A Disgusting Legacy


This is a ranty post. Its my blog and I’ll rant if I want too! So if you’re not in the mood to hear me on my high horse stop reading now!

Melinda recently wrote on her blog about the crazy, ridiculous, insane, cruel and just plain freaking stupid, things people have said to her in the years since she has adopted Emma. Emma is a beautiful little two year old who has captured my heart even though I’ve never met her in real life. She is hysterically funny, a wonderful back seat driver and an absolute master of her mothers iPhone. She loves a good party and still has me giggling at her trying to blow out the christmas lights while singing Happy Birthday. She’s the light of her parents life and is adored by everyone who meets her. That’s all I have to say about the matter. Oh. Wait. I can hear it in the background what I’ve forgotten. Yes I say forgotten because THAT’S WHAT I HAVE DONE BECAUSE IT IS NOT SOMETHING WORTH MENTIONING. Emma is black. Now most of the people who are reading this will wonder why I even mentioned this. I’ve spoken about people before and have never mentioned if they’re Italian, Afrikaans, Chinese, Black or White. But a small group of people in South Africa will think it needs to be said. They’re the ones who immediately say “were they black” when someone is talking about being robbed or attacked. They’re the ones who say “its very black” or “oh no that’s a black area” I’ve never heard anyone say its very white or its a white area or there are lots of whites. It sounds absurd. So why does it happen!? It breaks my heart that Melinda and Emma deal with the comments they do purely because they are not the same colour.

No matter what you believe, if you are religious, agnostic or athiest do you really think we are not all equal? How does that even compute? How can it make logical sense? How can one group of people be different from another because of their skin tone? South Africa will never NEVER become the amazing country we know it can be, if we keep having to have this debate! Can we please stop saying things like this? This casual racism that is often preceded by saying “I’m not racist but…” Let’s forget about colour and look at people. Once we all start doing this, we’ll be the richest country in the world.

Only in South Africa, will a women who is easily 20 years my senior, call me madam. Only in South Africa will that same women firstly refer to herself as “the girl” and secondly ask which plate and mug she’s allowed to use. Only in South Africa will she refuse to use the bathroom in my house, and insist on using the one outside round the corner and miles away. Only in South africa would the concept of a “maids toilet” ever exist. This is the legacy that Apartheid has left, and it is disgusting. Honestly, I can’t get over it. How can people go to sleep at night, knowing full well that today, they treated ANOTHER HUMAN BEING in a substandard way. I cannot believe this is still happening. I cannot believe we are in 2012 and yet we still have such archaic ideas. We will never move forward as a country if we still have this happening. We will continue to float in a tide of unease, in fact I actually hear the words “reverse apartheid” and “its been 18 years get over it” seriously? Get over it? Would you get over it? I doubt it. Stop this disgusting behaviour fellow South Africans and let’s start trying to heal our country. Let’s stop viewing the world as black and white and realize that we are all shades of grey. We have so much going for us, the most amazingly beautiful country, beautiful culture, friendly happy people, gorgeous weather. Why are we not the happiest, most peaceful nation in the world? Why is America and Australia considered “first world” when they have nothing on us? South Africa is heaven on Earth and we soil it with hate, dislike, anger and nastiness. Please can we stop it, please can we stop this nonsense and start treating eachother with a little more kindness, a little more tolerance and a little more respect.



About ournextbigadventure

After a few years of travelling around and itchy feet, my husband and I have embarked on our greatest adventure yet...parenthood! We have been blessed with a beautiful little girl named Lily Sage. Now everyday is filled not with questions of "where to next?" but with baby smiles, hiccups and milky breaths.

3 responses »

  1. I have to both agree and disagree with your post. The disagreeing comes in that It’s not “only in south africa”. I lived in germany for a year – we had a white maid because the family wouldn’t let a black person in their house. And the whole maids toilet thing was started in america, there where they have those lovely southern accents it was law that no person of colour may use the white facilites and every white home had to have separate facilities built because as they put it: coloured folk carry different diseases.
    Yes I agree it’s utter bullshit but we aren’t the only country still with this problem. Yes we had apartheid (and now it’s reversing itself) but the rest of the world have it to, they just never named theirs.

  2. I’m with cupcakemummy on the agree and disagree. The maids having her own cup and plate or using a different toilet is actually not only race specific. I’ve seen in happen in Spain, white Spanish family with a white Spanish made and she had her own specific crockery as well as her own lavatory.

    I believe the problem is more class based than race based on an international level.

    With regards to the “first world” issue. That has more to do with economics, business and financial aspects. Until we sort those out we will never be first world. I don’t think that is race related. It has to do with governance.

    Saying all that I understand the rant and where those points came from. I’m being nitpicky cause I like a good debate but I actually agree that there is a huge race issue in SA that needs to sort out.

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