I too, am an African

2013-09-22 14:00

Martin Labuschagne

via email

Percy Mabandu’s column – I’ll hit you if you call me black African – published on September 15 2013 refers.

As a white African, I take exception to the author’s narrow-minded and illogical arguments on what constitutes an African.

Mabandu does not disclose why he is more African than I.

My family has been living in Africa for three centuries and I know no other home than South Africa. This is the land of my forefathers and foremothers.

I also do not hold any dual citizenship. Denying me the status of native is simply disingenuous.

What else am I then? A tourist?

It also contradicts the Constitution’s guarantee that South Africa belongs to all who live in it. I have never encountered an official form where you have a choice to mark yourself “white African” or “black African”.

Official forms give you the option to categorise yourself as one of the following: white, coloured, Indian or African.

These forms have already decided on my identity, namely that I am not an African, but a white.

Would it not be more democratic and fair if every ethnic group in South Africa was allowed to vote on how they want themselves to be referred to?

In any event, white is not a racial group; it is a colour. The correct description of white people is Caucasian and therefore the official definition is wrong.

African conservatives and nationalists must wake up to the reality that Africa has irreversibly changed. There are now Caucasian, Asian, coloured and Indian Africans living in Africa, just as there are now black people living in Europe. In other words, black Europeans.

I sincerely hope minorities and progressive black Africans will start raising their voices against this subtle form of racism.

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