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Retrenchment 101: a User's Guide

By mt in Op-Ed
Thu Mar 16, 2006 at 12:37:49 PM EST
Tags: Focus On... (all tags)
Focus On...

In South Africa, there's been a lot of talk about a new Equity Bill legally in force since October 2003 (but originally passed in 1998). Underlying that bill is the fear and loathing experienced by employees facing the unknown intentions and ulterior motives of fat-cat Human Resource Managers. One of the reasons for fear is the spectre of retrenchment.

Note: View an archived list of Bills passed in South Africa since 1995.


The Game Plan

Working for a living in South Africa is a strange experience. For a job with a reasonable income, typically you'll spend years studying hard at a tertiary institution, pay cash for extra qualifications and will have cut your teeth on a number of entry-level jobs.

Within five years you work your way up to a middle-management position and feel you've paid back a large portion of the dues you owe. As you walk through the corridors of your company's various departments perhaps you'll overhear more senior colleagues sharing their fears, you realise that a lot of people are genuinely scared of losing their jobs. On tight project deadlines, line managers encourage you with a knowing wink saying: "Don't complain dear. You're lucky to have a job in these harsh times."

So you put your shoulder back to the wheel, or sweat away in a Dilbert-like cubicle thinking: If I work hard, keep my ducks in a row, treat my colleagues with respect and offer my limited guidance to those I manage then I'll be okay.

But one day, A Special Meeting is called. The company's head (the one who sits behind that gaping desk behind those trendy glass walls) says that people higher up the company have unfortunately decided to restructure your business unit for purely "operational reasons".

It's never personal you see. It's always about: broader economic constraints, the harsh financial climate, the weakness of the rand, the strength of the rand (it's a weather phenomenon perhaps?) but always unfortunate.

Another meeting is called for those employees whose positions are directly affected in terms of the Labour Relations Act, Act 66 of 1995. As a responsible employer, the company needs to give its employees notice of an intention to restructure.

The Way Things Are

Things move quickly from this point forward. A Business Rationale for the proposed restructuring is circulated and states that: "Changing operational requirements have forced us to consolidate certain positions where an overlap in responsibilities exists."

In short, the workload is such that it cannot support three full time positions in your department. The proposed new-look structure advises that one of the positions in your section is made redundant.

You take a deep breath, go back to your open-plan office quietly and later discuss the changes with your colleagues. The changes will affect a number of departments, but the change in yours is personal. You remind yourself that you helped the company to find and employ your two colleagues. From scores of candidates, you selected them and have spent many hours sharing your skills in order to increase their proficiency and self-confidence.

You feel especially bad because you are the longest employed person in your section, you have more senior experience in your field of expertise, and you know your worth.

Your company head has advised that the next step will be to agree on the selection criteria used. Management's preferred criteria would be a competency fit. Other options would be: Employment Equity (EE), Last In First Out (Lifo) and First In First Out (Fifo).

One of the boss's plump underlings (whose position is safe) has explained that once criteria are agreed on and finalised, the selection process will begin with detailed job specs drawn up, positions advertised and applications requested. After a week of deliberation and nervous nights of insomnia, your position is advertised - you apply for your own job knowing that only two people can succeed.

One of your colleagues feels she is by far the weakest candidate in almost all terms of the selection criteria. However you know that the company flagrantly abuses her junior status and actually uses her significant skills to gain two competent jobs for the price of one.

Reality Bites
1. Strike One
The first brick hits you on the head: Things go as badly as you expect.

You are interviewed and put your case forward as clearly as you can - you know you are a valuable asset. However in the next few days you receive your handshake. The boss tells you: "I would like to confirm our previous consultation meetings. During these we once again agreed that our business reasons for retrenchment are valid, the structure acceptable and the selection criteria has found the most suitable candidate for the position. Your application for the advertised position was unsuccessful."

2. Strike Two
The second brick hits you on the head: You are now unemployed.

You enter a severe cloud of depression and go home to explain the implications to your family. You understand you have 10 months to register for unemployment benefits (UIF) but decide to hunt for work immediately.

You are highly qualified, have at least five years of specialised hands-on experience and more than one university degree directly related to your work skills. After three months of job seeking you begin to notice something strange.

You are rapidly shortlisted for almost every job you apply for. Yet, at each interview, you are told categorically that unfortunately you are overqualified and besides, the new Equity Bill makes it extremely difficult for any employer to consider hiring you. Why you wonder?

3. Strike Three
And then the third brick hits you: It's just a 'people thing'.

* You come from a middle-class family
* You've worked hard for every skill you have acquired
* You believe in the worth of the (almost-as-good-as) New South Africa
* You really want to walk forward with hope.
* But? But unfortunately you are male and white.

It's as simple and as confusing as that.

Life's A Bitch And Then You Work For One

The above story is not an uncommon scenario in today's South Africa. My last employer is a well-known magazine, within a much larger media company, which champions the rights of South African men and women, champions their constitutional right to be treated fairly, with respect and dignity.

But when I was retrenched, my boss, (a chunky white woman) never even asked how my family, my partner and daughter, would survive without my income. I lost my application for our first home loan immediately, lost my car, and instantly lost all medical-aid benefits for my partner, my five-year-old daughter, and myself.

I have spent the period since my retrenchment euphemistically describing myself as a media consultant. I have lost count of the number of PAs and secretaries I've spoken to, who consistently tell me with quiet voices (so the boss won't hear) that every resumé received from a white male, no matter how qualified, must be thrown into the rubbish bin immediately.

And yes, I have stood in the UIF lines with the long queues of broken, utterly ashamed men waiting for a small bundle of cash to put a bit of food on the table. And I note with interest that my previous boss has not grown any less plump [so at least she is still putting food on her table].

Each week, I scan the career sections of local and national papers. I also hit the online job searches with furious optimism but I am gradually realising that job opportunities in the new South Africa are not free and far from fair. The only fair criteria I am aware of is the colour of my skin.

I don't think I am especially angry but I have met more than a few retrenched men who are on the edge of flipping, "going postal" to use an American turn of phrase. How long before someone totally snaps at this perceived injustice being perpetuated daily in the Human Resources departments of so many companies? How long before so-called job rage becomes more than a passing news article?

I find it telling that less than 18 months after my retrenchment, the deadline for the new SA equity bill rolled around. My previous employer has become highly skilled at retrenching qualified people, of all races and genders, for purely "operational reasons". However a significant portion of these retrenched employees just happen to be white and male. The loss of these human resources has, I'm sure, gone a long way to making the company's equity quotas more acceptable at the dinner parties where these issues are debated, attacked and defended.

Looking Back To Look Forward

On one of my forays online, I stumble across an old editorial (November 1999) titled: 'Kill the bill or kill jobs', from Focus, a publication issued by the Helen Suzman Foundation. I really don't care what you think of the Foundation's political roots - I don't even know what political feelings it honestly subscribes to.

But that editorial makes a point that hit home, a prophetic voice that spoke directly to people like me. Listen carefully if you please:

"And then you hear about the new Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Bill. If this becomes law you will not be able to refuse to let space or grant credit or refuse jobs to people on a long list of grounds - not just those of sex, disability or race. Many of the crimes you may be guilty of (eg tokenism) are difficult to define."

"You can be hauled before Orwellian-sounding equality courts where the onus of proof is on you not your accuser and you are presumed guilty until you prove your innocence. Moreover, the bill is framed so that only the 'disadvantaged' may take action. And the 'advantaged'? There will be no recourse for whites against anti-white racism, for example."

A Slice Of Humble Pie

I am curious to see what the future holds for all South African jobseekers - regardless of age, sex and skin colour. After many months of waiting I am still to receive a letter from a representative of my former employer who promised:

"I wish I could say it was good speaking to you earlier but besides hearing that you are alive, things are obviously not well with you which I'm very sorry to hear...

I will, however, prepare a letter for you early next week trying to explain in the best way possible, why you were retrenched."

Like a dog under the table I wait for this scrap. And just like the Chinese fortune-cookie often promises, with its mix of blessing and curse:

May you live in interesting times...

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o originally passed in 1998
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Display: Sort:
Retrenchment 101: a User's Guide | 234 comments (217 topical, 17 editorial, 3 hidden)
What's so bad about American? (2.25 / 4) (#1)
by IceTitan on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 01:16:04 AM EST

The latest trend to come out of the States is a regression of the male populous. We have began rejecting higher education, positions of authority and many other once dominated male arenas. The white male of South Africa is now learning what their counterparts in the US have experienced the last few decades. We are apparently to blame for everything. Neglect all that members of our group have accomplished. If it's acknowledged, it's despite the cripling handicap of being white and being male. So what have our members been doing on this side of the pond? We let them have it their way. Everyone who's pointed the finger and made up excuses is now being given the chance to do better than we have. What do we get with this changing of the guard? Paris Hilton, George Bush, Scientology, Global Warming, Mtv without the M, thirty second sound bites with catchy phrases convincing you that you are indeed fat, ugly and unpopular unless you drink RedBull, hybrid cars made in America by foreign companies. What does this all mean? Nothing. I could type any excuse I could think of. But regardless of reality, you will be blamed for all that is wrong with the world. It is now your place, the new whipping boy.
Nuke 'em from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
Great feedback, thank you (none / 0) (#15)
by mt on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 02:40:31 AM EST

IceTitan

Thanks so much for your feedback.
I believe you must have at least some experience of the process I describe. Which means that circletimessquare believes you're just one more 'middle class unemployed shlub'. So be it.

I on the other hand value that lived-experience in a human being. At least it makes you human with some perspective on life, human suffering, and the very real gifts of daily bread and shelter, unlike so many other disadvantaged folks out there.

Now come on and put your ideas into words and post a Kuro5hin story...


=== Mmm - hold that thought
[ Parent ]

'AMERICAN' IS NOT A NOUN (1.33 / 3) (#16)
by tkatchevzz on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 02:41:19 AM EST

'AMERICAN' IS NOT A NOUN.

'AMERICAN' IS NOT A NOUN.

'AMERICAN' IS NOT A NOUN.

kthx moran.

[ Parent ]

Odd, Dictionary.com says otherwise. (none / 0) (#19)
by IceTitan on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 02:53:44 AM EST

Maybe you could go correct them so morans like me don't make that mistake again.
Nuke 'em from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
[ Parent ]
you are too stupid to live (1.50 / 2) (#32)
by tkatchevzz on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 11:07:44 AM EST

don't forget to breathe while you're at it, smartypants

[ Parent ]
A terrific comeback (2.50 / 2) (#50)
by debacle on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 04:36:52 PM EST

"American is not a noun."

"Well, yes, in fact, it is."

"NO, YOU STUPID TO FAR TO LIVE. THROG KILL!"

It tastes sweet.
[ Parent ]

it's not a comeback (none / 1) (#54)
by tkatchevzz on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 04:56:50 PM EST

it's you being dumb as a river-polished brick, sorry to say old chap.


[ Parent ]
extremely poor. boo (none / 1) (#58)
by Comrade Wonderful on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 06:05:44 PM EST

hiss

[ Parent ]
lol wtf (none / 1) (#67)
by tkatchevzz on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 12:12:38 AM EST



[ Parent ]
GET BACK ON THE SHORT BUS DAMMIT!! (none / 0) (#74)
by BJH on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 01:34:26 AM EST


--
Roses are red, violets are blue.
I'm schizophrenic, and so am I.
-- Oscar Levant

[ Parent ]
um, who cares (1.50 / 12) (#2)
by circletimessquare on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 01:16:17 AM EST

not about south africa, that is, but about the experiences of a middle class unemployed shlub

who don't you do the honorable thing for a fat middle aged loser like yourself and go postal and kill a bunch of innocent people with a semiautomatic weapon

at least then you've given something to care about

otherwise, welcome to the life of a salaryman: you've invested in a system, but you've learned that life is uncertain, and nothing is guaranteed

now go make like your fellow boring japanese counterparts and go sit in the park in your suit all day


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

Mmm... I wonder? (2.75 / 4) (#14)
by mt on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 02:29:10 AM EST

Thanks circletimessquare

Your well-worded argument makes a lot of sense.
You are objective and certainly seem to live by the maxim:
Try to walk a mile in the other guy's shoes

I have a feeling that the 'experiences of a middle class unemployed shlub' will be appreciated by any number of 'middle class unemployed shlubs' out there.

Go figure. It's not that difficult (actually) to understand if you get your head out your own ass for a second.

I wonder:
Do you even have people you care about, who depend on you to provide a share of food and healthcare?

Oh yeah - I forget so easily...

circletimessquare doesn't actually care about anybody except circletimessquare

But I still wonder:
Do you even have a significant other in your life who cares about you?
Someone who is a committed friend, lover and partner?
And not just a long line of hard-up, one-night-stands? As if you're so lucky...

But thanks for the feedback.


=== Mmm - hold that thought
[ Parent ]

dude (1.33 / 3) (#17)
by circletimessquare on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 02:44:32 AM EST

on the totem pole of empathy in life, the trevails of the middle class in the rich world is really, really low

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
The what? (none / 0) (#24)
by IceTitan on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 04:00:40 AM EST


Nuke 'em from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
[ Parent ]
travails misspelled nt (none / 0) (#52)
by circletimessquare on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 04:42:34 PM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
CTS is a mask. (3.00 / 4) (#105)
by rpresser on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 04:40:45 PM EST

There is probably an actual person sitting at the keyboard when posts under the name CTS are submitted; but that person has made an unshakeable decision not to appear human in any way while posting as CTS.  All you will ever get from a CTS post is disparagement, scoffing, argument, and depression.  CTS never admits to being wrong.  CTS never talks about (him/her)self, or even about interesting academic or technology topics; only political issues.

Once these facts are understood, CTS rants become far less interesting, and the temptation to respond to CTS vanishes. CTS thus appears, in effect, as a very specialized, very earnest troll.
------------
"In terms of both hyperbolic overreaching and eventual wrongness, the Permanent [Republican] Majority has set a new, and truly difficult to beat, standard." --rusty
[ Parent ]

here here! well said! nt (none / 0) (#131)
by circletimessquare on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 09:50:42 PM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
It's "hear! hear!" dimwit $ (none / 0) (#150)
by tinkertux on Thu Mar 16, 2006 at 06:08:37 PM EST



[ Parent ]
here here! well said! nt (none / 1) (#154)
by circletimessquare on Thu Mar 16, 2006 at 06:20:01 PM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Your movie (none / 0) (#85)
by psychologist on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 10:53:38 AM EST

What's with the editing? It drags.... And that trailer, it could have really killed me if her face was all mashed up or something, after the long build up, but in the end there was nothing.

[ Parent ]
that's why it says (none / 0) (#98)
by circletimessquare on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 03:38:24 PM EST

"zero production value"

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
More like "zero value production" [nt] (3.00 / 2) (#134)
by BJH on Thu Mar 16, 2006 at 02:06:40 AM EST


--
Roses are red, violets are blue.
I'm schizophrenic, and so am I.
-- Oscar Levant

[ Parent ]
u hurt cts feelings sniff ;-( nt (none / 0) (#153)
by circletimessquare on Thu Mar 16, 2006 at 06:19:20 PM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Don't feel so bad. (3.00 / 2) (#168)
by BJH on Thu Mar 16, 2006 at 10:45:08 PM EST

I haven't even watched it ;)
--
Roses are red, violets are blue.
I'm schizophrenic, and so am I.
-- Oscar Levant

[ Parent ]
Heh. (none / 0) (#221)
by kosuri on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 03:57:08 PM EST

I should have known you were Jewish.


--
I'm glad that when this story goes down this stupid comment will go with it. -- thankyougustad, 11/23/2005
[ Parent ]

Do what every other white RSA resident is doing (2.60 / 5) (#25)
by Talez on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 05:55:24 AM EST

Move to Perth, Western Australia, convert your rands to aussie dollars and drive up our housing prices.

Si in Googlis non est, ergo non est
South Africans *driving up* prices (2.83 / 6) (#27)
by nebbish on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 07:09:31 AM EST

says a lot more about you guys than it does about them

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

Yeah... (none / 0) (#225)
by Talez on Tue Mar 21, 2006 at 06:56:24 AM EST

It says we have a low cost of living. I'd like to keep it that way.

We all demand salaries compareable to the rest of the country and then using the excess money to live in splendour.

Si in Googlis non est, ergo non est
[ Parent ]

Indeed, the natives in Australia know their place. (none / 1) (#89)
by New Me on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 12:03:08 PM EST

<no text>

--
"He hallucinated, freaked out, his aneurysm popped, and he died. Happened to me once." --Lode Runner
[ Parent ]

And you're welcome (none / 1) (#147)
by coljac on Thu Mar 16, 2006 at 05:57:14 PM EST

We need skilled migrants - English-speaking South Africans would be a great addition to this country and fit right in. Come over, I say.

---
Whether or not life is discovered there I think Jupiter should be declared an enemy planet. - Jack Handey
[ Parent ]
Because there is just so little land around Perth (none / 1) (#203)
by nlscb on Sat Mar 18, 2006 at 02:53:26 AM EST

The west coast of Australia makes South East England seem practically empty.

Comment Search has returned - Like a beaten wife, I am pathetically grateful. - mr strange
[ Parent ]

I live in capetown (2.25 / 8) (#26)
by psychologist on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 06:30:49 AM EST

Or better said, I have a house there that I am planning to come back to.

Frankly, I do not know what the job situation looks like for the average white, but I do know that I do not know very many educated white males of the working age who are unemployed. I do not see any white males pushing carts about on the streets. I do not see any white males sitting listlessly in front of tiny homes in the city.

I'm of jewish/arab heritage, so you could say I'm coloured, even though I prefer not to use your words for race, as I'm not originally SAan. I'm running my own business, and in my opinion, if you are white middle class, or even coloured middle class, it is not too difficult to find people who are interested in starting a business with you.

And you cannot say that in this country, there are not opportunities for anybody who is willing to get his arse up off his chair and go outside and do something useful. You think it is easier in England?

I lived in France for a while, and I was paid more, but I did not have a gardener and a maid. I did not have someone cleaning my home everyday, and I did not have someone come in by 6 to prepare my breakfast for me, and to make my bed when I get out of it.

Every now and then, I meet someone with your attitude. Usually, they are the 40-50 year old white men with families who do not want change, and instead of changing with the country, they want the country to change around them.

This is Africa! Today there is a drought, tommorow the rains will not stop falling. When your parents parents came to Africa, they did not come to build a house and die in peace, they came to explore and be part of a new continent. But you, my dear friend, have gotten comfortable and do not want anything to change.

Well, it has, now either stay the same and die, run away and be unhappy, or change and grow stronger.

Mmm, a brown, jewish/arab? (2.60 / 5) (#28)
by mt on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 09:05:21 AM EST

I'm glad you live in Capetown, it's a truly beautiful city, but I wonder which suburb your psychological arse is parked?

Quote: Or better said, I have a house there that I am planning to come back to... I'm of jewish/arab heritage, so you could say I'm coloured

This makes me raise my eyebrows as it suggests you are making money elsewhere, with a view to returning as a fat, brown, jewish/arab pensioner?

>I do not see any white males pushing carts about on the streets. I do not see any white males sitting listlessly in front of tiny homes in the city.

Mmm: But I do see white males in the UIF (aka dole handout) payout line; at the day hospitals because they have no medical aid; or wandering endlessly around supermarket aisles in the middle of the morning because they are now technically 'Mr Moms'.

>you could say I'm coloured, even though I prefer not to use your words for race

Not my words: that's official government designation. Ask any brother living on the Cape Flats.

> in my opinion, if you are white middle class, or even coloured middle class, it is not too difficult to find people who are interested in starting a business with you.

By all means, please forward their contact details to me and I'll be delighted to report back to ya.

>And you cannot say that in this country, there are not opportunities for anybody who is willing to get his arse up off his chair and go outside and do something useful.

I have said it, and hell yes, I am more than willing to stand by it. Part of my present work involves a phat load of pro bono work for at least two community based organisations (CBOs)doing HIV/Aids work, and who the SA Minister of Health and the Minister of Social Services simply do not give a f5ck about. But I still meet qualified whites daily who lost their jobs through affirmative action policies. Don't knock it till you've actually spoken with them, and seen the suffering their families now endure...

> You think it is easier in England?

Nope. But I've still heard better things about the UK. And quite a few South Africans are coming home with loads of pounds to offload it on the black-market as a fat house deposit.

>I lived in France for a while, and I was paid more, but I did not have a gardener and a maid. I did not have someone cleaning my home everyday, and I did not have someone come in by 6 to prepare my breakfast for me, and to make my bed when I get out of it.

Hey you privileged jewish/arab brownie! Speak for yourself! I'm glad you once lived the life of a fat homeowner with a maid and a gardener. I however have never had a gardener and/or maid, you presumptuous poster! Like countless humans the world over, I make my own bed, wash my own dishes, fetch and carry my own children, mow my own lawn, wake up at 6am and fix breakfast for everybody else.

>Every now and then, I meet someone with your attitude. Usually, they are the 40-50 year old white men with families who do not want change, and instead of changing with the country, they want the country to change around them.

Yessim massah! Every now and then, I also meet someone with your attitude. Usually, they are the 20-40 year old brown men with families who celebrate change, and instead of changing with the change, they want the change to change around them, and screw over everybody else (including their less-fortunate friends) in the process.

In other words: People with your attitude want what the new changes bring, want to ride the Gravy Train, or go on holiday on board the Gravy Plane, but stand by doing nothing when new acts of disempowerment and abuse take place. The very fact that you say you have a home in Cape Town to come back to points me to that fact.

>When your parents parents came to Africa, they did not come to build a house and die in peace, they came to explore and be part of a new continent.

That's exactly why they came here: My grandparents did build a house of their own, and they, thank God, did die in peace.

>But you, my dear friend, have gotten comfortable and do not want anything to change.

I want change. But I also want fair change, and equal opportunities for all.

>Well, it has, now either stay the same and die, run away and be unhappy, or change and grow stronger.

I have changed.
And I am stronger.
But that doesn't mean I'm an ignoramus who can't see the wood for the trees.
Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Although in your case dear brown, jewish/arab friend, it's a case of the pot calling this kettle brown! LOL

=== Mmm - hold that thought
[ Parent ]

I made my money in South Africa (2.33 / 3) (#33)
by psychologist on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 11:10:02 AM EST

I never left SA because I decided to go elsewhere and make money there. When I came to south africa, I had little money in the bank, and just the contact information of one of my friends. By making clever decisions and being willing to do a lot of work, I made a good amount of money. Nobody handed me anything, and frankly, I do not have sympathy with anybody who is expecting to get a slot in a company allocated to him.

I never expected anybody to give me anything for free. I made sure that I was the best at what I could do, and you know what, THEY call me to offer me work. I am able to make money, because I am useful to the people who need me!

You, however, have a drone attitude. You are replacable with any of the hundreds of similar people at your level. Why should a company care about you working with them? Have you demonstrated particular skill? Particular talents?

You complain in your mind all the time because you discover you are no longer priviledged. You grew up expecting things, now that you are in the same position as every other person, you start complaining.

Let's be REALLY honest here! REAL honesty. Do we not all think the same thing? That the blacks are destroying the country? That the blacks cannot run the country? That the blacks will try to drive out all whites and coloureds out of the country?

That's the thing that was in the old South Africa and is still in the new South Africa - there is the WE, and there is the them. And in your case, the THEM, the blacks, are taking things away from your WE (whites).

Face it.

[ Parent ]

Your insights are off-center but priceless (2.80 / 5) (#38)
by mt on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 11:42:21 AM EST

I suspect this may be the way you feel as a so-called coloured person but I cannot share your insights.

You say: You complain in your mind all the time because you discover you are no longer priviledged. You grew up expecting things, now that you are in the same position as every other person, you start complaining.

I grew up in a regular family in another country, not South Africa. I was never 'privileged', although from your comments re: your gardener and your maid, it seems you were. Which is massively ironic - and slightly funny.

What I want is to be able to get a job equivalent to my qualifications and experience regardless of my skin-colour. Does the concept of reverse-racism simply not compute in your MF mindspace?

You rant: Let's be REALLY honest here! REAL honesty. Do we not all think the same thing? That the blacks are destroying the country?

Uh nope! But you rant like a real racist. I personally admire Nelson Mandela as an awesome role model for all South Africans. On the other hand, Robert Mugabe (our Zimbabwean neighbour) is a complete asshole. The last time I looked in a mirror, my asshole looked plain fugly, no matter what colour skin I imagined it surrounded by.

You rant: That the blacks cannot run the country?

The current black president Thabo Mbeki is doing an okay job.
The current brown Minister of Finance Trevor Manuel is doing an awesome job.
The current black Minister of Health, old Manto, is doing a cr8p job especially regarding HIV/Aids and retroviral drugs.

The Lesson?
You can be an asshole no matter what colour your skin.

You rant: That the blacks will try to drive out all whites and coloureds out of the country?

Mmm. That's a really sharp and informed observation. You really believe this kind of cr8p?

You rant: ...in your case, the THEM, the blacks, are taking things away from your WE (whites).

Uh nope again. In my case the 'WE' (fat white Afrikaaners) protected their own cellulite-laden arses by laying-off the 'we' (middle management professionals). The 'THEM' had f8ckall to do with anything you racist ranter.

=== Mmm - hold that thought
[ Parent ]

What the hell is a creightp? [nt] (3.00 / 2) (#51)
by debacle on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 04:40:14 PM EST



It tastes sweet.
[ Parent ]
Crap but spelt with a digit! (none / 0) (#55)
by mt on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 05:40:13 PM EST

Since when did a 5 sound like an S?
But we all know what corrosion sounds and looks like ;)
Just replace the digit with the letter you know goes there...

=== Mmm - hold that thought
[ Parent ]

That doesn't make sense (none / 1) (#57)
by debacle on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 06:03:40 PM EST

5 looks like a capitalized S. Where the fuck do 8 and a gain similarity?

It tastes sweet.
[ Parent ]
8 looks like a sloppy capital A closed at bottom $ (none / 1) (#103)
by rpresser on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 04:27:27 PM EST


------------
"In terms of both hyperbolic overreaching and eventual wrongness, the Permanent [Republican] Majority has set a new, and truly difficult to beat, standard." --rusty
[ Parent ]
Ability of black's to run the country (none / 1) (#108)
by LilDebbie on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 05:45:12 PM EST

facts

Pay close attention to the timeline, kids. I shall refrain from interpreting for you.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]

Seeking clarification (none / 1) (#216)
by Brizza on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 04:36:51 AM EST

I'm not sure how this graph is able to highlight the ability of blacks to run the country.

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

As far as I can see the economy picked up and ran pretty well post WW2. Sanctions arrived in the 80s and we see poor performance up until 1995, when the first free elections were held and the ANC (black) government was elected. At this point sanctions are lifted, bumper year in 96 and a few middle of the road ones to close out the century. So were really only see 5 years of an ANC government, all them very close to the end of sanctions, and none of the last 5 years (2000-2005).

Plus, there's no other Southern African economies to compare to. (Botswana has been doing well, and Zimbabwe hasn't in recent times). This graph has limited use to the discussion at hand.

[ Parent ]

You were doing fine until you posted this...[] (none / 1) (#34)
by mirleid on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 11:19:50 AM EST



Chickens don't give milk
[ Parent ]
What a pity ... (none / 0) (#227)
by TheCois on Tue Mar 21, 2006 at 10:20:16 PM EST

After an edifying story that brought people's attention to your plight and the possible lessons to take from it, you go on and post this bitter-sounding, abusive, racist-sounding reply that reveals you for what you truly are. Too bad

[ Parent ]
Was this before or after... (2.71 / 7) (#40)
by cr8dle2grave on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 12:57:42 PM EST

...the stint as a mercenary and the flirtations with the anti-Zionist Jihad? And, most importantly, where does your mother's basement fit into the timeline?

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
A universal story (3.00 / 3) (#30)
by Mazement on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 10:34:44 AM EST

This is actually a universal story; not one specific to South Africa. I've seen the same thing happen here in the US.

Basically there are four paths you can take:
1 - Get together with friends who are in a similar situation and go into business for yourself. Laugh as your superior talent drives your former employer into bankrupcy.
2 - Do some self-evaluation. Is there anything under your control that's making you unemployable? Maybe you can change it.
3 - Treat it as an unfortunate setback. Things were good while they lasted, but frankly the job market was a bubble, and there were 2X people working in a field where the economy could only support X jobs. All you can do is work in a less-than-optimal job while you wait for the economy to improve again.
4 - Retreat into vicious racist self-pity. Life is so unfair! Everyone knows that white guys can never get a break or have a decent standard of living!

I'd give you advice, but it seems like you've made your choice already.

Thanks and comments (3.00 / 3) (#35)
by mt on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 11:20:00 AM EST

Thanks for the advice
Right on dude. Right on!

I probably haven't made it overtly clear but this story is a retrospective. I am now a self-employed media consultant.

But my sadness at the way corporate South Africa is mistreating a large chunk of its professional talent-pool continues.
And my intense distaste for Fat Human Resource Managers continues unabated. Going postal aside.

Of the four paths you've noted, I think I took a road less travelled.
Your 2nd point makes most sense to me:
2 - Do some self-evaluation. Is there anything under your control that's making you unemployable? Maybe you can change it.

Did the self-evaluation thang but realised it was all mostly because I worked for an asshole company and a fat white bitch who cared more about her cellulite than about real people. I realised this after reading a much-later post online [by somebody else! Yeah!] that examined her and subsequent heads of the same company with more objective eyes.

I feel sooo much better at seeing at least two other people make sense of a very sh1tty situation.

=== Mmm - hold that thought
[ Parent ]

This is kind of a strange idea, granted... (none / 1) (#56)
by Comrade Wonderful on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 05:53:42 PM EST

Go to your next few interviews and present your resume while dressed as a woman.

[ Parent ]
It is well written, easy to understand (none / 1) (#36)
by debacle on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 11:28:49 AM EST

A very astute Op-Ed. I may be a bit biased, as African politics are really the only sort of politics I pay attention to. The radical measures like this in contrast to the (slightly) more moderate considerations taken by the US government make me thankful that I live in a country where this sort of thing doesn't happen.

Probably one of the few material reasons to be thankful for having a Republican government.

It tastes sweet.

Thank you kindly (none / 0) (#47)
by mt on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 03:04:30 PM EST


=== Mmm - hold that thought
[ Parent ]

The so-called American government (none / 1) (#139)
by Jonathan Walther on Thu Mar 16, 2006 at 02:21:10 PM EST

The measures taken by the American government were no less moderate than those in South Africa.  The only reason for an appartent difference is that SA is 90% black, while America is 10% black.  But they're trying real hard.

(Luke '22:36 '19:13) => ("Sell your coat and buy a gun." . "Occupy until I come.")


[ Parent ]
In all seriousness... (1.80 / 5) (#41)
by alexboko on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 01:17:52 PM EST

I don't mean this offensively, I sincerely always wondered this, even back in the days of apartheid:

Why don't the whites in South Africa just pack up and get the hell out of Dodge? What is it that makes people not give up even when the writing is all over the wall?

Are the immigration restrictions of Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the USA too obstructive? Or is it more a question of pride?

I, for one, would rather live an exile in a place with less violent crime and less racism directed at me.

I think South Africa, and even more so Zimbabwe, are proving to the world (or at least all the world the least bit interested in having anything proven to it) once and for all that racism is not a strictly white-European invention.


Godwin's Law of video games: if a company is out of ideas for a long enough period, they will eventually publish another World War II shooter.

You are a bloody racist (1.00 / 6) (#44)
by psychologist on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 02:00:33 PM EST

You have NO IDEA what the situation in this country is, yet you simply CLAIM judgement. In the united states, blacks are treated like second class citizens, and most blacks are manual labourers. In south africa, whites do not associate with blacks, and most whites are rich, and have black servants.

In Zimbabwe, 4000 white farmers owned 60% of the country. Think about that for a moment, 4000 people of one race owned 60% of the arable country, while 20 million people of another race lived in poverty.

But in your opinion, the poor whites are being DESTROYED. Bloody racist!

[ Parent ]

psychologist: You are a Bloody Hypocrite (3.00 / 2) (#46)
by mt on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 03:03:12 PM EST

psychologist, your argument may indeed be valid but you sound as crazy as Robert Mugabe.

You say: In south africa, whites do not associate with blacks, and most whites are rich, and have black servants

With all due respect you talk cr8p sir, and your mother [or significant other - if you are so lucky] should wash your potty-mouth out thoroughly, with Lifebuoy or Sunlight soap.

You do a great dis-service to so many South Africans, of all colours, who embrace the new democracy, and the changes, and each other.

You say: You are a bloody racist

With all due respect, (and that's really pushing it) all your vitriolic spitting makes you sound like The Bloody Racist here.
Are you by any chance related to Johnathan Moyo?

=== Mmm - hold that thought
[ Parent ]

RSA is so steeped in racism (none / 1) (#70)
by padda on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 12:43:09 AM EST

that what whites see as liberal might still look racist to others. Condescension, mostly. Not saying that's you, just, I really doubt all the racism has truly gone, even from people who think they're clear.

[ Parent ]
In the US, blacks are doing okay (2.50 / 2) (#53)
by debacle on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 04:45:13 PM EST

I would say that the only difference between second-class blacks and second-class whites is that the white trash lives out in the country, where the cost of living is much lower. Ergo, the blacks have to work a good deal harder in order to keep up with the bottom-of-the-barrel whites.  

It's really the racism versus the Mexicans and Arabians that is terrible in the US today. While the Arab racism is founded on terrorism (though unwisely), there really is no cause for the racism against Mexicans and other latino ethnicities.

It tastes sweet.
[ Parent ]

There is cause to hate latinos (none / 0) (#62)
by godix on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 10:32:13 PM EST

although being racist is a rather stupid reaction to that cause. America has a legitimate problem with illegal immigration and it's effects on society and government. It's the same mindset as hating middle easterners. Some members of a group cause lots of problems so the truely moronic start hating all members of that group.

More CORN!

[ Parent ]
zimbabwe (2.50 / 2) (#78)
by horny smurf on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 05:23:57 AM EST

Are you aware that Mugabe has forcefully evicted those evil white farmers? Are you aware that Zimbabwe has since gone from a net food exporter to being in a state of famine? Evicting those evil white farmers has completely destroyed Zimbabwe's economy. Who exactly is the racist?

[ Parent ]
Let me give you a parallel (none / 1) (#81)
by psychologist on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 06:19:46 AM EST

Imagine 4000 chinese farmers owned 60% of America. And the remaining 320 million americans were forced to live in the arid semi-desert remaining 40%.

That would be okay if they had fairly bought the land, and if they were generating food, right?

Well, what if they had simply "taken" the land with guns, and they were growing cotton and tobacco for export on that land, and practically no food?

Sounds like a fair situation to you?

[ Parent ]

Those evil white farmers (2.75 / 4) (#149)
by LilDebbie on Thu Mar 16, 2006 at 06:07:53 PM EST

... who few Zimbabwe.

How are Mugabe and his cronies doing on the whole "not running your country directly into the ground at remarkable speed" thing?

No food aid for Zimbabwe. You support an idiot, you can starve by him.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]

sp/few/fed (none / 0) (#167)
by LilDebbie on Thu Mar 16, 2006 at 10:37:39 PM EST

bloody hell how'd that one happen?

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
Fed the land with what? (none / 0) (#223)
by psychologist on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 08:09:33 PM EST

Tobacco and cotten? Cos that's what the farmers grew. Zimbabwe has problems right now because there are embargoes on the country, not because of a shortage of tobacco.

[ Parent ]
Why SA 'whites' don't leave... (3.00 / 2) (#45)
by mt on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 02:52:44 PM EST

Uh... how do I say this carefully - some of us actually like living in South Africa.

You write: Are the immigration restrictions of Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the USA too obstructive?

Actually yes. The points system in each country is way hectic. Unless you're on the essential-skills list. And that's how many formerly-SA electricians, plumbers and assorted artisans have got in.
Or else if you're really lucky - you win the US Greencard Lottery and can live and work freely within the States.

You write: ...for all that racism is not a strictly white-European invention

Omigod and Sweeeeet J3sus!
You are truly in possession of a deep and profound truth.
But unfortunately it will be totally lost on all the otherwise good folks who try and trash your post because you're judged as being just one more white whinger.
Mmm, who said that Racism is just a pigment of the imagination?

=== Mmm - hold that thought
[ Parent ]

The sweetest part of the irony... (2.00 / 2) (#61)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 09:17:30 PM EST

Is that it can only ever be practiced against the generation that wasn't responsible for the offenses of apartheid. Most of those people are rotting in their grave, no?

I agree with the parent poster. How much shittier does it have to get before you decide you no longer like living there?

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]

We take some (none / 0) (#69)
by livus on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 12:32:45 AM EST

they even have their own food aisle in some of the inner city supermarkets, which is interesting.

I've heard three reasons from SA for staying though: one, they find it hard to take their wealth out with them; two, they love their country; three, they see leaving as racist.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]

In Russia they have a saying... (none / 1) (#100)
by alexboko on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 04:00:52 PM EST

Man, just hearing about some of the stuff that's going down over there is making me have racist feelings. And contrary to what psychologist said about me below, these feelings are not habitual for me.


Godwin's Law of video games: if a company is out of ideas for a long enough period, they will eventually publish another World War II shooter.
[ Parent ]
Oh yeah, the saying. (none / 0) (#101)
by alexboko on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 04:02:38 PM EST

I forgot, the saying was...

"Call me a crockpot if you like, just don't put me in the oven."

I was going to make an extended metaphor regarding the oven being SA, but then decided "screw it, I'll make the post short and to the point" but forgot to  change the title.


Godwin's Law of video games: if a company is out of ideas for a long enough period, they will eventually publish another World War II shooter.
[ Parent ]

Yeah I can imagine (1.50 / 4) (#113)
by psychologist on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 06:20:21 PM EST

I'm sure that just hearing about how blacks were herded into settlements and denied the right to vote barely 10 years ago must have made a few people also feel a bit racist towards white people. Let us compare the problems:

10 years ago in South Africa, blacks were living in settlements, were not allowed into "white cities", where not allow on "white trains", had to go through the back doors of houses, and were routinely arrested and imprisoned on trumped up charges of "terrorism".

After the blacks take over, you know how they take revenge? They make an old middle aged man lose his job! THE INHUMANITY! WIPE THEM OUT! THEY TOOK HIS JOB!

I think you are losing perspective because of your racial prejudice. One of the greatest racist crimes in modern history (arpatheid), is worked against in a sane, democratic and just manner. The imbalance is being corrected gently, and instead of helping, the bloody americans are crying out: THEY ARE DESTROYING WHITE PEOPLE! KILL THE SAVAGES!

[ Parent ]

No we're not. (2.50 / 4) (#141)
by alexboko on Thu Mar 16, 2006 at 03:34:44 PM EST

I've never heard any calls to kill anybody in SA, and I've never heard anybody in SA called a savage. And I live deep in the heart of Texas.

What people can't seem to get is that you don't correct a lot of injustice with injustice in the opposite direction. Not even a little bit of injustice. You correct injustice with justice and set the score to zero.

During the apartheid era I was in high school and college. I protested it along with hundreds of thousands of other Americans, and celebrated its downfall. But the price of liberty is eternal vigilance, and the time to be most vigilant is when the formerly oppressed become the new dominant power. Now I don't think whites in SA are treated as badly as the Sunnis in Iraq or the Tutsis were in Rwanda, but I'm still not going to pretend that they're being treated fairly when I hear about discrimination and a tremendous upswing in black-on-white violence from multiple indpendent sources including fellow Americans who have travelled there.

There are people in America who are politically correct to the point where they're incapable of recognizing anybody other than whites ever doing anything evil, but I've never been one of them.


Godwin's Law of video games: if a company is out of ideas for a long enough period, they will eventually publish another World War II shooter.
[ Parent ]

I don't understand (none / 1) (#118)
by livus on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 07:53:04 PM EST

how this could produce racist feelings in any rational person, especially given the history.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]
You don't? (3.00 / 3) (#166)
by trhurler on Thu Mar 16, 2006 at 10:33:52 PM EST

An us vs them mentality is enshrined in law and company hiring policies, and you can't see how the them that is being shit on reacts in kind? You never seemed stupid before tonight...

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Well (none / 1) (#174)
by livus on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 04:36:09 AM EST

the majority workforce over there is black, and the "them" personified in this poll is a "chunky white woman".

So, it seems like a bit of a leap of faith for the poster to decide that there is something bad about black people as part of an "us versus them" move.

It may be understandable if we assume that the person is reacting at a brutish Hobbesian level but no, this is not what I understand to be the rational conclusion of a "rational person".

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]

That's just it though (none / 0) (#186)
by trhurler on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 10:11:28 AM EST

It is a nationwide phenomenon. Even if what happened to him isn't the best possible example, the overall effect is not in doubt, and were he not a white male, he would probably still have a job.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Mmmm (none / 0) (#195)
by livus on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 04:39:26 PM EST

but that doesn't make it rational, particularly when the would-be racist in question is on the other side of the world.

Even here I think the logical reaction for someone who doesn't like our reforms would be to become anti   Government, not anti Maori.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]

or in the words of a (none / 0) (#201)
by livus on Sat Mar 18, 2006 at 01:11:18 AM EST

white SA poster below

"In my case the 'WE' (fat white Afrikaaners) protected their own cellulite-laden arses by laying-off the 'we' (middle management professionals). The 'THEM' had f8ckall to do with anything"

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]

Heh (3.00 / 2) (#164)
by trhurler on Thu Mar 16, 2006 at 10:21:34 PM EST

Of course they find it hard to take their money out. The blacks who now run the country made damn sure of that because they intend to take it away by hook or by crook. Revenge is the order of the day, just as in many other African countries. But, they'll reap what they sow all over Africa. Which is to say, they'll continue to be third world shitholes with the world's highest rates of preventable disease, lowest standards of living, lowest life expectancies, and so on. The difference between me and most of you is that I don't care, because while it WAS an imposition on them in the past, they've had plenty of time to "fix" things and have instead pursued suicidal government policies. Let them rot, no matter what their skin color or cultural background. If they will not help themselves, then who SHOULD care?

It is telling when black Americans visit Africa and come back and say "it was great, but the governments are completely incompetent." You can falsely accuse me of racism all day, but what will you say to them?:)

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Wrong parent post? n (none / 0) (#199)
by livus on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 09:07:29 PM EST



---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]
I can't fathom that mentality (3.00 / 5) (#112)
by Lord Snott on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 06:19:06 PM EST

Why don't the whites in South Africa just pack up and get the hell out of Dodge?
Because it's their country, too?

I see that attitude in my country (Australia) as well. There are a lot of bigots here saying the same thing about the Lebs, Wogs, and anybody else that doesn't look white.

Well, where are they gonna go? They were born here! They have just as much right to be here as "we" do. (I hate saying "we", like "we" are somehow different from "them").

A South African white has just as much right to be in South Africa as a South African black, and anybody who talks narrow rhetoric about one colour taking things by force is a dickhead. Yes, in the past one colour did take things by force, but those people are dead now. You can't blame the current population for the crimes of dead people. It's up to the current population to try to put things right.

And as a side point, yes, I can believe the immigration restrictions for Australia are ridiculously restrictive. Although we no longer have an official White Australia Policy, if you're less than perfectly white, you're likely to end up indefinitely "detained" in an Australian desert.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This sig in violation of U.S. trademark
registration number 2,347,676.
Bummer :-(

[ Parent ]
Not talking about "rights" (none / 0) (#207)
by smithmc on Sat Mar 18, 2006 at 07:12:28 PM EST


A South African white has just as much right to be in South Africa as a South African black

Sure he does. But is it in his best interest to stay there? And if he can have a better life in another country, who are we to judge him if he wants to leave? (Of course, I'm a little biased, being an American, and given that America wouldn't be half the country it is today without all those immigrants, including my own great-great-grandparents...)

[ Parent ]

Judging him (3.00 / 2) (#222)
by Lord Snott on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 07:23:07 PM EST

Sure he does. But is it in his best interest to stay there?
Probably not, but how do you decide what in somebody elses "best interests"?

Was it in my best interest to try to work things out with a girlfriend who cheated on me? To spend an absolute fortune keeping my 44 year-old car going? Is it in my best interests to get into an arguement with an anonymous "Smith" on the internet? :-)

Bugger that, is it in my best interests to have 3 coffees by 11am?!

What's bad about that attitude is that it lends itself to the mindset that those people deserve the bad stuff that happens to them (like the girl who's just asking to be raped because off the outfit she's wearing). "They should've known better!" Well, maybe it's not too bright to live somewhere unsafe, but it's their home, dammit!

I realise I've probably twisted what you meant, and I'm over-generalising your point, but leaving your home is an absolute last resort for most people, and it's not really a solution to the situation.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This sig in violation of U.S. trademark
registration number 2,347,676.
Bummer :-(

[ Parent ]
I don't - that's the point (none / 0) (#226)
by smithmc on Tue Mar 21, 2006 at 10:35:10 AM EST


Probably not, but how do you decide what in somebody elses "best interests"?

I don't. That's the point I'm trying to make. It's for him to decide, not for us. But if he should decide that leaving the country is his best move, who are we to second-guess him?

[ Parent ]

Immigration laws EVERYWHERE have become a PITA (1.33 / 3) (#138)
by Quietti on Thu Mar 16, 2006 at 02:12:12 PM EST

To answer the question: no, Australia, Canada, EU and US are not any easier to migrate to for white men. In fact, every country on this planet is closing its borders. Unless you happen to be a part of the problem (i.e. you ARE a filthy rich Fortune-500 WASP exec with money to burn in your pockets), you are not welcome anywhere. Put it this way: the white man is conveniently guilty of everything: Holocaust, rape, slave hording, etc. If you miraculously were not a part of any group that caused troubles to another, you still end up in the most loathed box of them all: white trash. In other words: it's a lost cause.

--
The whole point of civilization is to reduce how much the average person has to think. - Stef Murky
[ Parent ]
Hire A Lawyer (none / 0) (#42)
by videntur on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 01:35:32 PM EST

The article is filled with so much frustration and resentment that the only best way to mitigate this pain whoever gets retrenched should--right away--consult a lawyer.

I would say take your company to court and have your day in court as well. They'll settle for a certain amount since the cost of defending will overshoot their budget, forcing them to simply pay you and your counsel money which will help you coast along for several years.

Talk to your lawyer about contingency fees which help you in financing the process.

Remember, chance of lifetime to get back at them.

Mmm... been there done that BUT failed (none / 1) (#43)
by mt on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 01:59:38 PM EST

Thanks fior the awesome 'Hire A Lawyer' advice but...
In South ASfrica, there's usually only one recourse: the CCMA or official Labour Courts.
But if you overstep the one-month limit for lodging a compalint by one day (like for instance you're still hunting for another job) then you are presidentially screwed!

Or considering our vice-president's (Jacob Zuma) court trial for having unprotected sex with an HIV-positive woman, perhaps the new term should be vice-presidentially-screwed.

=== Mmm - hold that thought
[ Parent ]

I flipped a coin. (1.25 / 4) (#71)
by Lenticular Array on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 12:59:07 AM EST

+1FP
ANONYMIZED
Interesting times is a myth (2.40 / 5) (#77)
by Scrymarch on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 02:31:33 AM EST

... see here, but then again Fortune Cookies aren't Chinese either.

Trying to take a grander lesson from your article, does this mean white blokes in South Africa all run small businesses or consultancies nowadays? Is there a trend for big corps to do a lot of outsourcing to consultants such as yourself, as a way to shift white workers off the official payroll, but keep using their skills?

Hey, cool note! (none / 0) (#132)
by mt on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 10:00:22 PM EST

Thanks
That's awesome background and shows how easily a concept of an entrenched idea gets stuck in our minds.
Cool

=== Mmm - hold that thought
[ Parent ]

Sucks for you. (3.00 / 4) (#79)
by daveybaby on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 06:02:21 AM EST

Still, probably still doesnt suck as hard as it does for the average black south african - at least you were privileged enough to get a skill set in the first place so there is some hope for you.

Its all relative innit?

Sorry... (2.00 / 3) (#80)
by mirleid on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 06:09:03 AM EST

-1 on account of this...

Chickens don't give milk
Heh (2.33 / 3) (#82)
by psychologist on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 06:22:15 AM EST

If someone posted this same post, but from the perspective of a black american, it would be shot down so fast, and the comments would be hate laden and self-pitying.

But if it is from the perspective of a middle class white male, in other words, someone JUST LIKE YOU, this website will immediately vote it up.

The sad part is that the members of this website would never admit that they have a preference for people of their colour and gender.

Do you live in the 50's? (2.60 / 5) (#88)
by New Me on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 11:41:53 AM EST

Since when are there laws discriminating black people in the US? If anything the states' ``legal racism´´ seems to go against exactly the other direction.

--
"He hallucinated, freaked out, his aneurysm popped, and he died. Happened to me once." --Lode Runner
[ Parent ]

Maybe you haven't heard (2.50 / 4) (#90)
by LilDebbie on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 12:03:33 PM EST

but affirmative action is alive and well at least in America and most major corporations. I know my employer maintains quotas for the cause of "diversity". Now, they're not such a big deal here when the quotas make up no more than 10% of employment, but if you start discriminating against a large percentage of the population, especially one that was until recently economically dominant, you're going to run into some major problems.

Sure, whitey may take a lot of shit nowadays sitting down, but push a man far enough and he will turn it around.

Think Weimar Germany, 1933.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]

A lot of shit? (1.50 / 4) (#91)
by psychologist on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 12:24:47 PM EST

Yeah, whitey has got it real bad. I mean, whitey has been enslaved for 300 years. Whitey did not have the right to vote 50 years ago. Whitey was brought to the country in ships chained to the bottom of the boat. Whitey was sold like cattle in public markets. Whitey is forced to live in tiny dirty segregated inner city areas. Whitey is constantly thrown into prison for minor offences. Whitey is treated like a criminal if he walks into a rich department store. Whitey is in the bottom earning percentage of the the country. Whitey has got the worse possible schools in an unfair educational system.

Damn boy, whitey has it BAD! Rise up and overthrow those terrible other people who have forced whitey into that situation! Rise up and let your voices ring from the mountain top! Rise up against the Fubu clad opressors of every white man!

[ Parent ]

Nit (2.33 / 6) (#94)
by LilDebbie on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 01:51:05 PM EST

Black people got the right to vote ~140 years ago and they are not forced to live in the inner city.

Returning to South Africa, engaging in state-sanctioned discriminatory hiring practices in order to achieve some ideal level of diversity in the workplace is only going to lead to a lot of angry, economically disenfranchised Afrikaaners who, if history is any indicator, will take back what they believe is theirs.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]

That's where you are wrong (none / 1) (#96)
by psychologist on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 03:06:00 PM EST

The whites have been able to take over almost all the countries in the Americas and wipe out the local population. But they have not succeeded in taking and actually holding a single African country. They have tried, but it has always failed. So if the Boers do decide to take back South Africa, they will be forced out, just as every other invader has been forced out of Africa in the end.

You see, that is the mistake that all the worlds population has been making. They think, oh, the poor Blacks, they are having it the worst of all. But actually, the blacks are the ones that keep surviving and growing more. You enslaved them, now they are 20% of your country and growing more by the day.

In an evolutionary sense, the whites think they are the most advanced. But in the end, the black people survive.

[ Parent ]

Whites took over South Africa (none / 0) (#99)
by LilDebbie on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 03:49:36 PM EST

Blacks ended Apartheid through international pity, not force of arms. The reason whites are not successful elsewhere in Africa is because they are not adapted to malaria/sleeping sickness/etc.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
No (none / 0) (#111)
by psychologist on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 06:14:11 PM EST

It was through terrorism and violence against a small population of people, as well as political agitation that the blacks made the whites give up south africa. Have you ever watched an "Apartheid" video? Some powerful stuff there.

The whites lost the war, they did not just decide to step aside. Compare that to other countries like Mexico or Phillipines or Singapore, where people of other races simply took over the country.

[ Parent ]

lol what? Stop it (3.00 / 2) (#120)
by livus on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 07:55:37 PM EST

you're making Psychologist say things I agree with and thus causing me pain.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]
Get your facts straight. (3.00 / 2) (#133)
by superdiva on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 10:20:51 PM EST

I tried avoiding this thread as much as possible, but with this much distortion of facts I have to speak up.

Black people got the right to vote ~140 years ago and they are not forced to live in the inner city.

Black men got the right to vote.  And even though the purpose of the 15th Amendment was to ensure that no one should be denied the right to vote based on color or race, it's an established fact in U.S. history that African-Americans were regularly intimidated, threatened, or killed if they attempted to vote even in the 1960s.

Plessy v. Ferguson legalized public segregation, and, along with those segregated facilities, ensured that public schools for blacks got less funding and support from Southern States.  Once again, another fight in court was necessary (Brown v. Board of Education, 1954) to ensure black children receive decent schooling.

No, Black people are not forced to live in the inner city, but, once again, fair housing laws have to be passed since blacks have been preventing from renting or buying houses in certain neighborhoods.

Laws for fair housing and Affirmative Action would not have to be enforced if there were not whites actively trying to prevent minorities from getting jobs or having decent housing.
_____________________________________________

Vote in Front Page poll: Best Scoop Writer for 2005
[ Parent ]

As a property owner (none / 0) (#220)
by kosuri on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 03:17:26 PM EST

Laws for fair housing and Affirmative Action would not have to be enforced if there were not whites actively trying to prevent minorities from getting jobs or having decent housing.
As a property owner, I only know one color for my tenants. That color is green. If they have green, then can rent from me. No green, no rent.


--
I'm glad that when this story goes down this stupid comment will go with it. -- thankyougustad, 11/23/2005
[ Parent ]

140 years ago? (none / 0) (#145)
by mikelist on Thu Mar 16, 2006 at 05:44:19 PM EST

Your eyes are brown halfway up. There are still efforts to discourage black and other minority people from voting, albeit local rather than federally scripted. Or did it come with 40 acres and a mule?
"I stayed for hurricane Katrina and all I got was this lousy T-shirt, a new Cadillac, and a Plasma TV."
[ Parent ]
Your point? (none / 1) (#146)
by LilDebbie on Thu Mar 16, 2006 at 05:50:18 PM EST

Their right to vote was guaranteed by the supreme law of the land 140 years ago. "Discourage" is a nebulous term that while sometime meaningful, is nowadays played as an excuse for failure to mobilize politically.

It's not like people get turned away from the polls for being black. Or are you going to bring up the "wah, voting is too complicated for the poor black man" argument again? Cuz that shit died in 2000.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]

I don't think you get it. (none / 0) (#155)
by mikelist on Thu Mar 16, 2006 at 06:40:30 PM EST

You seem deliberately obtuse in this instance. No one can vote without first being registered. When attempting to register, there are many ways to dissuade one from actually doing it, from failure to accept ID to suggesting that one must go somewhere else to register. Actually , check up on anecdotes regarding Republican VR efforts in the last two elections for some of the ways prospective democrats can be shunted off, preventing them from exercising the 'right' that most (I'm presuming the majority of non-republican americans are white)had from the very beginning.
"I stayed for hurricane Katrina and all I got was this lousy T-shirt, a new Cadillac, and a Plasma TV."
[ Parent ]
Anecdotes do not a case make (none / 1) (#156)
by LilDebbie on Thu Mar 16, 2006 at 06:47:06 PM EST

Or would you prefer me rolling out the myriad anecdotes I have from my personal experience that point to black people being genetically inferior savages who should be euthanized?

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
do a line? here's a straw, man... (none / 0) (#170)
by mikelist on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 12:12:46 AM EST

like I said, deliberately obtuse. What does your collection of stupid people tricks have to do with franchise once the right has been granted. I know plenty of black people who don't deserve their next breath, but overall, I know more who are willing to work for everything they get, and plenty of ignorant savage white people, some in respectable positions. A couple confirmed instances of of my anecdotes proves my point, the number would have to be magnitudes higher to even show plausibility for yours. If this shit isn't deliberate, I'm embarassed for your parents.
"I stayed for hurricane Katrina and all I got was this lousy T-shirt, a new Cadillac, and a Plasma TV."
[ Parent ]
Magnitudes higher? (none / 1) (#185)
by LilDebbie on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 10:07:50 AM EST

How about entire neighborhoods of worthless scum who are only capable of solidarity in protesting the police department whenever they do their jobs.

Like I said, anecdotes are not valid proof by any standard outside of crackpot conspiracy theory.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]

how about 'em? (none / 0) (#191)
by mikelist on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 03:24:49 PM EST

sounds like an anecdote to me. Anecdotes may or may not prove anything, but they do illustrate (assuming they are confirmable, and I didn't try to make far-reaching conclusions, as you did) that an issue exists at least to some extent. My neighborhood is about 80% black, the troublesome ones are many but by no means the only populants. My kids (hehh, probably as old as you are, 21-26) got jumped once coming home from the beer store while my wife and I were out of town, neighbors (all of them were black) came out and ran the assailants off. My kids aren't afraid to throw down, so none of them were hurt in the fracas.

My anecdotes weren't meant to clear black people of wrongdoing or snivelling about perceived slights, only to illustrate how easily the right to vote can be circumvented, in response to your assertion that they have been able to vote for "~140 years".

Go ahead and say you said "the right to vote" and show yourself as disingenuous, or hold your tongue keyboard and validate my argument.

[ Parent ]

Well (none / 0) (#193)
by LilDebbie on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 04:20:59 PM EST

The right is the important bit. If that right is denied by local authorities, there are things called courts and judges to whom grievances concerning said rights are submitted. But no, let's not get into that and instead lionize the Watts riots because that's the way we roll in teh ghetto.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
I'm not at all sure... (none / 1) (#197)
by mikelist on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 05:22:15 PM EST

that I recall lionizing the Watts riots, although I will take this opportunity to suggest that you know fuckall about the Watts riots, except what your parents told you. It really sounds as if you have limited your exposure to black people, and that is based on what other people told you that you were looking at.

Go ahead, just keep running on, if the last word wins the debate, you won.
"I stayed for hurricane Katrina and all I got was this lousy T-shirt, a new Cadillac, and a Plasma TV."
[ Parent ]

Ah, yes, limited my exposure (none / 0) (#198)
by LilDebbie on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 05:57:40 PM EST

Because I never run into black people living in the urban core as I do. I make a point of avoiding my black coworkers. When I hang out with my black friends, I'm not really "with them".

I suppose this is because I'm white and can never truly understand the black man. Just like I can't understand women, or gays, or liberals.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]

Motor Voter (none / 1) (#219)
by kosuri on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 03:14:10 PM EST

Since 1993, it has been possible to register to vote in all 50 states at any DMV, public assistance agencies, disability agencies, and by mail-in.

Anyone who is elligible to vote can register in about 30 seconds. No excuses.

How can someone registering by mail get turned away for being black, anyhow? You make no sense.


--
I'm glad that when this story goes down this stupid comment will go with it. -- thankyougustad, 11/23/2005
[ Parent ]

uhhh, d00d (none / 0) (#218)
by kosuri on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 03:06:25 PM EST

That was, like, so 5 generations ago. What's your fucking excuse now?

Get a job.


--
I'm glad that when this story goes down this stupid comment will go with it. -- thankyougustad, 11/23/2005
[ Parent ]

exactly, 100% true nt (none / 0) (#152)
by circletimessquare on Thu Mar 16, 2006 at 06:15:52 PM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Um (2.33 / 3) (#165)
by trhurler on Thu Mar 16, 2006 at 10:32:34 PM EST

The correct analogy would be if a WHITE person said this in the US. It is, after all, a post about reverse discrimination.

Glad I could help with this simple exercise in third grade critical thinking.

Also, I have no problem admitting that I have the same purely instinctive biases as anyone else. The trick is how you react to those biases. If you can train yourself to give everybody a fair shot, you've done all anyone can do. That said, although I'm a man, I regard men generally as much scummier than women, who are a close second. (I'm something of a misanthropist if you haven't noticed.)

Even the company I work for rejects white males in order to hire minorities regardless of qualifications. I've seen it happen. Not to me, but it happens. This is in the US. How do I feel about it? I think companies ought to be held to the literal wording of the Civil Rights Act and fined for this behavior. But, when people said "equal under the law" and "equal opportunity," they really meant "let's get some revenge," and that's how it is handled by the legal system. If anyone tried to handle it differently, they'd change the law to prevent it. (I personally regard the CRA as a gross infringement upon the right of free association, but that's irrelevant; if it exists, it should be applied uniformly. That's what "equal under the law" means.)

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
You're really making it way too complex. (2.66 / 3) (#92)
by Kasreyn on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 12:46:18 PM EST

It's this simple: apple-polishing always trumps anything else. At my company I've seen the most flagrantly incompetent promoted for nothing but being the brown-nosers of upper management. And, as you noted, when their department sinks, the ass-kissers always have reserved seats on the lifeboat waiting for their plush posteriors.

All other factors come in a close grouping around a very distant second place, but among them, I'd say the most important are slavish obedience to mindless policy, bitching about others, and blind luck. Actual job skill, of course, is dead last.

I don't sound bitter, do I? Nah.


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
Only applies to the firing (2.75 / 4) (#95)
by LilDebbie on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 03:00:02 PM EST

How do you explain his inability to get hired?

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
Let me take a stab (none / 1) (#173)
by Phil Urich on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 04:20:51 AM EST

Howabout serious economic problems? Hell, apparently "Problems such as mass unemployment, widespread poverty..." is part of the course description of South African economics! I didn't bother to do much research, I'm mainly speaking from a few South Africans I know, but I lifted that little quote from a Johannesburg University's website here.

[ Parent ]
There is that (none / 1) (#210)
by LilDebbie on Sun Mar 19, 2006 at 02:04:16 PM EST

of course, that leads naturally to the argument over whom to assign blame for this.

Pay close attention to the dates, kids.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]

it's certainly not a simple or happy issue (3.00 / 2) (#215)
by Phil Urich on Sun Mar 19, 2006 at 06:23:46 PM EST

The problem is that to change a system so firmly entrenched . . . well, it's hard to do anything without just tearing the system down.  And as much as things might be claimed to be A-OK on the surface, the fight that ended in the end of apartheid certainly fucked the country up (which is corroborated by your graph, if I'm reading it right).  

When it comes down to it, I don't really believe the claims that economies and societies left on their own will just automatically work themselves out; even Adam Smith didn't put nearly that much faith in the invisible hand.  So certainly a rigidly structured society like Apartheid-Era South Africa, compared to the seriously destabalized system being torn apart, is going to be more economically sound.  Of course, in the long run it's hard to argue that tearing it down didn't have to happen sometime, and really now, the prejudice and oppression was just revolting; hence, I suppose, peoples' desire to revolt.

The other factor, which I might even suppose is what you're actually going for here, is the sanctions, which the States and Britain finally started agreeing to at around the dates that things take a turn for the worse, am I right?  And then there's the growing HIV epidemic that starts hitting as the 80s go on.

So actually, I'm not entirely sure if you were intending anything specific here.  The graph is more a record of South Africa being clusterfucked by everyone and everything and itself, past ideas and actions coming back to haunt.

[ Parent ]

Well, (none / 0) (#179)
by Kasreyn on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 07:05:14 AM EST

failure to ass-kiss at enough jobs in a row will lead to a pretty spotty employment history, take it from me.


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
-1 racist (1.50 / 4) (#93)
by NaCh0 on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 12:54:11 PM EST

What does it matter that your boss was a chunky white woman?

--
K5: Your daily dose of socialism.
sorry chump, that's the way it goes (1.25 / 8) (#107)
by CAIMLAS on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 05:19:09 PM EST

Welcome to 21st Century Western Business. That's the way it goes, what with all our socialist policies and "political correctness".

Sorry mate, too bad you weren't born black, female, and poor. They live on easy street.
--

Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.

That's where you're wrong (2.90 / 10) (#115)
by debacle on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 06:51:33 PM EST

Someone born black, female, and poor is totally fucking screwed.

Someone born black, female, and into the middle class, however, was born to succeed.

It tastes sweet.
[ Parent ]

Yeah, all four of them [nt] (2.50 / 2) (#177)
by daveybaby on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 04:53:47 AM EST



[ Parent ]
are you for real? nt (none / 0) (#151)
by circletimessquare on Thu Mar 16, 2006 at 06:12:29 PM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
I'm glad I -1ed this without reading (1.83 / 6) (#110)
by creativedissonance on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 06:12:18 PM EST

cuz now that I've read it, I wish I could have -10'ed it.


ay yo i run linux and word on the street
is that this is where i need to be to get my butt stuffed like a turkey - br14n
I bet you +1FP'd the dick-joke article (none / 0) (#148)
by coljac on Thu Mar 16, 2006 at 06:05:39 PM EST

This is interesting, the other article makes me embarassed to be seen loitering around this site.

---
Whether or not life is discovered there I think Jupiter should be declared an enemy planet. - Jack Handey
[ Parent ]
kiss my ass dipshit (none / 0) (#190)
by creativedissonance on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 02:08:11 PM EST

who cares if it interests you or not


ay yo i run linux and word on the street
is that this is where i need to be to get my butt stuffed like a turkey - br14n
[ Parent ]
Would you like some cheese to go with your whine? (2.40 / 5) (#119)
by makaera on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 07:54:43 PM EST

First, this article is almost entirely anecdotal. Therefore, it is hard to draw any conclusions. Okay, your life has been tough. That's too bad. But it is hardly an indicator of general social trends.

Second, all you seem to do is complain. If you had this kind of attitude at work, I can see why they were glad to get rid of you. There is not one concrete suggestion or positive idea in this article, just some vague ideas about getting rid of race/gender/etc. preferences, and that's hardly realistic to consider.

"Ninety rounds in there," Joel Andrews said. "If you can't take it down with 90 rounds, you better turn in your badge!" -- from

Bah. Fact of life. (2.16 / 6) (#123)
by livus on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 08:03:37 PM EST

Quickest way to reduce the temperature of boilinig water to room temp is to pour some cold into it, not let it sit and reduce gradually.

Sucks to be someone in your position, but it also sucked to be a Soweto charlady under apartheid while most people of your class were working hard for their own gain not for the emancipation of the majority population.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

bravo! (1.50 / 2) (#162)
by wampswillion on Thu Mar 16, 2006 at 09:24:23 PM EST

while i'm not unsympathetic to the guy's plight, there is the other perspective on this.

[ Parent ]
Let me know... (2.66 / 3) (#182)
by skyknight on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 07:47:37 AM EST

when you've written your restitution check for the slaves.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
i saw that balderson once did this. (none / 0) (#184)
by wampswillion on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 08:41:42 AM EST

i was hoping that maybe someday he'd find me to be an oppressed person and write me one too.  


[ Parent ]
stop being so emo. n (none / 0) (#200)
by livus on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 09:25:36 PM EST



---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]
Bullshit (2.50 / 4) (#163)
by trhurler on Thu Mar 16, 2006 at 10:16:33 PM EST

What will PROBABLY happen if they keep this up all over Africa the way they are right now is more violent conflict. Meritocracy is a solution - further injustice just makes things worse. The morons who tell you otherwise are motivated by revenge, and if you believe them, you're either easily intimidated into adopting politically correct yet stupid positions or else not very bright.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Hmmm (none / 1) (#175)
by livus on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 04:47:59 AM EST

"The morons who tell you otherwise are motivated by revenge, and if you believe them" is a feint at a Straw Livus.

Most of the people I've discussed this with are white Sth Africans. I have a basic knowledge of what happened at the "truth and reconciliation" tribunals. I've also just had a report from a friend who spent a lot of time there recently, and I think I actually know much more about the situation there than I do about most nations.

I don't doubt that "further injustice makes things worse", and I also think that there is injustice - on at least three sides - going on in SA. Lumping SA in with Zimbabwe and Nigeria is a bit alarmist, though.

However, the point I was making above was not one of schadenfreude or utopianist optimism, and frankly I'm rather surprised that you interpretted it in that light, even given our usual political differences of opinion.

I'm afraid that suggesting I'm "not very bright" has about the same effect as someone telling me I have a small penis - or someone telling you that you drive a rusty Subaru. :P


---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]

Cool - a straw livus! (none / 1) (#187)
by trhurler on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 10:13:27 AM EST

I always wanted one of those. If I thought calling you stupid was going to break you down in tears, I'd have done it ages ago:) Anyway, the way they're going about things over there is going to turn them into a third world country if they don't stop - just wait and see.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
hot (none / 1) (#196)
by livus on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 04:49:32 PM EST

That's possible, but the majority population was living like that before anyway, so it would be no skin off their noses.

On average they were earning 1/5 of what whites were in 1994 when Apartheid ended. I doubt they've bounced up to 100% yet, given that the still don't own more than 1/4 of the land, and that parasites like de Beers are still in situ.

We're talking about really rapid social change in a really short space of time. People - and politicians - who want the change to happen within their own lifetimes. Of course it's going to get ugly.

 

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]

And that's what we're arguing against (none / 0) (#213)
by LilDebbie on Sun Mar 19, 2006 at 02:13:41 PM EST

The people pushing for short-term solutions end up causing more long-term problems.

As for de Beers, you - yes, you - can help with that by not buying their bloody stones, but I suspect you're no fan of theirs either.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]

Meritocracy (3.00 / 2) (#178)
by daveybaby on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 05:04:03 AM EST

only really works as a solution as long as everyone is given equal opportunities. Taking two people, one born and raised as one of the white elite in SA, and the other born and raised in a township with very little education or prospects for the future, then saying to them both "okay, now youre equal, get on with it" does not count as a meritocracy.

Its kinda like breaking someone's legs with a baseball bat just before the start of a 100m sprint, and then saying "the same rules applied to both competitors during the race, so its a fair race".

I agree that positive discrimination can often cause more problems than it solves, and as such needs to be handled very carefully, but when you have such a massive inequality in actual prospects between ethnic/socioeconomic groups then you have bootstrap the process or nothing will change on any useful timescale.

[ Parent ]

The alternative to meritocracy... (2.00 / 2) (#181)
by skyknight on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 07:46:22 AM EST

is basically a system of political patronage. I think you'll find that such a system is highly unfair. Apart from that, your only way to have an entirely fair meritocracy is to operate the world in a Brave New World fashion with babies coming from vats and being managed by the state. I'm pretty sure that that is a terrible idea as well. Our government run school systems already grind most children down into a state of homogeneity as it is. Do you really want more conformity? I think there's a middle ground to be had, such as giving school children a good breakfast and lunch for free so as to make sure that they are at least able to think while in the classroom instead of starving, but you have to be extremely careful here because there's far too much room to create a distopia.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
LOL WUT (none / 1) (#183)
by daveybaby on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 08:07:58 AM EST

Youre taking things to their illogical extremes just a tad. I think a meritocracy is a good thing to aim for. But where you have a significantly disadvantaged section of the population, you will never have a meritocracy.

You have to redress the balance somewhat and get something that at least begins to resemble a level playing field, then you can take a step back and let things sort themselves out.


[ Parent ]

Since when was BNW a dystopia? (none / 1) (#212)
by LilDebbie on Sun Mar 19, 2006 at 02:11:01 PM EST

Everyone's happy, even the epsilon semi-morons (one might argue they're the happiest). The only time the protagonist is unhappy is when he leaves for the reservations.

Sounds like you need a soma holiday.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]

This, of course (2.50 / 2) (#188)
by trhurler on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 10:17:16 AM EST

is always the argument advanced by the revenge crowd. In reality, immigrants come into the US with no native language skills, little education, and then two generations later, they're doctors and lawyers. OTOH, "beneficiaries" of reverse discrimination already have language skills, at least a little education, and we see almost no results generation after generation, let alone the nigh on complete makeover the immigrants manage.

Discrimination cannot account for the difference, because immigrants have always faced serious discrimination.

The fact is, reverse discrimination DOES NOT HELP. If anything, the evidence says it makes things worse, and if you perpetrate it on a broad enough scale, it causes very painful retaliation.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Bullshit (none / 0) (#217)
by kosuri on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 03:00:37 PM EST

immigrants come into the US with no native language skills, little education, and then two generations later
That's a load of crap. Typically, it only takes one generation, not two.


--
I'm glad that when this story goes down this stupid comment will go with it. -- thankyougustad, 11/23/2005
[ Parent ]

My mistake:) $ (none / 0) (#224)
by trhurler on Tue Mar 21, 2006 at 01:53:53 AM EST



--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
The term Meritocracy (none / 1) (#232)
by The Diary Section on Sun Mar 26, 2006 at 10:01:17 PM EST

is an ironic term coined by Michael Young in his criticism of the British education system which sorted children by an examination the outcome of which was dictated more by social class than ability.

He was joking.
Spend 10 minutes in the company of an American and you end up feeling like a Keats or a Shelley: Thin, brilliant, suave, and desperate for industrial-scale quantities of opium.
[ Parent ]

That's working out so well... (2.33 / 3) (#169)
by skyknight on Thu Mar 16, 2006 at 11:18:38 PM EST

in the Israel/Palestine conflict, and the Russia/Chechnya conflict, and every other conflict where appalling actions are avenged with appalling actions in perpetuity.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
SA != Zimbabwe, so (none / 0) (#176)
by livus on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 04:50:13 AM EST

I find your comparisons just a little over the top. However, I see your general point. How about the Wars of the Roses?

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]
In any case... (2.50 / 2) (#180)
by skyknight on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 07:32:39 AM EST

it's not clear to me that past injustices are good justification for future injustices, especially when the retribution is inflicted not necessarily on the transgressors of yore, but rather on people who simply happen to be male and white. This "pay it forward" mentality for atrocities is what keeps the world in a constant state of violent pandemonium. There are conflicts raging all over the world for which nobody remembers why they started. They only remember that they are continuing because of the people who were wronged last week.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Dude, (none / 1) (#194)
by livus on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 04:33:23 PM EST

we're talking about some people losing their jobs due to social reforms. The author of this article has found a new one already.

To hear the hysteria here anyone'd think Mugabe was in charge and that we were talking about revenge massacres and that the author of this article had his arm cut off or something.

I'm not saying that "past injustices are good justification for future injustices", I'm just saying that the motivating force behind all this isn't revenge but rather an attempt to create massive social change in a short space of time. It sucks to be at the wrong end of it, but there's hardly a baffling mystery as to why it would happen.

As for not knowing why they're doing it... Apartheid ended in 1994.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]

SA at present != Zimbabwe (none / 1) (#211)
by LilDebbie on Sun Mar 19, 2006 at 02:07:57 PM EST

That equality being the sort of thing we'd like to avoid by not perpetuating the conflict.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
What's that got to do with *him*? (none / 0) (#205)
by smithmc on Sat Mar 18, 2006 at 06:52:35 PM EST

This, IMO, is one of the great dangers of society - when we start thinking about "classes" of people, and "class equity" and such, and forget that such "classes" do not exist in fact - that we are all individuals.

[ Parent ]
*He* wasn't just talking about *him* (none / 1) (#206)
by livus on Sat Mar 18, 2006 at 07:04:09 PM EST

moreover, the C20-21 project of seeing ourselves as  Individual Special Snowflakes is all very well but it doesn't change the fact of group identification, and it certainly doesn't change the fact that the situation he's in now is a product of the worst excesses of group/class/"race" based identification.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]
The social contract is broken long time ago. (2.75 / 4) (#129)
by svampa on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 08:51:10 PM EST

Once upon the time people would join in groups to protect themselves helping one each other. Members would agree to get rid of some freedom in exchange for some security, and the group would accept them in order to become bigger and thus stronger and safer. (That is why countries want to join to European Union, and EU wants to get bigger).

But that was long time ago, nowadays there is nothing like a society or a country, this is a jungle. Being a citizen of a country means very little. We are not useful citizens willing to help our society or country any more, we are just a product: Labour. With the same feature, the cheaper, the better... and in an overcrowded market.

don't blame black men or women, they are just playing with us. You are more expensive than a black man, or a white woman, or someone with a disability. The theory is that we are in the same society, so we must help the weakest. The facts are that neither the weakest, neither the black man, neither you matter. All you are just working horses for the new feudal masters: Companies.

Bad news, from now on, your country couldn't care less whether you live in a house or in the street, or get ill or die of hunger. your country doesn't think has any duty to you or to your family, or at least thinks the corporations have higher priority. You don't belong to the society any more, (so your family doesn't).

Good news, from now on you don't have any duty to your country anymore. Now, be calm and cool, and think of it the consecuences of that fact and how it must affect you future behavior.

Some posibilities for you:

  • Join the army. (or the police) Not too much, but you will have regular incomes. And probably things wil turn harsher. It is a good idea to be in the strongest side.
  • Become a drug dealer, you will earn good money. Forget any moral qualms, you must feed your family, and nobody cares whether they live or die. The drawback is that it may be dangerous.
  • Stop trying to support a modern standard of living. Buy a plot and grow something, try to sell what you grown, but if you can't you always will have something to eat.
  • I know it is sad "I haven't taken a degree in xxxx to become ..." but that is how things are.

    If you are lucky and find a new job, remember: It is a temporal state, you are not lucky, you are being used and abused...temporally... no matter how good you are at your work or how hard you work, in a few months or years they will fire you because... just because they say so.

    Here is also an interesting story about corporation's policy Politics-Oriented Software Development and a comment about



    Here's an idea (2.33 / 3) (#192)
    by chroma on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 04:06:19 PM EST

    Just start putting down on the application forms that you're black. Across the top of your resumé put "I am a proud black man" in a large font.

    Would you consider leaving SA? (none / 1) (#202)
    by nlscb on Sat Mar 18, 2006 at 01:17:44 AM EST

    I don't know much about the details, but Canada is booming right now. I get the distinct impression from my friends that at least around Toronto and Alberta, getting a job isn't a problem. I realize that they do have restrictive immigration laws, but I am pretty damn sure that they are much less restrictive than the US and probably the UK and Australia. Obviously, leaving SA would be very traumatic - but it sounds like its time to pull out all the stops in your case.

    Again, I don't know much about how one actually does this. I may be wrong about Canada. Any K5ers out there now which country out there has the best balance of generous immigration laws and good economic growth (don't say Scandanavia - that's bullshit, especially given his profession)?

    Comment Search has returned - Like a beaten wife, I am pathetically grateful. - mr strange

    D'oh! Wish I had read the other threads ... (none / 0) (#204)
    by nlscb on Sat Mar 18, 2006 at 02:55:19 AM EST

    Well, I still think Canada might be worth your time looking into, especially if you are in the media business (it's kinda of a two for one deal - you get the Canadian and US market in which to sell your skills).

    Comment Search has returned - Like a beaten wife, I am pathetically grateful. - mr strange
    [ Parent ]

    Calgary is great for job seekers (none / 0) (#233)
    by rebelcan on Tue Mar 28, 2006 at 05:04:20 PM EST

    I'll back up that claim about Alberta. Especially in Calgary. Getting a job in Calgary requires walking into any place that employs people and asking for a job. Calgary is suffering from urban sprawl.

    I've heard several times that managers ( at nearly all levels of employment, from fast food to the high tech sectors ) simply can not afford to lose people because the chances of them filling that spot are very slim. I cousin of mine who lives in Calgary ( I live in Vancouver, BC ) told me that at his old job at a fast food restaurant, he was able to skip work for days at a time and not have to worry about being fired.

    As tempting as it sounds though, I'm not going to test these employment rumours myself. I like the Lower Mainland too much. Half an hour from several awesome ski slopes in the winter, and great parks and beaches in the summer makes the Lower Mainland a great place to live. Just as long as you can put up with the rainy season ( also known as the 350 days of rain ). Plus I feel too exposed out on the plains.


    =============================
    God is dead -- Nietzsche
    Nietzsche is dead -- God
    but Zombie Nietzsche lives! -- Zombie Nietzsche
    [ Parent ]

    It could be worse. (2.00 / 3) (#228)
    by crunchycookies on Wed Mar 22, 2006 at 03:22:30 PM EST

    If I read you correctly, you do not object to the elimination of Apartheid. If so, then good for you. You surely realize that Apartheid had to go or the situation would surely have gotten far worse.

    However, you are the beneficiary of the Apartheid system. Your education and middle-class existence was provided for by the system that you grew up in. You are the beneficiary of the crimes of those that came before you. You are not guilty of this but you will have to pay the price. That is one of the consequences of these horrible systems.

    You can take heart that things will get better for you and your family. The social pressures that were building to an explosion are being slowly relieved. This can only be a good thing. What you are experiencing is the pain of releasing those pressures. I urge you to hang in because it will get better. This is much like what we experienced in the US.

    Things could be far worse. Your country could have been controlled by reactionary forces that believed that whites had a right to be on top and Africans must be relegated to the bottom. You can see this playing out in Israel. Be thankful that the last Apartheid leaders realized that the era of the racist state was over. Things will get better for SA as things get worse for Israel. The Israelis still think that their problems are due to the Palestinians and not due to their own racism. Be thankful that SA is different.



    Bullshit (none / 0) (#229)
    by New Me on Wed Mar 22, 2006 at 04:33:40 PM EST

    Arab Israelis can vote & be voted for. There are quite a few Arab members of parliament in the Israeli Knesset.

    They participate in all ranks of government, the courts, police, education system, military and others.

    The Palestinian Territories is a mistake that will soon be corrected, as is evident by Sharon's, and now Olmert's, actions (Gaza disengagement, the coming west-bank disengagement).

    An independent Palestine is only a matter of time, and is supported by the vast majority of Israelis.

    While some similarities exists, there is a huge difference between apartheid SA and Israel, just like there was a huge difference between Nazi Germany and apartheid SA.

    --
    "He hallucinated, freaked out, his aneurysm popped, and he died. Happened to me once." --Lode Runner
    [ Parent ]

    Honestly, who didn't see this coming ? (none / 0) (#231)
    by Maserati on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 12:55:48 AM EST

    Yes, it's unfair to these guys. Few of them were even in college when Apartheid ended and so had no guilt. The sins of the fathers are being visited upon these guys.

    Payback's a bitch.

    --

    For the wise a hint, for the fool a stick.

    Retrenchment 101: a User's Guide | 234 comments (217 topical, 17 editorial, 3 hidden)
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