Dear Black Tax
You are crowding my life is an extremely anal manner might I add!
So I hear you find your origins in the Apartheid regime and that you are the result of privilege being only accessible to the white man. And I think I get that…I get that you are the result of so many black lives who shed blood fighting for a freedom we are grappling to understand in this democratic era. But Black Tax – I have beef with you.
Forgive me if I am to sound like a brat – I will admit that parts of me are actually very foolish but I am a good person. I can now speak good English, thanks to a multi racial school that took the burden of fees on my grandmother who was just a General Assist. I write quite well – so I have been told – I could give credit to my English teacher here but I only passed the language with a 56% pass rate so I think I deserve the applause here. I went to university and the national fund loaned me money to attain two degrees, I went on to the third and dropped it because my stomach politics were greater than the philosophy of the degree – well so I thought. Yet I find myself again grappling with academic lingo that is so confusing – because I want to die a better person than what was expected of me at birth. Here is my issue with you! I did the mainstream thing right, went to school, got a job and got into debt. Now I am working my way out of debt and trying to develop me as well. I am broke, educated, beautiful and wouldn’t mind a ‘blesser’ – in fact I have had so many of them approach me. The bitter taste left in mouth after refusing to engage in any conversation reminds me how your sons are capitalizing our poverty. My self-worth allows me to know that I cannot afford to be sexually taxed so I pass on the offer but it does make me wonder. But have you stopped to wonder about those who haven’t self actualized? I and so many of your sons and daughters have chosen the working hard route – hoping it will payoff but the truth is being a ‘couga’ is easier for your son and is being a blesse for me as your daughter. You want to see that your child is working right?
I have a dream of finishing my studies but I cannot leave work because I have bills to pay but additionally – I have you to service. I have a dream bigger than this desk and loaned laptop but I can’t give them up, because it may just mean I don’t feed you. I have a dream that keeps me awake at night but I can’t share that with you because poverty is still at my doorstep – so I do I go beyond? How do I become better? How do I leave this while knowing that you will spit at my face and tell me how ungrateful I am for all you have done for me? How do I live out my best self and unleash my potential when I know you are expecting me to follow the status-quo?
I fear losing my job and work myself to a pulp. I want to prove my worth but I am losing sense of purpose. I am pursuing your interpretation of success which says I will work for someone until I am 65years old. I am working hard, getting a salary, paying rent, the car and debts and have crumbs left to feed off. These are the same crumbs that I ought to reimburse you with for bringing me into this earth, feeding me, taking me to primary school and then high school and helping me while in varsity even if I have the student loans to feed off. I am a bit pissed off with your thought process. In fact, I am rebelling against you! I agree that I created my own debts including the student loans – I had a point to prove. I had a point to prove to myself and the self confidence I lacked because I watched people dangle their privilege in my eyes. I had such a huge point prove to the family, the community and to whoever cared to listen. I am at cross roads – I want to pay you but I am dying inside – pursuing the linear progression of society. I want to live my dream but it has nothing to do with the education I have – I am scared.
I am scared of not meeting your monthly debit orders, I am scared of not being enough when I can’t feed you. I am scared of losing value in society even though I know that my personal value is on a minus with all the things I have accumulated. I am scared that I may not be worth being called your daughter once I sign the dotted line.
What scares me most is living in death for another 20 more years to be woken up by a retrenchment. I am more scared of losing who I am, not pursuing my passion because it doesn’t look as glamorous in your sight. I am more scared of losing the essence of me, while fitting in.
Dear Black Tax – I am sorry but I am going in blind and hoping it works for the both of us.
Your black daughter seeking to pursue purpose***