disadvantaged background’ to seal the deal.Deal with it like blacks have with the ‘help’ of our government been doing.After all let’s not act like at the attainment of your freedom from the British errthing turned out ayt 😉

    • I write what i Like says:

      what did the Afrikaans man do with his new found freedom in 1911?? He began a system called apartheid. Read a book about apartheid. Instead of burning schools you opressed people because their skin colour was different to yours. I wont burn down the English school but i’ll kill you because your skin colour is different to mine therefore you are inferior. REALLY!

    • nkululeko masuku says:

      mmmh thats why we will never be able to live with each other and build this country, who ever decided that black people were better off alone in africa was right if only you had not come to this continent, this is not the time to point fingers otto we come from different backgrounds with different understanding of the world we do not need negative people like you in as much as there is fault with the government lets not forget that almost 90% of the people in government are the people who grew up under apartheid and they received this inferior education and for them they played their part by liberating this country it is now our responsibility the young generation to make sure that we make this country better interms of the economy and social welfare that includes education

      • mark says:

        yada yada yada snore ho hum, same old same old, are you perhaps a minister we dont know of. you keep stoking it if it makes you feel good. me im just going to live my life and try not to oppress anyone today ok.

      • mark says:

        by the way those government officials with the inferior education are running the show, and people like you put them there, makes you think doesent it lol

    • Viva Comrades says:

      Mr Dutchman, what if you returned to Europe and left us to fix ‘OUR mess?’. OUR problems, OUR opportunities, OUR continent.

      “Your culture of hate, rape, theft and violence has been holding you back for thousands of years.” – Like you said, it’s OURS, it’s about time we set the record straight to closet racists like you. If you don’t like the heat in Africa, leave.

  • Charles says:

    And still….we c white ppl coming into the work place with no skill, qualifications, experience and knowledge of work, just bypassing more experienced and qualified black employees just because they are white. The package is too high for a black employee….which hurts…it hurts so much. Then ppl want us to sit there and smile?

  • sibonakaliso khumalo says:

    What more can I say, this is a must have book, regardless of what we’ve achieved as blacks but still the fact remains we’ll never be the same not anytime soon

    • Refzology says:

      We need to move on, and we Blacks need to prepare the next Generation, my 4 year old Daughter at her township creche is still been encouraged to profess in wanting to be a Doctor, Nurse,Teacher,Policewoman and so forth when she grows up and not taking away the importance of the mentioned professions, I have been schooling her in professing to be an Astronaut, and to tell the rest of her class, I believe I’m moving her on.

      In this I believe my grandson nor granddaughter and the generations after them might take us Blacks to our own planets, and we leave this rotten,corrupt,supremest,violent, racist infacted planet we are enslaved on, so that we Blacks can have our own Civilization elsewhere, here on this planet we have been fairly defeated, its proven. We need to move on.

      • Refzology says:

        I truly believe in this, can anyone point a country in Africa that has it’s own brand of a Car? Leave Euro South Africa in this.

  • dawid says:

    I would just like to ask you, what would you then expect from white people and what should we do in your eyes if you clearly know all the facts but still keep hammering on racism and apartheid, we shouldn’t be racist and we shouldn’t be apologetic but if we carry on without a word we are still called racist and privileged…. Just please stop with the self pitty and realise that the “cathing up” would have taken much less time if your chosen government was not a corrupt as it is! You like to differentiate between groups within race, but fail to point out that people are living in apartheid situations due to the fact that black people in government today are stealing money that could have changed thousands of lives instantly! It won’t end if black people won’t exept that nothing that you say or do against white people will change the current situation, the power is within the anc’s hands to change things now and they are failing you!

    • Thabo says:

      Dawid, we wouldn’t have to “catch up” with you if YOUR government had treated us the same way as they treated your great parents and parents. Remember “slegs blankes”?? Isn’t that inequality. I personally don’t care about YOUR struggles with the British rule cause I had and still have my own battles to focus on. Truth is, you are where you are now because YOU benefitted form apartheid, and that’s fine cause maybe it’s not your fault. Forget the current government and their shenanigans, acknowledge that you’re a beneficiary of your forefathers antics.

      • dawid says:

        Then why should we care about your struggles? There is no turning back, only dealing with the problem, but unfortunately you keep dwelling on them and don’t realise that it won’t change the situation, only actions of today will change the future. But you are to blind to see, what do you expect? Do you want free money every month? A car? a house? I’m sorry but even if apartheid did not happen you would have had to work for this and do something for yourself! And don’t blame apartheid for today’s poor service delivery and poor education, it could have been ons standard if not for corruption and poor decision making!

    • ecofreecharter says:

      Hi Dawid, You ask Kyaya a question that is often difficult to answer without racial conflict. On my blog I offer many solutions, I also offer an understanding, my understanding of the conflict in our country. I do not talk on behalf of any black people, and I can assure you I do not talk on behalf of the whites.
      Please have a look at my blog, and your comments will be appreciated. Cedric de la Harpe.

  • angel parbhoo says:

    Wow Khaya! This is so true for so many of us. Thank you so much for shedding light of so many things. Love your articles and your tweets.
    Thank you
    Angel Parbhoo

  • heiney2 says:

    I agree with you 100% you and I share the same views… No-one has ever encouraged society to remain trapped in history. Indeed we must move on. But to expect society to not utilise that history in its quest to understanding the present and paving future, is shocking, perplexing, infuriating and insulting to people who are on the receiving end of the brutality of that history’s legacy. Moving on wont happen by declaration, where Mandela proclaims that: “We are a rainbow nation, let’s love one another”, and then BAM!, we have moved on. It is a psychological process that necessitates dialogue and honest introspection.

  • Paul says:

    I was under the impression all black people are stupid, until I realized that I have a colleague that has a std 8 and still cannot read properly. What kind of a school did he go to? I don’t know. Yes I have benefitted from being white. This is why I do not understand white hobos. White people are still favored, get a job and try. Yes apartheid was very wrong, and now we still have people coming out of schools who are unable to get an office job due to lack of basic education. If we do not pump a huge chunk of our taxes into education in rural areas and disadvantaged areas, I am afraid my grandchildren ( still a long way off) will be sitting with the same problem. Please educate our children. Whether their parents are willing to pay, use their money on beers or just simply cannot afford it, is not the child’s fault. Thanks for reading if you did..

  • Lionel says:

    Hi Khaya,
    Very interesting piece.
    I am a young white South-African, and find it very difficult to accept the AA laws of today. I read some of the comments about white people still getting preferencial treatment when it comes to jobs., and my experience is just the opposite, I have seen Black people being employed in critical positions in companies that have no clue what to do and ultimately end up failing and costing the company and the country millions. I think this is a more true reflection of what AA is currenlty doing to our country. Sport is just another example. My feeling is that is is being rushed.

    Your article made me think, and I can appreciate that white people are in a better position because of apartheid. But your view is not shared with the majority of black people, hence the thousands of white farmers murdered. There is a deep hate for white people , and the message from government is never as you discribe it in your article, instead the message is always about how black people must take control of the economy etc… What about me and my family???! I work and barely make ends meat! Do I not deserve to be here??I was born here. What about my children?? . No message ever goes out to the minority groups in South-Africa.

    I feel very unwelcome. And this is unfair towards me that can’t remember apartheid because I was still in dipers.


    • ecofreecharter says:

      Hi Lionel,
      I appreciate your attitude that you bring to the table and in particular your concerns.
      I am an old white, 65 years old, and I have only started to understand the impact of our past during the past five years.
      Have a look at http://economic-freedom-charter.co.za and you will find many questions, and maybe a few answers.

      Cedric de la Harpe

  • Boitumelo Moloi says:

    I believe that black people do not look out for each other,some have the power to give people jobs but they’d rather not simply because they feel intimidated by the person who would given the the job,it will take more than a while to catch up! I totally agree with everything that u have said!

  • Max says:

    Apartheid lasted 46 years,will affirmative action after 46 years be able to have done away with the hurts caused by the past? The new SA next year going for 20 years. The government is very corrupt,will they be able to provide for their peoples needs? What about all the other people in south africa coming here from zimbabwe,mosambique etc,taking away more jobs if they di come here and succeed in getting a work? I cannot come to think that one can with hold a propper education from any one, that was wrong of apartheid

  • D says:

    I had a lovely rebuttal written out and was ready to respond then realised it would be pointless. We all simply need to accept each other and find our way back to a point where we stop pointing fingers and ask each other how can we make the lives of our children better. Race, religion, politics or a point of view these are simply excuses to turn a blind eye to the ignorance we display towards each other. We should not ignore the past, and we cannot undo the past, we have right now to stop arguing with the past and looking for other to help make tomorrow a better place. Its simply up to you to decide who you want to be, the person who blames the past for what he should be or create a future where you are more than the sum or your past.

    • emmanence says:

      Yes, D. And that’s exactly what Khaya is saying. We need to acknowledge that the past has an impact, with no finger pointing, and then decide what kind of a society we want to build…

  • Naas says:

    A very wise man once said : Take from the past what is good and build the future on that.

  • Annon says:

    Yes but aparteit ended 19 years ago surly by now the gap should be closing, but it’s not is it? Poverty is getting worse and the standard of education has dropped, it is a discrase that it is all still blamed on aparteit, it’s not the white man that feels guilty it’s the black man that forces the white man to feel guilty, if white ppl had wet ( white entertainment television ) it would be called racist, but BET exists this is just one of many black only organizations. You say there is only a small percentage of rich black people but there is 50million to 5million how can you give your children a good education when you have 5 kids but can barely feed yourself, white people will have an affordable amount of children but black people will just have as many as they can it no wonder unemployment and poverty is so high umonst them. This country will never prosper and unemployment and poverty will always be high because of aparteit everyone feels sorry for the so called unfortunate, it’s show in our education level as the standard keeps dropping so that the unfortunate can pass.

    • madzidz says:

      Your comment on this blog does not even warrant a response….It’s just downright idiotic and ignorant, nevermind the grammatical errors!
      Oh and btw, BET is American punk! And last time I read this post, we were talking about SOUTH AFRICA!

    • @smilesthedj says:

      Hello Annon, why are you annon anyways, its not like we’re gonna look you up on google and come to your house, for you to explain you idiotic thoughts. Yes, we don’t trust white people labeling their organizations “white this and that” because we all remember what happened the last time you did that….”Slegs Blankes”! By the way, BET was a necessary organization as white dominated Hollywood did not recognize the need to diversify they’re programming to include the other sectors of the population, so Black folk did it themselves & you do know BET is a major contributor the the American and world entertainment industry and oooh they employ a lot of white people aswell. There a lot of white owned station, that may not have the word “White” in their name but are very white in content. So please quit your whining and your amateur, lame arguments. I’m pretty sure the ANC thanks you for your racist rhetoric as it just reminds voters of what some white people really think of them, and then ya’ll are surprised that the ANC still whoops every other party in the elections despite “growth” of these party’s.

      • Annon says:

        All im saying is zim backed Mugabe and look what happened there, the ANC has promised the wold to its supporters and yet poverty is still on the rise, there are more homeless than before, more greed and corruption than ever, when our president has 5 wives and 30 children payed for by tax payers money yes its a disgrace he can spend 16 million on house revamps when his people are dying of starvation but hey lets blame the white man cause they oppressed us 19 years ago fuck everyone’s ignorance, keep backing the ANC and when they fuck up and give the excuse of apartheid nod your heads in agreement, yes you were unfortunate and what the boer did was wrong but it was a long time ago so get over it and stop feeling sorry for yourselves, stop using it as an excuse for what goes wrong in your lives and just by the way BEE is reversed apartheid, SAA will not employ a white person no matter how qualified he is, large companies employ based on colour not qualification, an unqualified black man will get preference over a qualified white man and iv seen and been in the situation myself so who is racist now why must i suffer for something that happened before i was even born so stop with the mambo jumbo bull shit cause white people living in South Africa are being oppressed now and Julius was a prime example of the hate towards white people i just pray that all black south Africans come to there senses and stop living in the past and start building a better future otherwise we will be like Zimbabwe.

  • Eurica says:

    Truth be told, thaks Khaya for leading the way. We some time shy away or afraid to touch this topic but we could see this things happening from our daily lives. I was touched by a paragraph where you said most blacks when completing school going to work they take money home for the families to be able to live that’s the reason somehow we cannot catch up with white becuase they don’t do that. They cars n house deposits from their parents. I’m proud of you

  • Lutherian says:

    The sad truth is that I think that “race” will never go away – at least here, anyway.
    The background will change but the song will stay the same.

    100 years from now it will be the Chinese being accused of neo-colonialism through subtle business deals. blah blah blah while they ride through the streets in modern cars while black (and a few white) people beg on the sides of the roads

    And so the wheel turns. Year 2113 (can we think that far ahead) and while a new generation of modern Asians -Europeans will be undergoing DNA modifications (such that their racial profile will be classified as “unknown – patent pending US123433” to wit an average life span of 120 years due to DNA modification, some will choose change their hair colour, skin colour (maybe purple skin will be in fashion in 2113) … while the last dying breeds of white and black people will be bickering about “Race” – a concept so old-fashioned and out-dated – it will be watched by these new generations with the same condescending amusement as if it were a Jerry Springer show today.

    These children with micro-chips implanted in their brains giving them an equivalent IQ and knowledge base of a qualified scientist today – at age 16.
    Will we still be trying to get school books on time to children? For what? – even if they scored A+, the only job left will be toilet cleaning.

    Africa, the most beautiful place on earth, the resource richest continent, the climatically safest continent – immune to earth quakes and even the rising water levels due to global warming.

    If we had any sense – we’d all be studying our asses off and be so busy building our country that we wouldn’t even have time to *think* about race or the past. We wouldn’t have time to rename old roads because there are too many new ones that must still be given names.

    If we do not, we will fall so far behind that we will be in a very real sense, a sub-species of humanity unable to compete on any level the coming generations of enhanced humans – human 2.0 as it were.

    And when the water levels rise due to global warming and 75% of America, Europe, China, Russia dissapear under water – only Africa remains untouched – guess what happens then.

    someone sees it all. Goodbye Mr. Ed

  • mark says:

    very interesting piece, you go on about how we are not the same, you are right we did not burn the schools down to leave you to go to school in a mud hut. we did not burn the school books and beat and intimidate our fellow scholars or our fellow workers when all they wanted to do was go to work. we did not stone our own race or necklace them in the streets and we did not tell you to do that either, neither did we force you to do it. everyone will agree apartheid was wrong but really giving the country over to the black was a mistake and i am sorry you don’t see that. in the history of the black nation blacks built nothing, no buildings above one story, no great monuments, no great ships, nothing. with whites this country grew and became great, now it is in your control look what has happened now. the white government lined their pockets too there will always be corruption to some extent, they stole but they did not steal everything like they do today your government can not even handle potholes. no we are not the same. you are always quick to play the race card when you have been caught red handed, but very slow to accept responsibility for the actions of black people then and nowadays
    so no we are not the same.

  • devon says:

    i agree with you fully and we are diffrent but the one thing that is boed all anoying to me is that i see black people being racist even to each other and white i don’t know if you have seen the nandos add where they remove people from the country one by one now let’s say they are from kenya and they are laughing there heads off to it untill they remove kenyens from south africa then the add is racist. This brings the point of why are some poeple such as them so offended when it is only directly about them but they are being hipocrits

  • mark says:

    i did not write what i wrote to start an argument about which color has it worse, now or then i wrote it because you still want to keep the subject alive, for the benifit of morons like malema to use to fire the feelings of hate. the kids of today know nothing of apartheid and will gladly go through life if they were never to hear of it. if the subject was dropped completely in another ten years no one will be blaming anyone but themselves for their misfortunes, does not that sound like a better solution. stop the blame game stop the hate

  • nkululeko masuku says:

    in as much as skin colour changed when the world separated to continents i honestly think it was a good idea for us to be separated, africa was better off without any race on it because we survived for more than millions of years because this thing of race will never die it will only multiply babe

    • mark says:

      OMG when i read coments like this i truly feel education is wasted on some people, im supprised you have the capabillity to read and write

  • nkululeko masuku says:

    dude its just an honest opinion looking at past 300 years when we first interacted it has been nothing but war and hate based on skin colour and it still goes on today and it will go on tomorrow and the day after take a look at south africa race issue, united states race issue, europe especially football and society race issues. unless we truly understand how black people do their things and not being judgemental about who and what we are, until we understand how white people do their things and operate as the society we will never tolerate one another and as of lately nobody is willing to take time and understand each race so talk all you want i have my own reasons why i write what i write and they are based on research conducted for years on the african continent and its people

  • V_R says:

    Excellent piece Khaya!Wow !some comments and replies to those comments and sub-replies couldn’t be more evident that some people didn’t comprehend your article at all!They are just taking this good piece out of context unnecessarily.This piece is well written flawlessly and there was no need of negative comments if those people comprehended the article irrespective of ‘race’.

  • hello!,I like your writing so much! percentage we be in contact extra approximately your article on AOL?
    I need a specialist in this house to solve my problem.
    May be that is you! Taking a look ahead to see you.

  • Muoi says:

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  • A large thank you for that post weblog.A complete
    large amount many thanks again. Will go through on…

  • […] population into defensive mode.But that need not be. Khaya Dlanga puts it so well in his 2012 blog, “why we still talk about race and apartheid”. “When we blame the legacy of apartheid most white people take it as a personal attack on them […]

  • As a white woman, I have no guilt about apartheid. I never supported it, and benefited only in so far as I got to go to good schools. My family was never well off, University was way beyond our means. I matriculated at 16 and started work 2 weeks later, and have worked ever since.
    But we cannot ignore the legacy apartheid left. It affected out psyche in ways we have not completely come to terms with.
    I explored how it affected our attitudes towards education in a guest blog at http://fanathepurp.co.za/see/
    The only point I want to make is: “Yes, I was advantaged being born white in the Apartheid era, but I should not be punished for the color of my skin and black should not have been then nor should be now”.

    • angelisa says:

      I wish we could just all find a way to put all this behind us and find a way to move on. I like what you’re saying about how neither of the two races need be punished for their skin colour

  • Mosia says:

    Firstly let me say that this article is on point. I feel like we, the ones commenting, are moving away from what is being said on this article. Pointing fingers at the ANC & the people who put it in power is irrelevant, the point is that its the SYSTEM that should be blamed. Not the white people who put the Apartheid government into power nor the black people who put ANC into power. Once a system is put into place, the people’s responsibility is to ensure that the specific government doesn’t rule once again. I’m not defending the current government but you can’t expect 46 years of oppression & inequality to be solved in 20 years, that makes absolutely no logic. Everybody should just come together & play a role in making the country a better place and stop blaming this & that government for oppression & making this or Firstly let me say that this article is on point. I feel like we, the ones commenting, are moving away from what is being said on this article. Pointing fingers at the ANC & the people who put it in power is irrelevant, the point is that its the SYSTEM that should be blamed. Not the white people who put the Apartheid government into power nor the black people who put ANC into power. Once a system is put into place, the people’s responsibility is to ensure that the specific government doesn’t rule once again. I’m not defending the current government but you can’t expect 46 years of oppression & inequality to be solved in 20 years, that makes absolutely no logic. Everybody should just come together & play a role in making the country a better place and stop blaming this & that government for oppression & making this or Firstly let me say that this article is on point. I feel like we, the ones commenting, are moving away from what is being said on this article. Pointing fingers at the ANC & the people who put it in power is irrelevant, the point is that its the SYSTEM that should be blamed. Not the white people who put the Apartheid government into power nor the black people who put ANC into power. Once a system is put into place, the people’s responsibility is to ensure that the specific government doesn’t rule once again. I’m not defending the current government but you can’t expect 46 years of oppression & inequality to be solved in 20 years, that makes absolutely no logic. Everybody should just come together & play a role in making the country a better place and stop blaming this & that government for oppression & making this or Firstly let me say that this article is on point. I feel like we, the ones commenting, are moving away from what is being said on this article. Pointing fingers at the ANC & the people who put it in power is irrelevant, the point is that its the SYSTEM that should be blamed. Not the white people who put the Apartheid government into power nor the black people who put ANC into power. Once a system is put into place, the people’s responsibility is to ensure that the specific government doesn’t rule once again. I’m not defending the current government but you can’t expect 46 years of oppression & inequality to be solved in 20 years, that makes absolutely no logic. Everybody should just come together & play a role in making the country a better place and stop blaming this & that government for oppression & making this or that worse

  • angelisa says:


  • angelisa says:

    Wow. Mouthful

  • sthandwan says:

    Reblogged this on Untitled and commented:
    Somehow in South Africa we tend to ignore the very facts that divide us, Mr Dlanga’s blog reads so powerful to me because in essence what he’s saying its okay that we are different but don’t don’t play anothers persons struggle or history for that matter because you don’t understand it or you feel guilty about it.

  • rea says:

    An intriguing discussion is definitely worth comment.

    I do think that you ought to write more about thhis topic, it may not be a taboo mattr
    but typically people don’t discuss these subjects. To the
    next! Cheers!!

  • rea says:

    I don’t even know the way I finished up here,
    however I assumed this post wwas once great. I do not understand who
    you are however definitely you are going to a famous bloogger in the event you aren’t already.

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