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Maudi Obed Maphutha

Racism in an immoral condition in the society we live in

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Given the sudden departure of the AWB leader – Mr. Eugene Terreblache, I am convinced that to some people it is a mission accomplished, particularly the majority of black people who still find it difficult to find closure with past wrongs. From a distance, as a black South African I am convinced that the murder, in retrospective the incidences that led to his death should be mainly accepted amongst black people as a “usual murder.” Much has been said about reconciliation, truth and constructive engagements however, it has always saddened me to hear that “a black person has been thrown into a lion cage” “a black man has been mistaken for a baboon”, “a young Tshepo Matloga has been reported missing” all these situations were things mainly perpetrated by white supremacy.

With that said, the 3rd of April 2010 was a day that South Africans were shaken by the news that one of the white racists particularly an Afrikaner in the Province of North West had been killed, assassination style. The media was very quick to buy into the story, with some newspaper columnist suggesting that the Eugene Terreblanche’s murder was going to compromise our position in the international community. Given all this suggestions and undue threats, one tends to wonder – who this “international community” is. The very same media was eager to brand the late Terreblanche by the nickname ET. I became even more exiting when the suspected assassins were due to appear in court, many white people were quick to make an assumption that the suspects were guilty of murder.

Given such statements, racism is still an active part of South African society. I remember seeing a story on television about a white owned medical surgery in the very same North West, where black and white patients were accommodated in separate waiting areas. With these kinds of practices still rife, it is quite clear that black people in South Africa have no dignity and should never be treated as human beings. Not long ago, a black South African political analyst was embarrassed and harassed by a white supremacist on a live television and such practices, surely continue to take place on a daily basis, be it at our respective workplaces or schooling environments, there is always a group that receives first preferences.  I am sorely disappointed by such perceptions against a black man, by the same people that have subjected our very own ancestors to unfair situation pre 1994, and this conundrum continues to rear its ugly head in the era of democratic dispensation.

It is understood that black people were practically and forcefully enslaved pre 1994, surely that does not suggest that even to this day South Africans should be divided precisely because a black person is perceived as an employee of white men? Regardless of the wealth that a white man has at his disposal, morals remain unchanged, it can never be that a person should be treated as an animal merely because he/she is categorized as being black according to racial classifications or Bantustans, I totally disagree with that principle.

Let me take you back to what happened in the University of Free State where black people were tricked to eating urinary excretion of white students and then later the matter shunned as mere silliness. I want to apply the principle of “Charity begins at home” in this situation. Surely some of us are aware and have grown to accept that our own mothers and fathers should work for a white man as gardeners and house cleaners. Now read this with the principle I have just mentioned. It is clear that if our own mothers continue to work for these Morally and Ethically challenged minority of white racists, they are placed  at a volatile situation and  risk of violent exploitation, which breaks up their morals completely to even speak out to their children about the abuse they continue to encounter everyday in performance of their jobs. We are working hard as black people and yet we learn so hard to accept the fact that a white man remains wealthy and indispensable in his own appearance as a white person. But given the respect that we accord them; does that mean that we have to continue to be exploited in our own demographic territorities because we are merely black indigenous African? I beg to differ to that notion. Whites are fortunate enough to have inherited our own land, which they supposedly use for active economic reasons, over and above, we as black people we are made to work for them merely because we don’t have choices. Just to rub salt on our wounds, much as we have learnt hard to accept that we will be their servants and they will be our master, why are we being equated with baboons, thrown into lion cages? South African law is very lenient on white racists, and I believe this is merely because they are perceived to be superior ethnic groups. Mr. Mark Scott-Crossly, a white supremacist who thrown Mr. Nelson Chisale onto a lion cage few years back was sentenced to serve a term in prison, but only to be released a few years preceding his sentencing, with law makers citing the fact that his behavior warranted his eligibility to parole. I just imagine if it was a black person who had committed such a brutal and unforgivable murder was the same precedence going to be set? In his release from prison after serving 27 years under a white man’s law in 1994, the former President of the State Mr. Nelson Mandela said that, “ never , never and never again, shall a human being be subjected to any form of abuse by another”.

But you ask yourself a question as to how many racial murders were committed since the making of that statement?  The number is so substantial to an extent that if we as the black majority were to start counting, some of our family members, brothers and sisters, would never find closure for such brutal departures of their loved ones. Unless, if it should be accepted as a norm that in South Africa, a white man is the one who has too much privilege than his counterparts. Politicians have worked very hard in an effort to transform the mentality of a white person, particularly black politicians, but it has to thus far, accepted that a white man continue to receive quite a substantial amount of preference and privilege over his black counter parts. In Eugene Terreblanche’s funeral for example, old South African flags were flown on the sky, AWB flags and banners were all over the place, however, it is very interesting to learn that not even our own Rainbow flag was flown in that funeral. This is a clear indication that, South Africa continues to be a divided nation, liberation is only embraced by certain designated groups and the others, are still living in the olden days. But the fact remains, a black man can never be a racist, Period.

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