REMEMBER YOUR PAST…
…DON’T LET IT DEFINE YOU.
So with everything that has been happening politically in the country, the elections, and post events, coalitions and such thereafter, one cannot help but think back to the way things were in this country back in the day. Now, I’m in no way AT ALL saying that I know what it was like to live in Apartheid South Africa, but you don’t need to have lived it, to actually feel the pain that it bought this country to.
It made me think back to a while ago when I took a trip to the Apartheid Museum with my significant other, to, not only see it again, but to remind ourselves of what this country has been through, and what a long way we have come since then.
Immediately, upon entering the museum you are already transported. Due to segregation in South Africa at the time, white people and black people shared different spaces and never shared the same space at the same time. After a brief scuffle between who takes which card, I eventually took the “Blankes” ticket. This allows you to take a trip down memory lane as a white person in South Africa at the time.
Mind you, pictures are normally not allowed to be taken in museums, but I had to. I just had to. As I was walking down this path, I remembered coming to this museum in high school, but don’t remember it affecting me as badly as it did on this day. I guess being an adult and having learned, read and seeing everything that is currently happening with racially motivated killings around the world, it really hits a certain spot within you, that you just cannot explain. I walked down this narrow path, looked at all the pictures, read all the writings on the wall, and it felt so awkward for me. I felt out of place, like I didn’t belong on this path.
Followed by anger. I got angry as I made my way through the museum, and read on what happened to black people during this time. I couldn’t shake the feeling of anger. I could separate myself from “then” and “now” . I was ANGRY.
We can’t even imagine what those people, their friends, their families, went through. That was someone’s daughter who was brutally raped and killed. That was someone’s son, brother, father that was protesting against the oppression, torture, violence of their people.
I just could not get a grip on it. What hurt the most is that I did not understand why it was so painful to take in. After all these years.
I mean, I wasn’t there. Yes, I was born in that time, but I was young when this was happening, I knew no better. I knew nothing.
You are transported into time by being at this museum. Just because it is 2016 now, makes the pain no less. With all the horrible killings and discrimination black people all over the world face today, this didn’t make it any easier to take.
Then you remember. Black people were not the only ones facing this horrible time alone in this country. Many white people who fought and spoke out against the oppression and segregation of black people, also felt the pain, the hurt the trauma. This in no way justifies or makes light of the bigger picture, but there were people fighting for change in this country. Within the country, and from all corners of the world.
It brings me to the fact that, since then, black people in this country have access to education, to share the same space as white people, have opportunities presented to them equally too (well, hmmm…). However, there is change. Even though we are fighting different battles today, this time in South Africa’s history will always be remembered. It has shaped this country to what it is today.
Racism IS NOT inherited. IT IS TAUGHT.
This is where we should take the power in our hands to CHANGE things for the better. Yes, we remember our past, but we cannot move forward with it. We cannot keep dragging it into the issues we have now. We have to learn for it, and teach ourselves to GROW from it.
Have you been to the Apartheid Museum? What is your take on it? Let me know.
I subscribe to the phrase “ALL LIVES MATTER”- not just black lives.
Smile at someone today. ❤
Until the next one,
Live in Light and Love ❤