My experience in South Africa (Thoughts on injustice and responsiblity)

August 8, 2014 by April Congdon
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I’m white.

I haven’t given the color of my skin much thought. Why would I? I’m a white middle class woman in America.

But then there I was walking through a market in South Africa knowing the history between black and white South Africans and suddenly I was ashamed to be white.

Just being white made me feel responsible for the hatred that caused such murderous acts just twenty years ago.

While in South Africa on our Women of Strength trip I got to meet both black Zulus and white Afrikaans who, through Amor, are working together to provide homes for families in need in Delmas.  It was beautiful to be a part of the reconciliation between races that has begun there. I say “has begun” because there is a long road ahead.

While there has been much reconciliation there is still discrimination happening as there is a lack of responsibility that exists for the oppression put on the black population.

Even I, an incoming stranger, felt sadness and responsibility for what had happened. So why so often do those who were involved or who still live in those areas respond in defense instead?

I never understood why people would get upset at the idea of  “reverse-discrimination” so much until now. As I thought through how short of a time it had been since Apartheid, only twenty years, and how long its been since the Civil Rights movement, only fifty years, I realized just how fresh and still offensive everything that happened here in America is.

It made me ask myself this next question, Do I feel that same sadness and responsibility for what happened in America’s broken history?


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Topics: South Africa, Biblical Justice