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"Born free generation"?

By: Charlene Van der Merwe 2014-08-21 22:00
Right now, you're most probably jumping up and down, hearing that "that's me!", or "that's my child!" in your mind. Once this has happened, I want you to read on, I want you to merge my train of thought with your own. Only if you do this, can you see through my eyes, eyes that see the same as many South African youth do, well I hope they do.
I am a white female South African citizen. I was born in Alberton, Johannesburg, in December 1994. They say I am part of the "born free generation", yet I am not free at all. I am not equal to my "black" peers in any way besides the fact, that I am human and I bleed. My closest friends are not "white", in fact one of my male friends, that I see as a brother, is a "black" man.
Every day I see how us "white" youth are still discriminated against. Why should a "black" person get a job opportunity and I do not because I am "white"? How can I be part of a "born free generation" when this is how I am treated? I am turning 20 this year, why should BEE be shoved in my face, when I had nothing to do with apartheid, and wasn't it supposed to stop years ago anyway? Why should your "black" child have a better chance after school than I do? Why are "blacks" above "Indians" and "coloureds", weren't they also discriminated against?These are questions I want you to ponder on. Put yourself in my shoes. There are millions of people in the same boat as I am, possibly in the same boat as you are as well.
Just this morning, my mother was speaking to a man who works for a company that gives out bursaries. She wanted to find out if I could possibly receive a bursary from them, so that instead of using part of my salary for my studies, I can rather save up for my first car (yes I work, I study, I have to buy my own car, and I only earn an average salary for someone who does admin). He told her straight that I can only receive one if I'm "black", not "Indian", not "coloured", "black". Why should they not give me one, I'm "born free" am I not?
This country will never move forward at the pace it can if we do not open our eyes to the fact that we are not equal at all! Some of us are just "more equal" than others. The question now, is, are you happy being more equal because you are "black"? Do you sleep well at night knowing that your "white" friend didn't get that job at the large firm, but you did, because you're "black" and not just because of your qualifications? Are you content that you can't get that job you so wanted, because you're "white"? Do you not feel angry that your "white" family business cannot land certain customers because you need a certain BEE level?
I leave you with one last thought to process. You notice how I say "black" and "white"? Race to me (and hopefully to many others) is just a term that means we differ biologically. If we all see "race" this way,South Africa would be a better place, BEE would have been forgotten about long ago and we would all be equal.
We all want to be equal and free don't we?

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