Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Sorry for Apartheid

After the recent apology by the Australian government to the Aboriginal people for wrong doings of the past, the chairperson of the South African Human Rights Commission, Jody Kollapen, suggested that white South Africans should also do the same, say sorry for apartheid.
Off course it didn’t take long before the emails started to fly around with their kick ass response.

We Apologize To the Previously Disadvantaged for Apartheid

We are sorry that our ancestors were intelligent, advanced and daring enough to explore the wild oceans to discover new countries and develop them.

We are sorry that those who came before us took you out of the bush and taught you that there was more to life than beating drums, killing each other and chasing animals with sticks and stones.

We are sorry that they planned, funded and developed roads, towns, mines, factories, airports and harbors, all of which you now claim to be your long deprived inheritance
giving you every right to change and rename these at your discretion.

We are sorry that our parents taught us the value of small but strong families, to not breed like rabbits and end up as underfed, diseased, illiterate shack dwellers living in poverty.

We are sorry that when the evil apartheid government provided you with schools, you decided they'd look better without windows or in piles of ashes.

We happily gave up those bad days of getting spanked in our all white schools for doing something wrong and much prefer these days of freedom where problems can be resolved with knives and guns.

We are sorry that it is hard to shake off the bitterness of the past when you keep on raping, torturing and killing our friends and family members, and then hide behind the fence of "human rights" with smiles on your faces.

We are sorry that we do not trust the government. We have no reason to be so suspicious because none of these poor hard working intellectuals have ever been involved in any form of corruption or "irregularities".

We are sorry that we do not trust the police force and, even though they have openly admitted that they have lost the war against crime and criminals, we should not be negative and just ignore their corruption and carry on hoping for the best.

We are sorry that it is more important to you to have players of color in our national teams than winning games and promoting patriotism. We know that sponsorship doesn't depend on a team's success.

We are sorry that our border posts have been flung open and now left you competing for jobs against illegal immigrants from our beautiful neighboring countries, all of those countries that have grown into economic powerhouses after kicking out the "settlers".

We are sorry that we don't believe in witchcraft, beetroot and garlic cures, urinating on street corners, virginity testing, slaughtering of bulls in our backyards, trading women for cattle and other barbaric practices. Maybe we just grew up differently.

We are sorry that your medical care, water supplies, roads, railway and electricity supplies are going down the toilet because skilled people who could have planned for and resolved these issues had to be shown away because they were of the wrong ethnic background and now have to work in foreign countries where their skills are more needed.

We are so sorry that we'd like this country to fulfill its potential so we can once again be proud South Africans.

The Previously Advantaged

I wonder if ex-Rhodesians should also start to apologize to current day people of Zimbabwe for the current state of their old country. How far do we go back on this issue? What about the current day Americans apologizing to the Native Indian Americans? Or the Spanish conquistadors saying sorry to the Aztecs in Mexico?

The question is should every white South African personally apologize or should they just acknowledge that apartheid was wrong. And how and who is going to do this? They don’t really have anymore leaders. After all, didn’t the former President F.W. De Klerk already apologized (twice I think) for apartheid. When Jody Kollapen was asked how this should be done and by whom, he did not have a clear indication and suggested there should “be some discussion around it.” Well the Truth and Reconciliation Commission talked and discussed this for two years; thousands told their stories and apologized. Will that not suffices? I guess not.

The bigger question off course, is will saying sorry eliminate racism?

Oh well, I am just doing some load-shedding.

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