An Open Letter From a Concerned South African! Racism In SA? Ask The Youth!

May 11, 2017

This is a letter that was sent to me from a concerned South African!

Here it is:

Dear South Africans,

This is an open letter to all South Africans, regardless of your race, culture, language, gender or age. I want to start this letter by saying: whoever you are, as a South African, you are part of a family. Lately, however, the ‘South African family’ has had its problems.

To continue with this letter, I think it is important for me to first begin by saying: my intention for this letter is to reach out to South Africans, hoping that we can truly unite to eventually become Madiba’s rainbow nation. I understand that people are angry. But I hope that this letter will maybe provide clarity.

The year 1994 was a new beginning for South Africa. Most of the people in this country decided to come together. What a beautiful sight; black, white indian and coloureds coming together to celebrate the start of the colour-blind nation.

However, lately, South Africans have been distracted from the vision of building a colour-blind nation. We read all over Facebook and the newspapers of ‘racist incidents’. And yes, these situations are racist, and they make me sick to my stomach. But these situations should never distract us from our purpose and what we are really should be striving for: a colour-blind South Africa without suffering an full of equality.

Personally, I live in a certain community in the Eastern Cape where racial differences are celebrated rather than looked down at. I went to a very diverse school, and may I just say: I would not change that for the world. I am so grateful for being able to grow up not seeing colour. I got the opportunity to grow up in homes of other races, and having many grow up my own home, without us even seeing that we are different from each other. In fact, we celebrated each other. We taught each other. Introduced each other to different foods, music, fashion and even traditions. Despite being white, I grew up eating Umngqusho, as my best friend’s grandmother (whom I called “Gogo”) would make it for us, as it is my favourite meal. I still go visit Gogo whenever I can, because she truly became such an important lady in my life. My best friend’s family became my family, and my family became hers. And eventually, my family became her family’s family, and her family became my family’s family. You get the picture.

Personally, I have a very diverse friend group. Every race, language and culture could be found in our group, and we love it. However we not just friends. We have got to learn each others culture, language, struggles and passions.

We were able to open up our hearts to people, and to love them for who they really are. We understand each other. We learned why we all did certain things. We areable to find the beauty in everyone, regardless of race, language, culture or gender. We care about each other. Help each other. Look after each other. And stand by our diversity.

But I have one question for South Africans: Is this not what we should be striving for? Is this not the South Africa that Madiba fought for?

Yes, there are racists in South Africa. They didn’t move forwards with us. They stayed behind in their ‘old’ south Africa, and you know what? THEIR LOSS. They can stay unhappy and miserable. They could be enjoying the colour-blind life, if they just open their eyes, minds and hearts to loving people for who they are.

Apartheid was a disgusting time for South Africa. Me, personally, I am sorry to all those who were effected. I am sorry to all those who it hurt or knew somebody who was hurt by it. And I am fully aware that even to this day apartheid still hurts.

Unfortunately, the wounds of Apartheid are still open. People still live in poverty and battle every day of their lives. Living in the Easter Cape, I am not ignorant to this fact. It is not fair, and I can guarantee that if there was a way to magically change this, everyone would.

It hurts me every day to think that people are battling because of the wounds of apartheid. It hurts me every day to know that there are those who are not getting the life that they deserve.

As a student, I don’t have the financial means to provide money to those who need it. However, I help where I can. I provide lifts for the women and men, who do not have their own transport, to the Taxis/bus stops. I do this to help make a few people’s lives easier. It saves them from having to walk to their transport almost 5Kms away after a long day of working. I do this for free, and if I may say: we have so much fun every day, singing to what’s on the radio and making jokes.

P.s: This is an easy way to help out. If you know you will be passing the taxi/ bus stop and you pass people who you know are walking there, offer them a lift.

I’m not ignorant, I understand that the small things I do for people cannot make up for the tough lives that they live, however, I do what I can, because I care for South Africans, regardless of skin colour.

To all South Africans who have not moved into the new South Africa: what a sad life you are living. There is such immense opportunity for South Africans to build such an amazingly friendly and united nation. One where people love others regardless of their skin colour. I pray for a day that all South Africans will be colour blind.

To all South African’s who are living as colour-blind in our new South Africa: you make me so proud. I get so immensely happy when I see people unite regardless of skin colour. You are the example of what South Africa should be like. But, don’t get distracted by those who have not left the old SA. They cannot even compare to the unity of the colour-blind family of South Africa. Those who are racist want us to be like them, but we will not. We will show them that racism doesn’t work. We will show them that we can all get a long, and care for one another.

There is tension. There are racists. But there is hope. There are millions of white people, black people, coloured people and indian people who CANNOT WAIT to build the colour blind South Africa that Madiba, Madiba’s ANC and the people of South Africa fought for.

We are not on opposite teams. White people are not out to get you. Black people are not out to get you. Everybody wants the same thing, to live together in happiness, but many people don’t know where to start.

So, I say to you, fellow South African, whatever race, gender, culture or language: You are family to me. And as family: I love you, care for you and want the best for you. I want your friendship and celebrate your differences. And as FAMILY, you are welcome in my home.

I just hope that you can agree with me, and will stand with me in the uniting of South Africans. We need it more than ever.

Kind Regards,

A member of the South African Family

Source: The South African Family

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