My message to whites who think Maimane has sold the DA out

Let’s start by accepting that voters are emotional beings*.

Our votes are cast almost exclusively on the basis of emotional drivers: anxiety, fear for some; suspicion and anger, perhaps, for others.

There is no such thing as a rational voter who makes their choice upon the dispassionate assessment of the relative pros and cons of each party.

Second, there is no such thing as a ‘race band-wagon’. Race is a real and pervasive issue in this country. You might feel peeved about it to the point where you buy into the idea that the DA has jumped onto the ‘band-wagon’ but you are in the wrong position to be saying so.

Us whites too easily forget that the momentum of opportunity theft that Apartheid instituted against blacks is still crippling. To make it worse, despite BEE and similar policies, the momentum of white and minority advantage is still very strong. That’s not an opinion it’s a fact: look at income growth by race group since 1994.

Source: The Economist

The unfortunate reality 20+ years on, is that the structural legacy the evil system bequeathed us is still alive and well.  Black South Africans are largely still poor and short on opportunity, and thus understandably frustrated and angry.

Against this backdrop, incidents of white on black racism are incendiary. I’d go as far as to say that there isn’t such a thing as reverse racism, and that black on white ‘racism’ is more like hatred than racism – because racism as we know it has that special aspect of racial superiority weaved into it. When Sparrow made her comments, she wasn’t just saying ‘I hate you’, she was saying loudly, ‘You are less human than me.’ That’ll make a person furious.

In a country with as much frustration as we have, people need somewhere to direct their outrage – Sparrow et al were good for frustrated blacks, and President Zuma is the old favorite of frustrated whites.

So, Mmusi Maimane is not jumping on any band-wagon. We have a problem in this country that is not being made any better by the gross mis-management of the ANC-led government.

Unfortunately that same problem creates circumstances ripe for blaming all via race on whites (and minorities), and stoking racial tensions for political ends.  Until we face this issue head on, South Africa will not be able to turn the corner and start moving forward again.

Mmusi Maimane is doing what few South African political leaders ever do – he is leading.  He is leading his party, and he is trying to lead South Africans.

We have some way to travel as a nation to get past the drag anchor of race and the impact that it has on the vitality of our democracy.  I have a renewed sense of optimism about our future knowing Maimane is leading us on that journey.

So, you really have two choices as a white voter:

  1. If you are an unrepentant racist, then find a conservative, backwater party like the FF- who will accommodate your views.  They will never get big enough to make a difference, and you will end up on the wrong side of history.
  2. Accept that the only way is forward, confront your feelings and beliefs about race, consider them in the context of you and your children – try to empathise: how would I feel if me or my children were spoken to like that, or how would I feel if I had to live in those conditions every day of my life? Then, cast your vote for a party who you believe will most effectively tackle the challenges that confront our nation.

* This is not opinion either, but solid neuroscience.  The best resource for understanding this better is “The Political Brain” by Drew Westen.

42 thoughts on “My message to whites who think Maimane has sold the DA out”

  1. Going for 2 – EVEN after being robbed 7 times – an attempted hi jacking – 2 bakkies stolen – friends murdered at least 12 – sister and nephew held at homemade gunpoint for over 2 hours…………… What I do dislike with passion is the ‘I can do and drive as I like Taxi’s’. The rape and murder of AFRICAN (Black women and children). I understand the attitude of mine, mine, and give, give. I wonder at the 20 year old African youths who were never brought up in the Apartheid era – BUT are so aggressive – I think perhaps they are living with aftermath of Apartheid – Maybe they see other Africans that are reaping the vast wealth – and think what about us!
    I am scared for the future and scared for my family – don’t feel safe anymore – Me! The women who would wade into a fight to stop it! Not anymore. Empathise – I do BUT! the 20 something Africans (Black) have no ears and are looking for wealth that they have not worked for, and want given too NOW! So unless these young people can be sat down and a understanding reached we no all South Africans are going to be in for much turmoil. Warwick you know me – I never see colour.

  2. Sharon, there is no silver bullet. There are no quick fixes. That’s why I called it a ‘journey’.

    There can be no ‘sitting young people down’ and reaching an understanding, because that suggest they need to be sat down, and ‘our’ understanding needs to be accepted by ‘them’.

    That’s not it.

    We must all sit down, and collectively we must reach an understanding as a nation.

  3. Brilliantly stated. With you 150%
    I would like to see the DA being even more strident in these views and its mutation into being more representative of all!!

  4. Hate generates hate and love generates love. I totally understand the frustration of poor blacks but I believe that the more they hate, burn down, and embrace the bitterness, the less they can contribute to their own healing and personal growth. And without growth they will stay just where they are. It is true that Apartheid created the poverty, but we could have been much further with creating of wealth with a more effective government, better schooling, and a sounder economic policy.
    There are to many conflicting policies and groups within government, which paralyze economic growth. And as such, their frustrations and hatred are misdirected. But, in stead of voting for the most effective party, they will still vote with their emotions – much to their own disadvantage.

  5. Great piece of writing! Accurately defines my own feelings and attitude towards race relations in my beloved South Africa In the past I was wrong in thought and action. I now know this was wrong and work at correcting this the best way I can

  6. Statistics can be used to prove anything. Your graph reflecting average earnings growth for example ignores skill levels. To use this to prove white privilege or advantage is deceitful. No white person in this country has any advantage over anyone else with the same skills. In fact, he is at a huge disadvantage. And to blame poor education on apartheid is also nonsense. It was after all the ANC’s policy which led to the burning down of schools – freedom before education. Any black person born from around 1970, perhaps even earlier, can only blame the ANC for any lack of quality education and skills. The lack of equal earnings is directly the result of poor education and training and no growth in the economy. The lack of growth in the economy is the result of ANC policies – corruption, cadre deployment, poor labour laws, pathetic education system. In stead of growing the economy to uplift the standards of black south africans, the ANC lined their own pockets. Now when the chickens have come home, they play the race card and we have to suffer the consequences. As a white who opposed apartheid to the extent I could, even refusing to serve in the military and serving time in jail, I have nothing to apologise for. Most whites living in SA today had no role to play in apartheid, and in fact voted for its abolition. Blaming all whites for the wrongs of apartheid is racism, pure and simple (except if you use the ANC’s definition of racism).Things could have been different but for ANC policies and action. So sorry, the DA is playing race politics with the ANC and I have had enough. Twenty years on, and the racial divide is getting worse. In stead of showing moral leadership, the DA is trying to woo black voters by climbing on the band wagon – yes, simply denying it will not change the truth – you are climbing on the band wagon in an effort to win votes, or at least preserve your black votes. What the DA should do is speak out against black racism (oh I forgot – you also deny that blacks can be racists), point out the fact that the Pennies of the world are few and should be ignored (you have them in every race and every country), the economist from Std Bank only spoke the truth and was not racist at all, laughing at Moshekga was no worse than what any Afrikaans minister had to endure at the hands of english speaking South Africans (but because she is black it is racist). etc etc. It is time for the people of this country to move on and put the past behind us . The fact that it has not happened is not the fault of whites even if there are white racists (as there are black racists, and racists in every nation in the world). We are not clinging to any privilege, we only want to get on with our lives and be left in peace to create a future for ourselves, we do not even ask the government to do anything for us.
    I find your justification of black racism abhorrent. And adopting the ANC’s definition of racism tells me that perhaps the far right’s opinion of the DA is justified. You are playing into the hands of the haters, and playing a very dangerous game.

  7. Nice ad hominem response. Doubt if you even read the whole piece. Reveal your true colours and that of the DA, which you represent.

  8. All said is acceptable and true. The real cause is the lack of consciousness and quality of leadership available in is South Africa. Before any election we need to screen candidates at predetermined standards.

  9. I’ve read all da comments & opinions stated & I agree to both sides of the argument. There are consequences to them voicing their opinions as we’ve seen in da Sparrow case. There is however a distinct difference between white & black racism. When a white is racist, he/she does it directly & dats it but when a black does it, it’s dangerous cos he wants to hurt you physically, kill you. This will only improve with education & da govt acknowledgment of their frustration.

  10. I read every single word. There are no arguments in there to respond to.

    “No white person in this country has any advantage over anyone else with the same skills.” – Not true, skills alone are nothing. Language, networks, momentum are everything.

    “In fact, he is at a huge disadvantage.” – No, I was born in 1981, I am a beneficiary of Apartheid, and that advantage continues to favour me.

    “Any black person born from around 1970, perhaps even earlier, can only blame the ANC for any lack of quality education…” – Beside the point, I never suggested the ANC got education right, but it sure as nuts isn’t the average black person’s fault that the ANC messed this up. Or did you expect black voters to vote for the NP in 1994?

    I’ve read again, and cannot see any justification for black on white racism.

    You don’t get it, and you refuse to take a step back an try.

  11. Brilliant piece … agree 150% & agree that we should be more strident with regard to “educating” all who reveal themselves to wish less for people who do not live up to their standards i.e. a mother living in squatter camp has to be so concerned as to who comes & goes through their narrow little pathways. The electricity problem in the townships, the lack of running water, the sanitation systems that are overloaded & “school children” make it their mission in life to look after & in some cases have even built their own bĺocks of toilets & have given keys to the select few families who are situated around the block of toilets. This is the government’s job not school children’s jobs although it has been a great ĺesson for this girl, but that’s not the point. How do you build RDP houses without a toilet in the house?

  12. What you are saying is that (all) whites are responsible for apartheid, apartheid caused untold hardship and misery (which no one denies), and then you go on to imply that therefore blacks are entitled to hate all whites and such hatred is not racism. This is justifying black racism which you deny exists. I understand the frustration of blacks and have actively tried to make a difference where I could even as a young person. Yet, what is happening now is that whites as a group are blamed for everything that is wrong in this country today, which has been under black rule for 20 plus years, with no real progress towards righting the wrongs of the past. I as an individual who may have actively opposed apartheid, have to continue to carry the blame simply because the colour of my skin identifies me with a specific race group. That is racism. Every stupid comment by an idiot such as Sparrow is laid at the door of all white people, and you justify that. What is more, I believe that we are on course for much more serious racial conflict and in stead of showing the leadership you claim, the DA is playing games with our lives for the sake of winning votes by telling black South Africans that the ANC is right in their claim that all whites are equally responsible for their miseries. We could have had a much larger group of middle class black South Africans by now if only the assets of the country had been used wisely in stead of enriching a few politically connected. How many schools could have been built by Nkandla, the waste at Eskom, corruption at our municipalities etc? How many hospitals, or other social benefits provided. Yet you want me to stand up and say yes all whites are racists and we must accept responsibilities for the woes of the black people in this country – so that you can win votes.

    What position can you take at their (the ANC’s) upcoming congress against racism? They have made it clear that they are using whites as a scapegoat for all the wrongs in the country and do not accept any responsibility. You have now enequivocally aligned yourself with that view. They have outfoxed you.

    Please read my comment again and understand why I pointed to the example of education and ANC policy of freedom before education. Your response about black voters voting for the NP is nonsensical. Who suggested that? Did I suggest that it is the average black person’s fault? I pointed out that it is wrong to put all the blame for the shortcomings in education at the door of the white voter, which the ANC is doing and you are now supporting in an effort to win the black vote. Your arrogant and aggressive response to my comment makes it clear how the DA views the white voter and has opened my eyes.

    If you do not see any arguments in my comments to respond to, it is because of your bigoted attitude. May I suggest that you read my comments again without your blinkers and with an open mind, and then an apology will be welcome.

    The ANC are using racism as an election strategy and you are happily playing along in stead of showing real leadership.

    Your personal attacks and insults will definitely not convince me to vote for the DA – but then again, you have already judged me and decided that I am the type who should vote for the FF (which I have never done, nor the NP). Pat yourself on the back.

  13. Yah and rah rah and all that. Mmusi I have no doubt is a good leader, sadly leading the DA he will forever be ineffectual. The DA are the epitome of the stubbornness that prevails in this country.
    He as opposition keeps going through the motions of trying to convince an ANC majority in parliament to, to say Aye to a motion of no confidence. Really?

    The only way South Africa can shake off the yoke of apartheid is for good people in the ANC to stand up and say enough. They are our salvation, sadly not the DA, and so my “Dear White People” will be to stop believing in your pipe dream that Mmusi is going to shake things up. It’s too much for him to try and achieve outside the unbrella of those mighty three letters – A, N and C.

  14. I have 2 sons who work hard and are honest and caring. The one used to spend hours and hours, about 4hours every day after college tutoring his classmates for free, who did not get the picture during lectures. My son got distinctions for most of his subjects. When the college sent him and his classmates for job interviews, his classmates all got the jobs,and he could not get a job, because they are black and my son is white. We are not racists, and we want to help in every way possible. My God in Heaven will provide for us, so no amount of discrimination against us will prosper. I know that regardless of the political situation, of any unjust laws that man makes, we will overcome all the difficulties. One of my daughters has moved away from South Africa after her husbanb was viciously attacked in their home, thank God he survived 23 stab wounds. She is too afraid to return and bring their 2 small children even for a short visit to South Africa. This is devastating. Mmusi, what can be done to change this? I am unable to travel because I’m on oxygen.

  15. RM: all SA whites benefited from apartheid. That is not the same as saying all whites are responsible for it. There is a big difference there. The exact defintion of racism is much debated these days. Some people think that to be racistyou have to look down on someone. Others disagree. I will sidestep that debate for now and simply say that many black South Africans are prejudiced. And I don’t think Warwick is trying to say that race-based hate is acceptable. I think we are also all in agreement ANC’s failure in the last 22 years have exasperated the problem. But what is required of us as white people is a bit of humility, of putting ourselves in other people’s shoes.

  16. I think the challenge with this article and many like it, is that it provides all blame on the whites, and assumes that the blacks have no responsibility in this. I also believe it perpetuates a black begging bowl mentality that has been the noose of many African countries who have never recovered, still living under the belief that it’s all someone else’s fault and they deserve to sit back and feel sorry for themselves.

  17. Warwick, please send a copy of this article to every newspaper house to be published! Then go onto talk radio shows! This is DA taking at stand! DA also taking the high road on the issue!
    This will opening up new awareness so that we can find one another again!
    I think Mmusi address was stateman like, and the leadership so lacking in South Africa for the last decade!
    Nobody ever bothered to guide or mentor us on these matters since 94! Let’s talk more!

    Well done Warwick, Mmusi and DA

  18. Perhaps the DA can tell us whether they also agree with the ANC’s claim that all land in white possession was stolen from blacks.

    Should Australia be handed back to the aborigines? America to the native americans? Land blacks took from the Khoisan to whomever? New Zealand to the Maoris? Land all over the world to anyone who claims to be a descendant of the original owners?

    What about the proposal that all companies should hand over 50% of their shares to their employees (only black ones I presume)?

    I want to come back to your point about white advantage when it comes to jobs. This is absolute nonsense. I manage a small company with about 15 employees. Every job opening we actively try to fill with a black person with the right skill set. Every corporate in this country does the same or is forced to as a result of BEE legislation. Very few whites have a network in government, semi-government or large corporates which can assist them with jobs – more blacks do. What difference does language make? (Every young black person I have met in KZN for example speak better English than I do) What momentum are you talking about? As Antoinette above I have children who have had to create their own incomes or find it outside South Africa. It is the same on the sports fields – the world is littered with South Africans with skills who have to ply their trade outside the country because they are white. Even when whites who do not ask for jobs try to create an income for themselves (and often several black persons and their families) we are being denied that through ever changing BBEE regulations which favour a few elite in stead of the bulk of the underprivileged.

    I want to make it very clear however that I have always supported BEE action which is applied properly and fairly.

    The fact that millions of black south africans are still unemployed or unemployable should not be blamed on me just because I happened to be born in South Africa and with a white skin. This is what the ANC has been doing all along and now the DA has joined in. I assume because of your position in the DA that your article and comments above represent official DA policy.

    The will to make a real difference to a new South Africa has been sucked from us by the hatred which you justify, by misappropriation of almost every cent of tax we pay, by jobs for pals and the politically connected and the continued attacks whenever the ANC (and now the DA) needs to appease voters.

    What South Africa needs is real leadership to take us away from race based politics. The DA is NOT providing that leadership. That was the point of all my comments above.

    I supported Solly Msimanga and Herman Mashaba in Tshwane and Johannesburg. But since you have decided that I am an unrepentant racist who should support the FF the blinkers have fallen from my eyes. I will now leave your site and not come back, but encourage every white person I know to read your article and the exchange of comments above.

  19. When Maimane tweeted that he was disgusted when visiting a supermarket and there were only blacks working there, and the whites were shopping, he entered himself into the racial divide debate, and made it clear were he stands.

    No Warrick, you singing Maimane’s praises is not helping to protect him, but just highlights the road the DA has chosen.

    As an ex-NP AND ex-DA councillor, and one has voted for them up to now, I am starting to feel alienated from the party more and more. Your piece has just feeded that alienation. I currently have no political “home” and do not know where my vote will fall in the municipal elections, but as it stands the DA will not get it

  20. The article is written for whites. I’m not trying to talk to black South Africans – which is naturally a topic I have less authority speaking on.

    I don’t for a moment suggest that black don’t have any responsibility. That still doesn’t change our place in this country and the fact that we have a critical role to play.

  21. Maybe we need another beer and long fireside chat when I am next in town John because there is nothing in what RM has written that is grounded in any sensible space.

    He has simply proven that he is driven exclusively by this emotions – resentment, hate, superiority – and that he might very well fall into the category of South African that must not vote for the DA anymore.

  22. RM

    What good is ‘they should have done better’ to a kid born today?

    History serves to ensure we don’t make the same mistakes again.

    We should have done much better. We should have built far more of a much greater quality. We should have educated better. We should have wasted less. That’s all true. I don’t dispute it, I agree completely.

    But it’s not relevant to going toward. It is what it is. We simply have to do better.

    I did not discount black racism. Read it again. I said it is *more like* hatred.

    If you still think I am missing your point then call me 083 7797 094.

  23. Sorry, Warwick, you say it’s written for the whites but the way it’s written affect the way people treat blacks. I would say if we wanted Blacks to act as equals, we need to treat them as equals, not allow them special privilege. And if blacks are also to blame, why is it we only ever see articles targeted at whites? I have yet to see any article shouldering the blame on the blacks, other than the articles that appear blaming Zuma, largely because the moment someone attempts to approach the issue, they’re either called racist (if white) or coconuts (if black), and yet a black person could happily write this article and there would never be any cry of racism, in fact, we see calls for murder of whites and you can barely get people to apologise for it.

    What I would say is that Indians and blacks were in the same position and the Indians in South Africa are proof that only you have the capability to turn a bad situation into a good situation based on your attitude. The Indians in South Africa are richer, more educated and have a better future and ultimately this comes as a result of their own doing rather than anything the whites did.

  24. Warwick, I see you have touched on some nerves! Good, good, this is going to be a very sensitive subject for those who simply cannot see their privilege. When one mentions the word “white privilege” it certainly does get most very defensive, and their denial kicks in.

    Fact is, as a white person, regardless of birth place, we are advantaged and privileged. This is not a crime or an insult, it is what it is. Once we embrace that, it goes a long way in how you interact, think, engage and understand. Expecting the progress of black people to be on par with what we have in 22 years is insane. To say, “you onlt have the ANC to blame for your falures” is equally insulting and spoken from your place of privilege. Sure, more could’ve been done, certainly. Also, to point to a handful of successful black p eople and claim of they could do it so could all the others is neither here nor there, the amount of successful blacks is negligible in the great scheme of things.

    So yes, as white people, acknowledge your privilege and start doing something about it. For one, lose the smugness – YOU did not invent the wheel, technology, civilised behaviour, medicine and law. Step off the self claimed superiority box, realise that we are just as human and acknowledge that WE as white people need to start doing more to show others we not who our forefathers have left us with.

  25. Politics can not solve the poverty issue . Poverty can drive political stress and even violence . Technocrats can find better ways to a better living standard .Better living standards reduces political differences focused on people blame fixing … redirects the focus to more petty issues .

    South Africa needs a strong technocrat as leader . One who subtly accommodates the entire spectrum of political views . We need an independent Head of State . Elected for his technocratic excellence . A true South African embracing patriot .


  26. A tribe is viewed past, historically or developmentally, as a social group existing before the development of, or outside, states. A tribe is a distinct people, dependent on their land for their livelihood, who are largely self-sufficient, and not integrated into the national society.Whites in SA are a tribe and they will look out for their tribe first before any country as will any other tribe. The DA may try and ignore its existence ( to their credit )but I fear it doesnt take into account the reality that a lot of South African whites will place tribe first, in the same way as say the Scots or Catalans do.I will state quite openly that have little in common with someone from Limpopo or NorthWest and that I vote DA because they run a clean city for my tribe who resides in Western Cape. I was happy to vote for them when Helen Zille ran the DA ,Im happy if Maimane runs it . I actually dont care who runs it as long as they manage where I live in fair and equitable way . In the big picture my tribe includes mostly white and brown people of the Cape and Id actually like to see this area independent of South Africa . As Ive said Ive personally got little in common with anyone who lives in the north.

  27. I am a white south african with all the perks that goes with that.Besause i am in a position to create wealth i have done so for my own family with small bussinnes ventures.In this process we have created jobs for +-150 people,90% black,with no help from government or the financial institutions.Now here lies the sad part,of the 150 jobs we have lost 110 over the last four years,for the following reasons.1 cost of rent,
    2.cost of electricity,
    3.cost of transport,
    4.cost of wages,
    5.The debt spiral.78% of income is tied up in debt to banks etc
    6.Soft loans by all and sunder to lure unsuspecting ,ignorant customers,
    Stop playing the race card for whites,we are doing more for this country than the government of the day,we can however not win the battle on our own.We need black people to take our hands and stand up against the politicians and make them understand we are all gatvol of corruption,incompetence and stripping of state coffers for SAL,Eskom,Telkom,Nkandla,blown up state employe salaries and the inefficiencies of our municipalities.Then their is the absolute waste of a 3 tier government and all the financial loss as a result,and dont forget what we have to fork out to our dear beloved politicians in running two homes each,driving posh vehicles, flying back and forth weekly.Stop harping on intelectual bs–t.and tackle the real problems.
    Just by the way the EFF has my vote because they call a spade a spade.

  28. Some of what you have said is correct.
    But…. at what point will whites no longer be racist and at what point will the previously disadvantaged be happy???
    Until we have hard and fast answers as to what that ‘end game’ actually is, it will never end.

    Warwick , your dismissive stance towards RM’s opinion leaves a lot to be desired. Who made you the be all and end all of what is right and what is wrong?
    You make some some good points in your original post and so do many of the replies, including RM.

    One further point.
    As much as whites are the ‘racists’ and blacks are the ‘haters’ this will never end until both sides accept that either one has made an effort to fix the issues.
    In other words, blacks need to stop ‘hating’ as much as white need to stop being ‘racist’ otherwise it never ends, one after all feeds the other. Maybe its a bit of trust, something seriously lacking in SA?

    The political party that can fix the economics, which will fix so many of the other issues, will get my vote.

    Parties that play the ‘race game’ won’t…..

  29. Thanks for a stimulating discussion…I have spend over an hour reading your comments..

    I am a 37 yr old black guy..who was born in the farms of Princess in Roodepoort in a farm worker..a tea girl..and a father who worked as a painter and amounted to nothing much..

    I grew up in hardships..where my mom sold homemade beer to help sustain her R100 pm salary..and a father who drank up all his income..and my moms business..

    I’m not telling u this asking for sympathy…I hated my surroundings at the time..where I faced not only my poor background but my poor Bantu much as I lived 10min from decent schools in the area I had to travel to townships to school..wake up at 5..leave at 6..when I was 6yrs old..use a train..taxis at times walk because there was no money…again I’m not asking for sympathy..

    But what I didnt and couldn’t deal with..was the racism I felt and experienced on daily bases…I could tell u stories for days..but we don’t have the time to go into details..

    My life changed when a portuguese family took me in..and taught me how to dream..I remember my first bath and couldn’t believe it…white privilege..and I had an experience of some of young as 12yrs old..I wanted to live like white people..I wanted to get my own and live in surbabian area..where white people live..

    I worked hard at school..eventually in 1991/2/3 when we black people where allowed into former white schools we took this great opportunity that changed my life and my friends that I made in florid a park high..
    When we first arrived it wasn’t easy for us..we faced white our fellow white students..we had to stand up and compete with them..even if it was not on an equal footing…we were persistent as we knew our goals and ambition as poor blacks..

    Needless to say we made we are the black middle class..self made..but have to admit if it wasn’t for the scraping of those evil apartheid policies by the ANC..we wouldnt be able to live where we can afford to live..we wouldn’t have access to any schools or university that we can afford..I wouldn’t be able to marry my wife..who is coloured..I can give so many examples..for me the ANC has done excellent…it has its faults but which party doesn’t ?

    SA has progressed under ANC than it ever you can see by the graph that is posted..whites even make..or made more money than ever before in the last 22yrs..yet you complain the most..most of my white brothers and sisters who took me in..enjoy the full benefits of white privilege..yes they worked hard..but the system favoured them more than it did me..I and my peers had to work 10 times harder than some whites..and still earn less than your everage white illustrated in the graph..

    I had also had the privilege to join the DA..and was a councillor in Job urgent for 8yrs..and sadly had to leave the DA to join the ANC..why ? For the very same reasons that have come to haunt the DA..

    White males…Lindiwe articulated it well last week…unfortunately she did it very late..

    There is something about a white male…maybe not all but most..they think they are superior…so pratonising..when u raise issues with them..they think u whining..and ungrateful for the favour they make…and they are the ones who still earn the most and bitch the most..

    I studied white people..who you not one white persons knows much about my culture..or language..or know where I come from…I don’t blame you..I feel sorry for you..because now the DA is feeling the heat..because you failed to listen to us..this includes Mmusi..who I’ve known since High schools and know his wife since high school too..before he met her…he sold us out to Helen..who pushed him up..and he didn’t deal with the structural racism that exist in the party…

    Thank God for Penny..she encouraged this discussion..

    Let me wait here for now..
    Ps..I’m about to interview Herman Mashaba just now..he is on a hot seat on my show..he doesn’t know what he is in for..shame..he won’t last very long know politics..take my word for it..

  30. This article, and this comments thread just confirms for me that this country is on a downward spiral and nothing will save it now. Let’s for the sake of argument agree that all the accusations against white people and white males are true (I don’t agree, but I’m also well aware and I accept that my opinion doesn’t matter or count).

    What amazes me is that well informed, well educated, successful people like ‘sipho’ are prepared to give the ANC the benefit of the doubt, to give them a pass, and not hold them accountable for 20 years of mismanagement, gravy train looting, and complete incompetence. Even giving them credit: “SA has progressed under ANC [more] than it ever has”. That boggles my mind.

    A number of key points become self-evident to me:
    1. the only potential opposition, the DA, will never win the hearts and minds of black voters, never ever – I think a black voter will rather just *not* vote than vote for the DA
    2. the ANC’s obvious campaign to cast anything the DA does as racism is working and working very well
    3. there is no credible opposition to keep the ANC in check – the EFF will be just as disastrous for this country as the ANC currently are
    4. all of the above spell another term in office for the ANC, and potentially also Zuma himself
    5. the ANC are best placed to turn things around for this country, but the corruption is now too deep-seated, deep-rooted and lucrative that there is just no will within the party to change

    Bearing the above points in mind, I struggle to find any hope for the future of this country now. May God help us all.

  31. I’m in despair now. I find RM’s comments (without all the emotion and personification) accurate and aligned with my frame of thought, desperately want to be in “choice no 2” but feel that my political home (the DA) has lost it. Warwick, with respect, great article but I fear for answers for a concerned, aging white male (.. and soon to be irrelevant), wanting.
    Its not about not feeling empathy or not acknowledging being privileged or not wanting to change – its about feeling protected with a common voice looking after a minority with policies that makes sense – not the supremacist “white only” policies of our right wing parties but with policies that will better our country as a whole, FOR THE SAKE OF MY SON. I don’t care about myself, I will survive, but how is my son going to compete if he is guaranteed to be discriminated against because of his skin colour when its his turn to make his mark on life. MY privilege is not going to extend past my life to protect his – only a fair, non racial workplace would. How is it possible that intelligent men and women cannot see that as long as we are labeling we will always create divides. Please, use my taxes to uplift in the form of education and sensical opportunities, hell even tax me more if you feel my participation in redress is still not complete but please, leave my son out of it, his privilege ends with my ability to provide him with a comfortable home and reasonable government schooling. By the time he is ready for the job market his “whiteness-factor” would be vilified to the extent that it would be a handicap rather than an advantage.
    Dare I ask, with this new ‘watershed’ DA turnaround, would the ANC not, if they can get rid of all their warts, actually be the only hope for a violence free future?
    Indeed Darryl, God help us all.

  32. Learn from history: HATE breeds HATE.

    Since this was written for whites, the solution to our racial tensions is respectively addressed:
    Whites need to show love, appreciation, compassion, understanding (seek to), and all that is humanly positive of a black child in particular for the elders are already damaged – mainly suffering from the ill-effects of what they were shown/subjected-to from conception in the past. The THUG LIFE we see out there is for The Hate U Gave Little Infants (now) F’ing EveryBody, said Tupac. Not that the grown ups are damaged beyond repair for it still amazes me how forgiving most blacks remain after all the humiliation/indignity suffered.

    Apartheid was based on nothing but white supremacy complex and HATE for the other that was seen to even slightly taint the superior race! So if we truly want a better future for our next generations, whites need to step back as suggested in this article, humble themselves and seek to understand than be understood, accept that racist apartheid systems priviledged them for decades still to come, stop teaching (tacitly and otherwise) their kids rotten hate of another, and hold the already outstretched hand of others.

    If whites do not change, more of blacks still willing to keep their arms and shoulders outstretched for the good of this country will pull these back and stick with supporting what is perceived to be for them, even if it is dirty and rotten. That is what Sipho did.


  33. I did not want to come back to your site, but am glad I did just because of Sipho’s comment. It clearly illustrates the problem and the lack of the DA’s leadership.

    Sipho does not really state his solution for the country’s problems. But his comments including those about the DA’s management structure makes it quite clear what his gripes are. (Nkosi sikelele Africa) That is why he is ready to fight with Herman Mashaba whose position on race is unambiguous. Sipho sees life in terms of black and white. Every black man is good and every white man is evil. Until Sipho can begin to see people as individuals, good or bad irrespective of their race, he will never make peace with his situation in life. Unless the leadership of the DA is black like him, he will see it as a racist party, irrespective of the principles it stands for. Until he realises that he is ultimately personally responsible for his future, just like I had to accept, he will remain a victim.

    Warwick you fail to see my argument. Unless we can shift the debate away from white and black we are doomed. Race is the ANC’s saving grace – and you and MM have entered this battle you cannot win (e.g. Sipho). If you want to win Sipho’s heart by harping on the privileges apartheid brought to whites, the only solution is that every white gives up whatever they own and leave the country. Will that bring lasting benefit to those who remain behind? Sipho can answer us. In the process he can comment on what transformation for transformation’s sake has accomplished at SAA, Eskom, Transnet etc, and exactly whom that has benefited.

    The DA and MM could have shown moral leadership by taking the political debate to a new level. In stead you succumbed to the ANC’s taunts and lost focus. You responded to the immoral attacks by trying to show you hate racism even more than the ANC. Ag shame. You failed to point out that black people’s self-esteem should not be determined by the Sparrow’s of the world.

    Sipho, unless you learn to see people as individuals in stead of part of a group, you will never be happy. You think you know me because you have studied whites. BS! I won’t try and justify myself. Yet I realise that when you look at me you see white, and white privilege, irrespective of my actions or background. Today I am part of the problem in South Africa. Why – because I happened to be borne in SA and happened to have a white skin. I believe I can contribute a lot to a new SA to the benefit of everyone in this country. But I am not wanted here, even worse. There is no merit in individual actions or performance. Black is black and white is white. And Warwick is adding to your problem by telling all whites that they continue to be the cause of all your troubles.

    Sipho, the one thing you can learn from Herman Mashaba is that you are not powerless. Your future does not depend on someone doing it for you. You can and must do it yourself. Life is not fair, it has never been. All over the world, not only in our country. But in stead of helping you to grow out of your poor start, by providing proper education and good opportunities to all through economic growth, the ANC has stolen that from you to the benefit of a few individuals. As long as you see your skin colour, religion, caste or culture as the problem, you have no hope. That is what the ANC and now the DA wants you to believe. Fortunately there are people like Herman Mashaba, and many others, who you can take moral guidance from, if only you want to.

    Apartheid robbed you of your dignity and self-respect, and the ANC (and now the DA) are just too happy to keep it away from you. I do not judge you because I can only imagine how I would have reacted had I been in your position. But unless you accept that you are not powerless, your success does not depend on someone else accepting you and not allowing anyone to hurt you through his racist thoughts or actions, you are a victim and will remain one. Refuse to be a victim – like Herman Mashaba.

    Warwick will tell you that white people remain the problem in this country. That assigns power to them which they do not have, and takes power away from you. Do you want to make Penny Sparrow powerful? Well don’t let idiots like her affect the way you feel about yourself and rob you of the power you have to influence your own future. Does your happiness depend on what Steve Hofmeyer thinks of you? If it does, you are pathetic and have no hope. Attacking Chris Hart and even DKB will not benefit you as a person. Doing so may make the ANC appear to be your saviour, but that is only because they have nothing else to offer you. Or is it just that you want everything to be handed to you on a plate, irrespective of your abilities?

    Warwick – the DA must grow some balls. Do what is right for the country. Educate people like Sipho. Help them to see that they are powerful beyond what they can imagine, as Mr Mandela said. Do not let the ANC determine the agenda. So please do not try to tell me that MM is showing leadership – it is everything but. He is only reacting to the ANC’s leadership and and adding fuel to a fire that will burn us all.

  34. Okay, firstly, as a black woman (non south african), who has spent half of her childhood in this country, i feel as though there are a lot of things lacking in the political parties in this country.
    Perhaps i have no right to speak because i’m a foreigner (and i’m constantly reminded by this everyday), but i feel it is important that i convey my feelings.
    Having watched the transition of power from Hellen Zille to Mmusi Maimane, a part of me lit up with elation that the DA were finally living up to their claims of a non-racist structure…then…comments about the authenticit yof Mmusi’s appointment flew from every direction.
    I wondered if he was just being used as a front, to be controlled by the whites in DA, but began to feel foolish by the thought.
    How could a grown woman as myself, be thinking so foolishly like that?
    I was brought up in a strict home, we had very little exposure to white people-hence there were ‘little’ comments blurted out every now and then- but i alsways knew that race was never an issue for me.
    Because i decided that it wouldn’t. My father made sure my siblings and i stood for what was right- yes, he made it a point to highlight that black people could be racists- no matter what.
    Today, i proudly affirm his training by not living my life according to the confines of racial tensions, instead, i have devoted my time and energy to buttressing the bleak reality of reconciliation.
    To Sipho, I will never vote for the ANC (if i could), neither will i ever become a black activist, simply because i believe no human being needs another human to fight for equality for him/her.
    Unless the DA starts speaking on ways to take the country forward, and spend less time on battering the ANC with insults, they have nothing more to offer than eloquency of words and a spectrum of colours displayed on the parliamentary chairs.

  35. I also hope Mmusi’s wife is advising her husband well…i’d like to think she is.
    At the weird tweet Mmusi made about ‘White people shopping and black people working’…okay…
    I get what he was trying to convey but singling out a whole race and making them seem superior to the other race…WRONG WRONG WRONG. Just wrong.
    I was livid when i saw the tweet and instantly knew a lot would be said about it.
    If Mmusi is really a leader, i feel he should search deeply into his heart and affirm what he stands for.
    The ‘traditional’ voters of DA also need to be recognized as well.
    Yes, black people need to be recognized but so do whites. If South Africa keeps grasping for a united and equal society, compromises have to be made.
    100% from blacks, 100% from whites…plus the Indians, Coloureds etc.
    Honourable Mmusi should quit trying to hard to garner black supporters and begin introducing strategic steps to building a better life for them.
    Every white person in DA has a role to play in the sense that, where ever they are, each of them should acknowledge their whiteness, and at the same time acknowledge the blackeness of a black person.
    Respect has to be mutual or else it’s abuse.
    I’m thoroughly drained by all this race talk. :<

  36. Also, the whites who were offended by the tweet should do some self reflection first before lashing out in heated anger.

  37. I disagree with the essence of the article, because whites compare ourselves to other whites across the world. This is where our expectations of living standards and education comes from, and our work ethic and drive/determination is based on those high worldwide European standards. When white South Africans work overseas, others see we are hard workers even though our SA earnings do not match overseas earners. We are privileged only because of our high standards, achievable for anyone who works hard and applies their mind. What apartheid did is slowed the rise of the black middle class, to weaken white economic power will also slow the rise of the black middle class. Whites need to be allowed to maintain our motivation for European standards of living, while assisting our blacks brothers to achieve this too. As the middle class grows, so will the economic opportunities grow too. Apartheid and Zimbabwe prove that to hinder any one group does lasting damage.

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