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Old 09-27-2014, 05:56 PM
Status: "I hate living in Georgia!!" (set 21 days ago)
 
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Watching the show "Scout's Safari" made me consider living in South Africa when I was a teenager. However, hearing alot of what I've heard and even reading about it, I'm thinking it wouldn't be the best thing, for now. Obviously, I would have never considered even going to South Africa during the Apartheid era.
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Old 09-27-2014, 06:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dowsieboi View Post
Cape Town is safe compared to Johannesburg Unless you're talking about going around the Cape flats of course >.<

My guess is poverty and lack of education lead to crime. Add heavy amounts of poor governance and you end up with a weak police force which only fails to decrease crime. With that same poor governance you then continue to widen the gap between lower, middle and upper classes which just pushes more people into poverty etc etc. Then on top of that add in a sense of entitlement. So your basic "why should I better my life when I can just take what I want *insert some connection to Apartheid here"
Safety is of course relative. I feel pretty secure in my neighborhood and can walk around it at night – in fact I can walk around in most of the city and doing so highly intoxicated with a fairly low risk getting mugged so long I stay away from the notorious dark corners of the city and obvious ghettos. I take security serious at least comparing to my neighbors which don’t seem to bother about security and most of them seem not even to lock their doors at night. My home security includes; a 1.5m high wall with spikes, a main gate (which I never bother to lock), security lights, a heavy wooden door with a steel core and two good locks, level one security windows on the first floor, motion detectors and a alarm to a security firm. This is considered to be a fairly secure home in my city. I bought my house from a retired police officer which explains why I got all the gadgets. A few of my neighbors have more security such as higher walls and cameras but they are a rarity.

I know that Cape Town is safer than Johannesburg but it is still unsafe comparing to most cities. Johannesburg makes Detroit, Marseille, St. Louis, Malmo, Paris ghettos or Birmingham look like a walk in the park. Still, Cape Town downtown is pretty dangerous in the sense that you walk around after dark and it is not an international safe city. It is not like most cities in the Western world or in Eastern Asia.

I agree that poverty, lack of education, unemployment leads to crime but also poor governance, weak police force and some soft issues like cultural issue – such as children are raised in a violent materialistic nihilistic culture. For some reason crime was lower in Apartheid South Africa than today because people had at least jobs back then. So – will South African ever become a normal country or will it turn into Zimbabwe?
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Old 09-27-2014, 08:13 PM
 
Location: West of Louisiana, East of New Mexico
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Originally Posted by green_mariner View Post
Watching the show "Scout's Safari" made me consider living in South Africa when I was a teenager. However, hearing alot of what I've heard and even reading about it, I'm thinking it wouldn't be the best thing, for now. Obviously, I would have never considered even going to South Africa during the Apartheid era.
Wow, I used to watch Scout's Safari on NBC (always thought Scout was cute).
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Old 09-27-2014, 09:41 PM
Status: "I hate living in Georgia!!" (set 21 days ago)
 
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Originally Posted by jgn2013 View Post
Wow, I used to watch Scout's Safari on NBC (always thought Scout was cute).
Watching the show made me believe that race relations were quite wonderful in South Africa in the 2000s. I thought about living there when I was around 17 among other places.
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Old 10-17-2014, 10:06 AM
 
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Originally Posted by dowsieboi View Post
.
The majority of the time we actually joke around about how silly some of the "racist" stories are because they're mostly just sensualist media reports. It's interesting because we're divided along some lines when it comes to the typical "African" cultures but then united by the new "South African" culture.
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1. Maybe your exposure to blacks is to the more upper middle class ones who can more easily distance themselves from the past of their parents, because their current reality isn't that bad. Will this be true of the average black who is impoverished and marginalized, and whose evolution of resentment will be merely to add the black elite to the whites who he already despises?

2. What is "South African" culture? Aren't whites/coloreds not hugely culturally different from blacks, with the black elite being a buffer zone? In order to function, in a society still economically dominated by whites, black elites will have to work out some sort of cultural compromise. Such cultural compromise will also be true for those whites who aren't at the top of the economic pile, and who must confront the realities that South Africa is now run by a majority black political elite.

But I don't know that this suggests a new South African culture. Help me out with this. Imagine South Africans outside of Africa. Who will the white South Africans more easily identify with? White Europeans, or blacks from the southern parts of Africa?
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Old 10-17-2014, 10:15 AM
 
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Originally Posted by JohnCarson View Post
.. For some reason crime was lower in Apartheid South Africa than today because people had at least jobs back then. So – will South African ever become a normal country or will it turn into Zimbabwe?

Doubt that most people had jobs. Its that those who didn't have jobs had difficulties in staying in urban environments because of the infamous pass system.

Also countries with extreme dictatorships tend to be safe as the instruments of oppression also serve to dampen criminal activity. Cuba is poorer than the Dominican Republic, but has much less crime. Castro's apparatus of secret police is more responsible than anything else. Haiti under Papa Doc was a safe country. Now it isn't. Clearly the prevalence of the ton ton macoutes had much to do with it.
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Old 10-18-2014, 11:17 AM
 
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Originally Posted by caribny View Post
1. Maybe your exposure to blacks is to the more upper middle class ones who can more easily distance themselves from the past of their parents, because their current reality isn't that bad. Will this be true of the average black who is impoverished and marginalized, and whose evolution of resentment will be merely to add the black elite to the whites who he already despises?

2. What is "South African" culture? Aren't whites/coloreds not hugely culturally different from blacks, with the black elite being a buffer zone? In order to function, in a society still economically dominated by whites, black elites will have to work out some sort of cultural compromise. Such cultural compromise will also be true for those whites who aren't at the top of the economic pile, and who must confront the realities that South Africa is now run by a majority black political elite.

But I don't know that this suggests a new South African culture. Help me out with this. Imagine South Africans outside of Africa. Who will the white South Africans more easily identify with? White Europeans, or blacks from the southern parts of Africa?
To answer your questions.

1. Exposure wise - I interact with the lower and middle classes daily and I've worked in the townships before.
2. South African culture in my opinion is the culture born from a country that on some levels has tried to find common ground to unite. It hasn't replaced the normal African (Zulu, Xhosa, Venda, etc) cultures but it's also its own culture in its own right.

I can't really answer your last question I'm afraid. If I had to base it on my current interactions with the people on the forum I'd say I clearly struggle to identify with a lot of people (black and white) here
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Old 10-26-2014, 03:29 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dowsieboi View Post
To answer your questions.

1. Exposure wise - I interact with the lower and middle classes daily and I've worked in the townships before.
2. South African culture in my opinion is the culture born from a country that on some levels has tried to find common ground to unite. It hasn't replaced the normal African (Zulu, Xhosa, Venda, etc) cultures but it's also its own culture in its own right.

I can't really answer your last question I'm afraid. If I had to base it on my current interactions with the people on the forum I'd say I clearly struggle to identify with a lot of people (black and white) here

When people from different identities interact often one or both parties must adjust, depending on who is dominant, and the context of the situation. So a black South African will behave differently in his interactions with you than if you were black, especially if from his ethnic group.

As an example, what language do you speak with them? I am sure that it will be one of the two dominant European languages, English most likely these days. How fluent are you in any of the indigenous South African languages? Are there any situations where some minimal knowledge of an African language is vital to you, the way that speaking one of the two European languages will be to a black South African.

When you do interact with poor black South Africans who is the dominant (or high status) person in that interaction? Are you ever in a situation where they are dominant, and therefore fully determine that you should fully conform to their cultural values?

What cultural adjustments have you had to make to succeed in the NEW South Africa...and I don't mean just greater tolerance of non whites? To what extent have you, as a white South African, had to incorporate significant aspects of the indigenous South African culture within your daily life?


I will give you an example of how black and white South African interact in NYC. A Hugh Masekela concert both groups were present. White South Africans sat COMPLETELY isolated from their black compatriots. Given Masekela's history, obviously he was abused by the apartheid system and obviously he made reference to it. His comments were received with cheers by every element present (black South Africans, and non South Africans of all races) except for the white South Africans, who winced and felt very uncomfortable.


So my question is to what degree have white South Africans come to terms with their role (direct or indirect) with apartheid, given its strong legacy in what South Africa is today? Because that is really the key issue.

The USA has still to solve its legacy of racism, and still remains highly segregated by race, as any stroll through the US oriented forums will indicate. And this despite the fact that the cultural chasm which exists between whites and blacks in South Africa does NOT exist in the USA, given that black Americans, are an AMERICAN group.

From what I observe South Africa remains a land where EUROPE still tries to make peace with AFRICA. Your cultural divide is that broad.

================================================== ===========

Obviously, given that white South Africans are no longer fully dominant, some space for interaction with non whites has to be created, as neither can survive in South Africa without interface with the other. Whether that arises to a South African culture, or even identity is some thing that I am skeptical about, and you haven't really expanded on it.

Is there always racial hostility as some might think? Obviously not!

Does the "peace" exist within the context of people warily looking at each other, and being very careful in how they interact? Quite likely?

Does this mean that a new "yuppie" post racial group of those who grew up after apartheid ended NOT exist? Of course not!

But then is this group with any influence beyond its boundaries, and does this group exist only because the offspring of elite blacks have successfully negotiated its way into white controlled spheres of influence, where those whites know that their existence depends on forming some bonds with this group? Certainly!

So the issue is likely quite complex, but to say I suspect that it is to early to say that a common South African identity, embraced by most South Africans exists.
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Old 10-26-2014, 04:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by caribny View Post
/snip
Nice insightful post Out of curiosity (don't really have time to look through the forums for this) but where are you originally from/what's your story? Can I assume you're in New York currently? Do you visit any African countries often? Have you visited South Africa a lot?

Just to reaffirm, this is now out of curiosity so I have some more context to your posts and not like a bunch of questions to attack you
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Old 10-26-2014, 08:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dowsieboi View Post
Nice insightful post Out of curiosity (don't really have time to look through the forums for this) but where are you originally from/what's your story? Can I assume you're in New York currently? Do you visit any African countries often? Have you visited South Africa a lot?

Just to reaffirm, this is now out of curiosity so I have some more context to your posts and not like a bunch of questions to attack you

Live in NYC and have been to various parts of West Africa, but don't see the relevance to this topic as South Africa is very different. I live in a neighborhood with large numbers of Nigerians and often mistaken by THEM as being one. I am from Guyana. We were very involved in the apartheid struggle and heard much about South Africa.

I have met several black, colored, and white South Africans, and indeed even worked with a white South African female who clearly had lots of white guilt every time she saw me. The issue of South Africa was always introduced by her, as if she felt a need to show that she wasn't a beneficiary of apartheid. I know that she had lots of angst about this, and carried loads of baggage.


White South Africans in NYC bond with other Anglophone whites, and black South Africans with other black Africans. When they meet they are polite but then return to their own worlds. Obviously there will be exceptions to this. I am sure that many of the younger educated ones go out of their way to seek each other. White South Africans are NOT part of the African community in NYC. Hence my skepticism that there is this general "South African" culture. What ever such identity that might exist in South Africa isn't strong enough to bind them once they leave. I can well imagine that if black and white South Africans meet the equivalent from Zimbabwe they will separate on the basis of race, and not by nationality.

I find that black South Africans bond with African Americans even more than do other Africans. In fact maybe more than even Caribbean blacks. I guess because of their similar histories and the strong support that they received in the apartheid period, especially for those living in the USA during that time.

As I said your perspective will be very interesting as you are a product of post apartheid South Africa. How whites are processing apartheid is clearly quite relevant, given that this system has shaped South Africa.

The fact is that there are several parallels between the USA and South Africa, given that both societies had some of the most sordid forms of racism within the living memory of many.

Last edited by caribny; 10-26-2014 at 08:37 PM..
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