Reader’s letter: Then I must be a racist


Nico Strydom writes:

I guess I’m a racist. Well that is what the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture would have me believe because I dare to question why two people are being sent around the world with my hard earned tax money to attend sporting events on my behalf.

I am apparently a racist because I myself pay my children’s school fees and want to have an insight into the language and admissions policy of their school.

I am apparently a racist because I have a medical fund to be able to obtain private medical care and do not want to pay so that everyone can have the same privilege (even though I already do with my taxes).

I am branded a racist because I dare to question how my tax money is used, simply because I do not agree with something. Simply because I expect fairness and speak out about the problems in the country.

When I do this, however, I have to hear that I long for the apartheid past and that it makes me a racist if I simply wonder at all about this or raise something about it.

I am expected to keep believing in the rainbow dream but I have to read day after day that I really just have to stand back, don’t question anything or say anything – because I had my chance and now it is others’ chance.

I have to watch quietly and contentedly as my tax money is plunged into a bottomless pit of corruption and mismanagement. If I have questions about why basic services are not being delivered, why I am sitting in the dark for the umpteenth time tonight, or why I cannot rely on the police to protect me, I must be told that it is apartheid’s fault and that 30 years was not long enough to right the wrongs of the past.

I have to watch quietly and contentedly as billions of rand bailouts are awarded to struggling state entities. I have to hear that I am a land thief and that privatization is a swear word, because it will now be an admission that the ANC has failed. I have to listen to “Kill the Boer, Kill the Farmer” being sung, but not take it seriously because that is not what is actually meant.

I have to accept that my history must be erased because it is evil and all that is wrong.

The government tells me it should be celebrated that more than half the population is dependent on welfare benefits and that much progress has been made since 1994.

The fact that children cannot read is apartheid’s fault. The fact that a hijacked building burns and claims dozens of lives is apartheid’s fault. Problems with the payment of Sassa allowance are apartheid’s fault. The lack of city planners is apartheid’s fault. Beurtkrag and Eskom’s problems are apartheid’s fault. And poor infrastructure, the lack of water and housing is – you guessed it – apartheid’s fault.

I have to sit back and watch how the country is being run in the abyss, because if I question it at all, I am a racist who yearns for the past.

I must then accept that, regardless of my pride for this country and my longing for a prosperous future, I am a racist. However, I will continue to fight for me and my children’s place in this country, because the ANC had its chance and abused it. I will accept that in the run-up to next year’s election I will be denounced as a racist and told that apartheid is to blame for everything that is wrong.

In the meantime, however, I will continue to create a future myself and not be satisfied with the future that the government wants to give me. Me, and all the other millions of white, brown and black racists who feel the same way I do.