Apartheid and I

in life •  13 days ago

At the end of 1980 and around 8 years old my family moved from the outskirts of Johannesburg, to the rural farming areas of the far west rand.

I noticed for the first time in my life that there were sign boards which said "whites only".

They had either not been very prevalent where we had lived before or there just weren't that many left around Johannesburg by that time, since it was more progressive than some of the surrounding areas.

There were a couple of areas that I first noticed these:

  • The pay-phone at the post office where we used to wait after being dropped by the school bus.
  • The restroom at the fuel station
  • The bar across the road

img source

The post office was a truly fascinating contraption to my young mind:

It was a wide building with a counter spanning the middle with a waiting area in front. The waiting area was partitioned in two and each side had a separate entrance. The same people services both sides of the divided counter with common services.

The side I was familiar with was the "whites only" side, the other side was "non-whites only". As a child this "non-whites only" side remained mysterious, kind of like the girls bathroom. I used to wonder what made it different and what mysteries lay hidden behind the forbidden doors of these "non-whites only" places.

I was perhaps a little disappointed as I got older to discover nothing different at all and that his was just part of a warped racial segregation policy that lingered and clung on more tightly in the more conservative and often right-wing farming communities.

My father, who was a medical doctor, would later open up a general medical practice in the community. He would soon discover that he would eventually have two have sets of consulting rooms and waiting areas, otherwise the white locals would not make use of his services.

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Only scratching the surface of just how cruel and disgusting this system was, we can only be grateful for the quiet transition into a new democracy.

Now to deal with the devil and the deep blue sea in getting the country back on track again @gavvet too many in need.

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Gratefully we seem to be "can do people" and many of the "can't do's" have left

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Hello ! I'm from Kazakhstan. It seems to me that this can happen only in America. It is a pity that you have people divided into whites and others. It's a pity . Sorry if I offended anyone.

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Sorry to say @gladnata this actually took place in south africa 4 decades ago and it was sad when you think of it but we prevailed. we are this great nation because of the heartache

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You said it. I do believe that we are now in a new era, where we can, and must, take hands to work towards a new and beautiful future. I feel we should never forget, but also not vilify the past. As you say, we can only become stronger because we have a painful past.

Wow. Incredible pictures. Those were very different times!

We have been created differently, both paras, colors, tribes and nations. But all of us are human beings. So wherever, whenever we stay the same.

An injured white man should better be transfused with the blood of a black man within the same group, rather than with the blood of another white man with a different blood type.

Racial segregation is one of mankind's worst creations. How is it even conceivable to discriminate someone because they were born in a different part of the world and their skin has a different amount of melanin in it than yours. These learned behaviors are what will make certain cultures obsolete.

When you put young children together, from a number of different backgrounds, they have no idea what racism or prejudice is, they simply play together. Racism is a learned behavior and I am amazed at how poorly we sometimes treat each other based on nothing but our skin pigment

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Apartheid was originally created to try to stop tribal wars. It didnt work but apartheid didnt start as a racist regime. It just ended that way.

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segregation leads to more racism

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Countries have borders. That's segregation. Apartheid started out the same. Each tribe had their own land. And the richer tribes pillaged resources from the poorest tribes. Perhaps the world needs to learn from South Africa and destroy their borders. And then appoint a corrupt government to rule over the entire thing.

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like I said above, segregation leads to more racism

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Lol im not arguing with you. Im expanding your theory.

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This is false.

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the irony is that the pendulum has swung completely the opposite way around. Nelson Mandela's dream for SA has been shattered.

The real scandal in South Africa is how the ANC and particularly Nelson Mandela were corrupted by the Rockefeller/Banking tentacle of international finance...

Today South Africa is hailed as a 'model' and the feel-good story of Nelson Mandela is all that people outside of South Africa have in mind when they think about Apartheid and how it came to an end...

In point of fact, it was all a complete sell out...
The poor dumb Afrikaans (who too often are poor and dumb) have been left to blame for the entire mess that was created in Africa, meanwhile the entire political elite of the country only cares about stuffing their pockets with looker meanwhile the country's social dynamics and cohesion continue to degrade...

With no change in the view, and a growing and bitter frustration and resentment fomenting among South Africa's many diverse communityies (after all, the English South Africans hate the Dutch South Africans, the Dutch hated the Blacks, the Blacks hated the English, the English hated the Indians...) It's this kind of stupid hatred, scape-goatism that is turning this most beautiful land into a living hell...

I think South Africa does have the potential to lead and be a positive role-model for other African emerging countries, but by God, not until all of this past division and racism is confronted and dealt with...

I still think the Peace and Truth Commission of Desmond Tutu was a step in the right direction but much more work needs to be accomplished...

I don't know... I've never been or visited South Africa, but having friends from there of every race and creed and having heard all of their disperse stories and opinions, what is clear is South Africa is still living in the Past and must move forward or forever remain stuck in the mess that it created...

Solidarity and cooperation will help set the people free...
It's no secret

Pray for this most beautiful land full of potential and opportunity for healing and transformation

Peace and Love
Xx

i saw many people are just commenting thanks for sharing wtf do you even read the post ?

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There are so many robots or people searching by followers...

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ahah you made me laugh

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I knowwwwww lol

nice post

Very nice post done very good job

ya Really People should just live together in Harmony and mutual respect. Thanks for sharing.

Thanks for sharing us with your life story.

nice post, you are greate. I hoop you upvote and following me.

Very bad more conservative situation those days in South Africa. Black & white humans mix stay S.Africa but White persons stayed high class levels. There is absolutely have some proof for any of this nonsense. Politicians need to get responsibilities for past situation. I don`t know personally, how about South African current situation. But as my mind, no problems have currently. Thank you for share your grand & bad experience with us @gavvet. Absolutely greatest contribution.
Resteemed.

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Arent they actively killing white farmers in south africa, to take their farms ? Or was that uganda ...

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27 years after apartheid The ANC has not succeeded in stimulating the economy, in making life better for their people and because they can’t admit their own failure, they blame the white farmers. “Kill the boer” is a song sung by the ANC. And they mean that litterally. Farmers are brutally killed regularly. “Plaasmoorde”.

Viceminister of education, Mduduzi Manana, in march 2017: “bury them alive!”

In the first 6 weeks of 2017 there were 30 plaasmoorde. And it keeps getting worse. Meanwhile life is still not getting any better for the ‘non-whites’ (to stay in tune with this article).

45.000 white farmers are in constant danger. Raped, tortured and killed. And the politicians stimulate the hate to hide their own failure.

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Both of these articles seem to show the same conclusion that it's more of a criminal category dispute than a dispute over whether or not people are being murdered. The property must be "involved in agriculture" to be deemed a farm and there is no legal definition of a "farm murder". This does not mean that there isn't a grave danger for people who are living in rather rural environments which is what most farms are.

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Farmers aren't being murdered at a higher rate than people in townships or suburbs, their isolation makes them easier to target but in context of all murder stats there's nothing special or "endemic" about farm murders.

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that is my view from where I am sitting

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Is there anything special about the manner that the murders are being carried out? The sheer brutal nature of the murders and the torture that the victims endure as well as the sexual violence would seem to suggest there is more hatred of the victims than just murder for robbery as opposed to murders that take place in townships or suburbs.

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Robbers/burglars are generally sadistic and if you couple that with the isolation that a farm affords, which gives a perpetrator time, then you would get instances of torture etc.

However, there is some degree of animosity towards white farmers in particular, probably due in some part to the way in which they treat black workers which is well documented and has been for decades. If you read Sol Plaatjie's book 'Native Life in South Africa' (it's free online on Project Guttenberg and was published in the 1916) in which he details the unjust manner in which farmland was taken from Native South Africans (through the natives land act) as well as the barbaric manner in which workers were treated thereafter, you'll probably get a sense of where the animosity stems. That speaks to the nature of SOME of the killings and isnt a bigger factor than the burglars just having time but overall, there's no evidence of a 'white genocide' or a larger number of killings than anywhere else.

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and wealth looting. move to russia.

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Farm murders and torture are currently a huge problem in South Africa and it's farmers of all races being attacked. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_African_farm_attacks) They don't actually take the land, I think that was Zimbabwe where they invaded and occupied the farms. Those Zimbabwean displaced farmers are now farming in places like Nigeria where they have been welcomed with open arms (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-14528642)

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And here politicians? People on their own must remain human.

I do not really know why apartheid reigned supreme in south Africa, but your experience with the sign post is touching, i could say the white dominance caused this, but you must have been really disappointed to experience this, im glad for people like Nelson mandela who really took a great sacrifice, thank you for this awesome write up.

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Apartheid was a grotesque extension of what began as a the British empires, divide and rule policies. South African politicians simply formalized it into law once "the Empire" left.

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Wow thats teribble not a good experience at all

unbelievable that this could happen in our history, a big black page for us as humans.. But still there is a lot more we have to deal with

Apartheid was just a really stupid system, colour is only skin deep, we are basically all the same whether black or white. I wonder when humans will realize this as there is still racism in this day and age. Apartheid was racism at a crazy level and am glad it is gone. A similar thing to apartheid is going on between the Palestinians and Israelis and the world has largely turned a blind eye to it.People need to tolerate each other and live in harmony there should be no room for hate based on our differences whether race, religion or language.

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There is nothing similar between what is described in this post and what is happening in Israel. If there was, I would be in Jerusalem right now, screaming my vocal cords out at PMs and ministers.

I've shared hospital rooms with Palestinians. We had some interesting talks.

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I was referring to the tension and unrest that is experienced in that area. I didn't mean that it was full-on apartheid, I was talking about how people should live in harmony. I have never been to Israel but I see and hear on the news about what goes on there.

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Seeing and hearing the news is not enough. Come visit. See the sights. Talk to the people. It's a complex and explosive (in more than one way) situation. But it's not apartheid. Palestinians are NOT citizens of Israel. They have their own state. So the discrimination is by another country, which is common AF. Now, if you're talking about relations between Israeli arabs and Israeli jews - well, there's a range. Some have really close friends who are arabs and others thinks their citizenship should be revoked. It's complicated.

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Thank you for clarifying, hopefully one day I will visit and see for myself. I think it will be a fun trip, am interested in seeing historical and other sights.

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You're always welcome. Just avoid the summer until you wanna fry alive in the hear.

Gimme a shout here or one of the steemit discord channels around and I will be happy to give you some tips and show you around.

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Well, the fact that palestinians were forced into their own state separate from Israel makes it exactly like apartheid.

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They weren't forced. Why would they be?
In fact, they were offered Israeli citizenship back 1948. Those who agreed are Israeli citizens. Those who refused, ended up in a bit of a pickle and then DEMANDED their own separate state. They never wanted to live in a Jewish state and obey jewish law, they just found themselves living in what was now the state of Israel. Also, the lines in 1967 were not drawn by the jews, but rather by the UN. No one forced the palestinians into their state. On the contrary. A lot of people in Israel would like it very much if there was no palestinian authority, and just one big Israel.

Wow!!! Awesome

I mostly hated, racism

this was one of the darkest days in south africa and to treat one race superior and another inferior is the worst thing you can do to another human. glad it ended

BLACK PEOPLE STILL LIVE IN THE GHETTO
LOOK AT SOUTH AFRICA TODAY

@gavvet,
Your simple article talked about one of the ugly truth of the society! Racism for what?
"I used to wonder what made it different and what mysteries lay hidden behind the forbidden doors of these "non-whites only" places."
Respect what you mean by this! Actually we all are humans in 4 blood groups! Great you discuss about it in a proper way! Respect!

Cheers~

...the black race is a beautiful race!
all discrimination meted out to the beautiful people of Africa were all due to ignorance and I guess the world will be a better place to live in when our brothers with fair skin realizes that people of colour did not create themselves.
I am proud of my complexion...Black is not just a colour:it is an attitude..and it is our identity

Biologically, our ancestral differences reflect only a 0.1 percent difference in DNA. It's sad that some people only focus on that 0.1 percent skin deep difference than the other 99.9 percent sameness.

Your Earnings!!!!

When people go around claiming Israel is an apartheid, I am often drawn to learn more about the apartheid in South Africa. I find it horrific, and quite upsetting.
I assure you, and anyone reading: there are no such signs ANYWHERE in Israel. There are Arab doctors treating Jewish patients and Jewish doctors of every imaginable color (from Ethiopian Jews to East European ones) treating Arab patients. So this baffles me. Sure, there's no lack of racism and discrimination here, like everywhere, really. But never to this degree. I would personally march to Jerusalem and protest if signs like this ever appeared in my country.
Thanks for sharing!

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It's just a way to create a very simplistic narrative veneer by labeling a very complex situation with a very inappropriate label.

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I am not a fan of the simplistic narrative.

good post

very well done such a nice article.

the day apartheid ended in 1994 was a good day.

Strange world for a kid to grow in... I didn't know such a world, but every country has its own segregation divides, even invisibles, economically, socially, racially... between Have and Have not.

Hi @gavvet, thanks for posting your experience with Apartheid! I assume that you experienced this from a white perspective, since you mentioned not knowing what the non-white side looked like at first? Did you get to interact at all with black kids, or how was it being a kid during apartheid in relation to non white kids? How did you parents feel bout this?
Sorry for the many questions...but it's very interesting.

Sadly, segregartion still exists in other parts of the world, and I'm mainly thinking about the poor Palestinians who are being treated like cockroaches by Israeli occupying forces...

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Cockroaches? When was the last time you visited the Palestinian authority or Israel to witness such atrocities? Or are you relying on biased reporting like most? I am an Israeli jew, and I've shared hospital rooms with Palestinians and received services from Palestinian businesses. An Israeli business that refuses to service someone for racist reasons, gets their ass sued.
Is that apartheid?

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What about the West Bank @techslut? Are you saying Palestinians and Israelis have the same rights and living conditions? What about the illegal settlements? I certainly didn't mean to offend you, and you are right, I haven't been there myself so I can't speak of personal experience, but I have many friends who had to travel there or are from there (including Israeli Jews), and of course I also draw conclusions based on what I read. But I'm glad that your experience was different!

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I am against Jewish settlements on the west bank, but have friends who live there and there's coexistence and cooperation for the most part. It's important to remember that people don't want this conflict. Politicians do.

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I live in Israel and I also agree with you both 100%

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with that I 100% agree =)

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Apartheid SA was a lot like NAZI germany. The people didnt really know what was going on in the country. Read Antjie Krog's book called Country of my skull.

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crap, you obviously have no idea what happened in Nazi Germany.

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You think the people of Germany knew about the gas chambers?

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If you believe the post Germans, I am surprised how "few" Nazis there were, and I do believe that there were a hell of a lot more of them that knew about the murders occurring. In SA by contrast, it was the exception to murder Black people, and it was usually only those who resisted. Germany made the extermination of Jews a policy. SA had a policy to separate its people, also "non-white" folks were discriminated against (disgusting) but no comparison to Germany

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Show me that German policy that called for extermination of jews. If you actually go look at the Nazi laws you'll see that it's very VERY similar to Apartheid laws. The only difference is that instead of Districts and Slums they had Concentration Camps.

Here's a nice little article about Nazi Laws. https://www.ushmm.org/wlc/mobile/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005681

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do you have any idea of the logistics involved to move so many people? How many people were involved in administration? The tragedy is that before Hitler and the national mindset shift, Germany was the least anti-Semitic country in Europe. The initial laws were certainly comparable to SA but later? Don't you think that Hitler spoke about the Final Solution publicly at all? Besides Nazi Germany was the ultimate follower and expediter of Darwinism in its purest and fullest ideology. Crystal night? Did that happen here where all Jewish businesses where smashed etc? That was in the early 1930's when Nazi Germany was first formed... In some elements it was similar (I am sure you meant Ghettos instead of concentration camps). Apartheid made townships and homelands. The slums are the result of urbanisation that only seemed to start occurring in the early 1980's of the rural folk. This process is still happening, in fact, accelerating even in the new democracy of SA

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thanks

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Now that im reading more into it, it seems extremely clear that Nazi Germany directly influenced Apartheid. During WW2 John Vorster was imprisoned for supporting the Nazis instead of Britain. And later, he became Prime Minister, and then continued his love of apartheid. PS. The rest of the laws are also there, just click the links at the bottom of the article.

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Growing up in rural areas the children of "black" farm workers were the nearest neighbors and plenty of time was spent with them, so I could not understand this segregation when I first encountered it.

The history of racial segregation is a blotch on humankind for all ages. Hopefully, a hundred years from now, racial discrimination would be only something found in history textbooks. Or so one hopes..

I have always believed that racism is for weak people.

Seems crazy to have a sign like that!

A good and knowledgeable post
Thanks for sharing.

Please should rise above racism .
Racism and Religion are making people fight among themselves.

There should be no rascim as it degenerates humans to a lowly life form.

White treating blacks is bad. Blacks taking revenge is bad too.

Here is a thing with revenge. It is like a red hot molten lava spouting volcano. Once you set on that path, there is no comming back. And when you do come back, you are not a human any more. You have done the same things that you considered inhuman. What are you now ? You are same as them.

I understand revenge. It is natural. But to punish one for crimes of their parents and grandparents is really gross. It reeks of dead hearts and clotted slimy brains.

thank for share with us your story.resteemed

Ugh, this hurts my heart. Let's get rid of racism ASAP please.

It amazes me how race is and has been viewed around the world. In many countries history's there is no indication of racism, but then in others it has been a huge struggle for equal rights, and then further for equal treatment.
Why can't humans do anything right?

I simply love your articles, what great content and quality of posting you offer the community here on Steemit and abroad.

Thanks a lot :)

This is written as a retrospective but unfortunately, on a practical level, the idea of post-apartheid South Africa is a myth. It's more like Neo-Apartheid, 2 worlds where the majority experience debilitating structural oppression, poverty and unemployment. While a handful live, pretty much, in the first world. Inequality in SA is shocking, largely due to the ANC's approach to 'liberation' (compared to other liberation movements at the time) which left economic restitution largely unaddressed in favour of a rainbow nation compromise, pretending all would be well if everyone just forgave one another and a few black people got a seat at the table. This was always the ANC's MO considering it really was a party of black elites who were never interested in dismantling colonialism but merely being included and having a chance to participate in a colonial society.

These issues not being addressed and justice being done has led to growing tensions which I suspect will eventually boil over. Neo-Apartheid South Africa is a ticking time bomb.

What is this place....?

Thank you for this wonderful post, I really like your post. You are doing a real good job! Continue and get a wonderful day!!!

Thanks for sharing. The more we understand about racism in history, the better we know how to change people for the better, and society.

You have Lot of experience South african black & white partition. Its bad thing worst world.

Nice add me

Racism is the eternal struggle of deciding which colour we are,yet we are all shades of brown, as I teach to my kids. there are no white nor black people. I am also from SA and our country is in a shocking state being in the grip of the racist battle. thanks for your article!

Horrible to see people judge, insult and make others feel miserable based on their skin color. As an Asian girl growing up in the west I also had to encounter comments like 'why don't you go to your own country'. It made me really sad, but even more important, it gave me the strength to work harder and be more successful than ever.

Spread the love, work hard, be humble and love yourself.

Hating someone because of the color of their skin is absolutely ridiculous! Did you go to a school that was segregated? Growing up did your father ever express the differences he experienced in his general practice? This post is awesome and a great topic to speak on. Thanks for posting your experience.

Very nice post @gavvet...
thanks for information...

Thank you for sharing

Thankfully change came along and history should remind us of what we must not repeat again.

WoW. The only hope is that we all learn from the past to be better humans; and be united. Best wishes, - @splendorhub

Great article, man! I find it interesting how you said the 'non-whites' area was cloaked in mystery and allure to you as a kid. The segregation making it taboo to not agree with the status quo but being curious and kind. Great concept to point out thank you

1st is this . you and my father was have same profession . My father is also Dr. Because i like this post.

We certainly grew up in different times. I remember the racial divide from those times. Although I am not happy with the reverse racism that is taking place right now, I feel that it was actually a horrible time. What we did was wrong, wrong, wrong.

America is known for the country of free speech, then we see videos of policemen persecuting black people in an extremely intolerant way. Do you think the situation in your country is acceptable? Is there some kind of progress in acceptance and equality for all?

I've recently read 'Born a Crime', a book by Trevor Noah, who is also South-African. It gives a keen insight into apartheid in South Africa. You're post makes me want to read the book again.

nice post

Wow it's so crazy that you would have to experience that in your lifetime. So ridiculous. Thank you for posting your memories of this sad time.

THIS THING IS AMAZING, I LOVE IT @gavvet!! Visit my blog and read a love story that makes your eyes water teary! hopefully this evening one night is good to write.
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In a truly just world I believe that all people should be treated the same regardless of race, ethnicity, faith and other divisions. The conundrum is that racial degradations and injustices everywhere leave anger and resentment in their wake wherever they have occurred (See the US, South Africa, Germany, All of the Middle-East. This makes attempts attempts at peace making between no less necessary but ever the more difficult. Better to not start with this nonsense in the future if humanity is to continue to survive on the planet.

Say no to racism. United we stand

I can not help it i find rascist so stupid. I do understand the dislike of race when it is like a statement in their culture wich does not ryme with mine. If you understand what i mean Like where woman are still so much less as man, where they have to cover them up and it is a privilege to be beaten up by husband. Things like that. I do understand the dislike but that has not got anything to do with the race it is about their habits. Just as many others will dislike our or my habits. De apartheid in Afrika is just disgusting. Based on a color ? Really like we are thrown back in time where black and white met each other for the first time .. Feeling eachothers hair, and smelling the skin.

This is so sad. Especially to a child that has no concept of race and color. There are no differences except in ignorant people's minds.
My question is has this changed over the years?
I pray that it has.
Thank you for your post. 🐓🐓

When I was young, the Gaza strip was one of the coolest places to go clubbing.