Today we toured The University of Pretoria and at the end we were fortunate enough to spend time with seven students- three of them were black, three were white, and our tour guide was colored.
The first thing I noticed was when we broke off into smaller groups that the three white South Africans stayed in one group while the other three black South Africans and our colored tour guide stayed on the other side of the table. That was the first thing that grabbed my attention.
Another thing that I thought was interesting was their different views on apartheid. When the topic was brought up with the black students you can tell that they were bothered by it and were offended by the fact that some people didn’t view it as bad as it actually was. On the other hand, when speaking with the white students they were hesitant at first to say what they really felt. After some time they finally shared that the older black adults are more forgiving of the past while the younger generations use it as an excuse.
It’s ironic how those who actually lived during the time of apartheid are less likely to “throw it in the faces” of white South Africans, while the young blacks are more quickly to get aggressive about the situation. It kind of brings my mind to Desmond Tutu’s book No Future Without Forgiveness. There cannot be a better future when citizens keep dwelling on the negative parts of the past.
Although I do agree that apartheid was a horrible part of South African history, it is their history nonetheless. Nelson Mandela worked so hard for this country to be united as one, and when it finally is, it’s unfair for the citizens to start dividing themselves from one another. Although there is no official government force segregating them from one another, they are continuing to do it themselves.