I am the granddaughter of welfare recipients. My parents ascended to the lower middle class and I have climbed higher. When I look at those beneath me in income, I don’t think pull yourselves up by the bootstrap. I think how can I help you up the ladder. What I see above me in income is the tendency for protectionism of wealth and status. A violation of societal norms and a tendency to blame those less fortunate for their laziness. Redistribution is not about punishment or equality. It is about shelter (security), food, health, clean air and water, and education. To do otherwise is wasteful and discards the potential in each human being for the benefit of a few.
One of the couples interviewed for the project, Lali and Sizwe, convey their story with an honest humour and a certain sadness when they discuss taking each other home to meet their parents, or the number of friends and family they’ve lost since they started dating. Sizwe shares an instance when he was arrested throwing a surprise party. “I got arrested, someone claimed it was a drug bust and I said ‘okay cool’. That party was very mixed but only the black people were arrested,” he says in the audio clip. Their story is not a singular one. It shows how far South Africa has come yet still needs to go towards dismantling racial prejudices and embracing interracial dating.