What Is White Privilege, Mr Maimane?

As reported (Mercury, May 15), DA leader Mmusi Maimane is quite right to state that advancement will not be achieved by focusing on and blaming the past. Why, then, does he persist in making critical comments about so-called white privilege?

Whites were certainly privileged under apartheid. But the main props of apartheid-Group Areas, separate schools and job reservations – were abandoned by 1991. That was over a quarter of a century ago.

Since that time whites have lost whatever privileges they had. And whites born since 1994 are in fact less privileged than blacks because of affirmative action and demographic criteria applied to employment opportunities.

Mr Maimane needs to explain how I, as a white, am privileged today. I pay rates and taxes. I face the same risks in terms of crime as anyone else. My costs of living are no different from anyone else. My rights under the constitution are no different from anyone else. My vote is no more significant than anyone else’s vote. So where’s the “white privilege,” Mr Maimane?

It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that by banging on about so-called white privilege the objective is to create a surrender complex. Whites are just nine percent of the population. It is impossible for that minority to uplift the black majority. Even if every white gave away half his property or income it would make no material difference to the mass of black poverty. In any case, there are whites today living in squatter camps; others are living on the margins of destitution.

This whole so-called white privilege issue is a misnomer and a red herring that the DA leader has copied from the ANC in a perverse attempt to gain black votes. The DA used to be very different from the ANC. Clear-blue water, they said, distinguished the DA from the ANC. Well, not anymore. Until the DA formulates MERIT as its cornerstone policy, it will be seen as merely the moderate version of the ANC just like the old United Party was the moderate version of the National Party.

Sent into The Mercury and published, 16 May 2018.

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