Do We Have The Right Recipe For Racism In South Africa?

It has been twenty-two years since South Africa achieved democracy, but to what extent did it limit the spread of racism within different racial groups in?
There’s no doubt that racism exists in society. Moreover, it is not a secret that measures are taken to champion this evil belief. The question then becomes, are we using the right strategies against racism? The answer is NO.
 The government of South Africa  and other stakeholders have and are still preaching “love and tolerance” to all citizens of this country. That alone is not good enough, you cannot teach love to someone who have been taught to hate a black man from an early age, who grew up with the knowledge that black people are dangerous and are less human. Love and tolerance are essential, but they  cannot achieve the aim of fighting racism alone.
 Firstly a couple of things have to be conceded to.
We are different, there are the fortunate ones and the marginalised.
 The only reason why it is easy for whites e.g. Penny Sparrow to discriminate against blacks it’s because she knows she not dependent on blacks. This might sound crazy but it’s true. Unlike blacks, when you think about making the same remarks about Whites, you think of the tax they are contributing in making sure your water or electricity  supply is subsidised. Even if they do not make it clearer their actions tell all. This was evident in the #FeesMustFall campaign when a question of whether or not should we urge business and the elite groups to aid free education? They were quick to jump and say “we are already supporting half the population.” This not only undermines the poor, but it puts them under pressure to a point  in which they think them being oppressed is okay. Until we embrace our differences and come up with solutions to remove the marginalised from this dark cloud of White dominance, we won’t achieve our aim.
White people are undermining blacks, mostly who are disadvantaged. In farms specifically, a black man is equivalent to a slave, this happens in two ways. Firstly, you grow up as a White child never seen a white man sweeping the yard at your home, driving the tractor or working with the vegetables. Then, on the other hand, a black man is the one doing that. What does that teach you as a child? It teaches you to undermine the black man, it teaches you that they aren’t capable of working in offices. Even if you can see one or two in the office,the fact is a conclusion that they work there because of the Affirmative Action is more likely to be reached by a White child. Secondly, there’s no truth in the democracy we applaud so much. As black people, we were told that we do have democracy, rights and etc, but one thing which I think is vital is not mentioned is economical power and influence. Here’s a statement, ” for you to be able to exercise your rights fully you need economical backing” e.g. if I am a worker at a farm and I’m not paid end of the month, for me to report the incident I need to make sure that if it happens I get fired I will be able to sustain myself. If I cannot, it means I cannot report the crime also. But if I had economically backing, I am more likely to sue the farmer and move on without thinking of what I stand to lose.  Therefore, it should be common for blacks to be associated with success, but how under this cloud?
Blacks who are rich have forged an elite group with whites for some reason. There’s a growing trend of black people emulating the whites. This is done for two reasons. Firstly to show the whites that “I’m different from the other blacks.” Secondly to win a sense of recognition from the white community. Continuing doing so is bad for us as blacks because at the end of the day whites alone are smiling, celebrating that blacks cannot tolerate one another. Why does it happen that we fix the streets of Randburg as government but we continuously fail to build houses in Kliptown? Those in government live in Sandton, they have entered the elite group with whites, they care less about what is happening in Kliptown. Also until this is corrected the fight against racism will never be achieved.
In conclusion, I’m not saying preaching love and tolerance don’t work, what I’m saying is that they cannot work alone. Moreover,  they should be last on our list. When building a house you don’t start by putting a roof without a foundation. But this is what happened when we achieved Freedom in 1994. Furthermore, people like Penny Sparrow should not be given the platform to shine when they express views of racism. Remember the reason why in football matches fans who jump into the field are no longer displayed on camera is because it was learnt that they seek attention since a decision that they will not be displayed had been undertaken they are no longer doing it. Even for Penny, it was a publicity stunt that seeks to cause harm.
Note: This article does not necessarily  reflect the views of Mamelodi Happenings
By: Paul Ntshangase. 
Edited by: Fortunate Machaba

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