OPINION: Privileged white people problems

AnlerieYes, I’m a ‘privileged white girl’.

But why are you angry with me for being blessed? Or are you just jealous?  I am not to blame for your misfortunes. I had nothing to do with the struggles your family went through and are still experiencing. I was still bouncing around in my father’s testicles when Groot Krokodil and the other apartheid lunatics were in power.

My black peers have been spitting out the phrase ‘privileged white people’ with disgust at student political protests and even in classrooms, as if it is the biggest sin of the Ten Commandments. They link every issue from unpaid workers to the presence of a certain statue to the besotted phrase.

The phrase seems like a generalisation that ALL white people are undeservedly rich and because all black people aren’t (another generalisation) they are to blame for black people’s problems.

Regularly I am the focus point of nasty looks when engaging in certain conversations about the struggles in South African society and more often than not get excluded.

They say I am ignorant about the topic at hand. “You are a privileged white girl, you don’t know.”

If you think your information is more correct than mine then please educate me. SHARE the information. Let’s have a discussion and do something about the problem.

What you are doing now is called segregation.

I understand that most white people are better-off financially than other races because of the injustices of our past. There are several policies in place now to rectify the racial inequality caused by apartheid and it will take more than 20 years to achieve it.

People need to understand it is our generation that can set right the inequality problems but you first have to graduate and yes, start at the bottom of the food chain once you start working. Just like I have to.

So don’t be unfriendly and cut me out of conversations because I’m blessed, especially if you are privileged enough to be at university. You wouldn’t be so blatantly rude to a privileged black girl.

I am blessed, because my grease monkey mechanic father and safety conscious nurse of a mother thought ahead to save the little they had to be able to give me what they never had: a tertiary education and a debt free start to life. They worked their way up for more than a decade, both staying committed to the companies they started with until they were noticed and promoted.

I don’t have an iPhone or live in Sandton (like certain black people I know), but I have what I need and a little more to buy some chips now again to settle the munchies.

So I for one will not apologize for being able to practice my basic human rights of being housed, educated and fed. Why should I, when I am working just as hard alongside every student to one day give my kids the same privileges?

Published: Wits Vuvuzela on 24 July 2015.


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