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Repost? White S. Afr Family "Slumming" With Blacks

 
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CherryBlossom View Drop Down
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    Posted: Sep 20 2013 at 2:23pm
AFRICA  POVERTY PICS

White South African Family Moves to Slums to Experience Poverty, Sparks Controversy

Photo via http://mamelodiforamonth.co.za/

Photo via http://mamelodiforamonth.co.za/

It seems like everyone and their mama wants to walk a mile in poor people’s shoes. From Panera Bread CEO Ron Shaich’s commitment to live on $4.50 a day to highlight food insecurity, to Cory Booker’s Food Stamp challenge, many are using their notoriety to draw attention to larger issues. But what about those who are just curious to see what povertyfeels like?

Recently, a White South African family traded their cushy suburban digs to see how their poorest countrymen live.

Julian and Ena Hewitt moved (along with their two daughters) just six miles away from their gated estate in Pretoria, to a tiny shack in Phomolong, a densely packed shantytown. The Hewitt’s blogged about their “experiment in radical empathy,” which found the middle-class family living next door to their part-time housekeeper (let that sink in) in one room house with no electricity or running water.

“Like so many people in South Africa, we live in a bubble,” Ena Hewitt explained the reason for the move, “We wanted to get outside that bubble.”

The Hewitts spent the month of August slumming it and documenting their experience, which divided many in South Africa. While some commended the family for daring to give up the comforts of home to live with only the basics (food, clothing, and shelter), others derided the couple for their experiment. Many felt the attention the Hewitts received only further highlighted the disparities in poverty rates among Black and White South Africans, noting that poor Black South Africans are wholly invisible until they are being gawked at by tourists or their White compatriots looking to see what it’s like to be poor.

The New York Times reported on a range of responses the Hewitts received:

Busi Dlamini, executive director of Dignity International, a rights group, said that the Hewitts’ motives were clearly noble, but that their experiment in township living was bound to be fraught given the history of South Africa.

“It is what I call poverty pornography,” Ms. Dlamini said. “They put themselves at the center of the narrative that reinforces the centrality of whiteness in South Africa.”

Osiame Molefe, a writer who is working on a book about race relations in South Africa, wrote in an e-mail that “the Hewitts’ empathy project is a performance of the privilege of being relatively wealthy and white.” He added: “They have sought out, won and accepted sympathy and praise for living the hardships others experience daily without receiving the commensurate plaudits.”

Unlike others who want to help, the Hewitts did not choose donate money, build homes, or start a school; their experiment was personal.

Photo via http://mamelodiforamonth.co.za/

Photo via http://mamelodiforamonth.co.za/

“We’re doing it for ourselves,” Mr. Hewitt explained, “We’re doing it to change ourselves.”

Because of its horrific history of apartheid, South Africa still struggles with deep racial divides. Even poor residents live in racially homogeneous districts, keeping the country’s poor White and poor Black residents apart.

Although their parents were horrified by their move, the Hewitts wanted to cross the racial divide and expose their daughters to South Africa’s Black residents. While they are back home, the Hewitts say they will continue to keep in contact with their former township neighbors.

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mizzsandra00 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (5) Thanks(5)   Quote mizzsandra00 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 20 2013 at 2:31pm
The experience isnt the same when you have the option to suddenly not be poor.....I also agree with the quote.....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote yurika975 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 20 2013 at 2:39pm
So that's the housekeeper? And instead of seeing how she is living and giving the woman a raise and working on the issue they come and "slum" and say oh I'm not elitist or .....the words....the words...this is just...Arrgggg....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (4) Thanks(4)   Quote blaquefoxx Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 20 2013 at 2:42pm
Why can't they just go back to Mount Seir or back into the caves? If they want to have a humbling experience, they can start by giving back all the land, possessions and identities their forefathers stole from the rest of the planetErmm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rumbera Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 20 2013 at 2:47pm
i hate yt people like this...
 
this brings back memories of yt tourist always wanting to "have the real experience of the people"....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote Wildfire Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 20 2013 at 3:02pm
Originally posted by blaquefoxx blaquefoxx wrote:

Why can't they just go back to Mount Seir or back into the caves? If they want to have a humbling experience, they can start by giving back all the land, possessions and identities their forefathers stole from the rest of the planetErmm


This. Disingenuous, self-serving
Fckrs.




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CherryBlossom View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CherryBlossom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 20 2013 at 4:00pm
Originally posted by Wildfire Wildfire wrote:

Originally posted by blaquefoxx blaquefoxx wrote:

Why can't they just go back to Mount Seir or back into the caves? If they want to have a humbling experience, they can start by giving back all the land, possessions and identities their forefathers stole from the rest of the planetErmm


This. Disingenuous, self-serving
Fckrs.




+1
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (4) Thanks(4)   Quote Az~Maverick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 20 2013 at 4:05pm
Disgusting....

So tired of haoles treating poor areas like it's a damn field trip.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote kfoxx1998 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 20 2013 at 4:06pm
I don't even want to talk about this.

*puts head in hands*

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (5) Thanks(5)   Quote petiteone29 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 20 2013 at 4:13pm
oh puh-leez!

how is anyone benefiting from their little experiment??

i wish that family would not have agreed to this

i wonder what the reaction would be if a poor black family asked a rich white family to let them experience what being rich white and privileged was like

black people are too welcoming sometimes
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