Disgrace

A Disgraceful Cycle College

“It is not politically correct to talk about white, poor people,” advised a senior official of Solidarity, a prominent South African trade union, during a visit of President Jacob Zuma to the impoverished white community of Bethlehem (Evans). Under the system of Apartheid, “there was an implicit promise that all whites would be guaranteed a basic minimum standard of living” (“Afrikaners Hit Bottom”). This standard of living, however, was often supplied at the expense of the black majority; for that group, Apartheid offered restrictions of all kinds, running the gamut from systematic employment discrimination to prohibition of visits to museums (Slessor). With the abolition of Apartheid, it was clear that these restrictions, amongst many others, would have to disappear. Indeed, since 1994, South Africa has made strides toward empowerment of the majority; National Assembly membership, which was exclusively white less than 20 years ago, is now primarily black, and between 2007 and 2008 alone, 16.8% of all black households migrated into the high-income category of 100,000 to 300,000 South African Rand (“High-income black households show dramatic growth”).

Interestingly enough, though, this black empowerment has at times come at the...

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