To all South Africans,
I am, and always have been, a supporter of the people of South Africa – my people. I love this country, it’s people and it’s culture. I am also 100% support freedom, equality, fairness and change. In saying this I fully support #feesmustfall. We all deserve an education – no matter what race. And thanks to the persistence of many students and faculty it seems we have made that happen #feeshavefallen. With all due respect I feel I must have my say on the happening of this protest.
Being mixed race, i myself have experienced rasicm – towards myself and towards my family. However, being part white has made many people look at me and say that I don’t know what struggle is, that I grew up privileged. This is not entirely true. I, just as many other white, black, Indian and coloured people in South Africa, have experienced hard and trying times – yes, some more than others. I have had racist slurrs and hurtful words thrown my way and yes it has made me angry. I don’t believe it’s isolated to a certain race group. Yes, not everyone has had the privilege of a good education, stable homes, good family backgrounds and opportunities. I myself have been rejected from certain universities due to the colour of my skin and have had to work that much harder to make it.
In saying this, I absolutely disagree with how everything always come downs to race and privilege. The fact is that we as a country will never progress untill we change the way we think about all of this. Until we work together to make a difference. I know that many people will not agree with what I am saying BUT I honestly don’t care at this point. I believe we all have the freedom of speech to say how we feel, just the same as those who believe going on about white privilege will solve everything. YES white people were previously privileged. YES it ruined the lives of many. YES it was not fair. HOWEVER at this #feesmustfall protest I have witnessed EVERY race group working together for a common cause but still people will post about white privilege – even about those so called ‘privileged whites’ who were up front in the fight also being arrested for protesting are slammed and told they are just ‘using their white privilege’. Articles about what white people should stop saying about #feesmustfall blah blah blah. Please. Everyone needs to get a grip and for once just work together for freedom, equality and common goals. Why can we not have articles titled ‘white and black people work together to make change’. Honestly, I am appalled at the racism displayed by fellow people so much at this point – black, white, Indian and coloured – are all guilty of it. Yes I have witnessed white privilege but I have also witnessed black privilege. I know, I know, that may make ppl angry but I am only trying to state the obvious – that both actually co-exist these days. I may not know everything about ‘white privilege’ but what I do know is that I have friends of all races, beautiful, amazing and accomplished people who all deserve the right to a great life – not the life we forced to live here anymore. People are always scared, fighting and angry. That is not the way to live.
Although my words may not be nearly as powerful as I hoped, I can only wish that one day we can all live in peace.