Not black like me

2009-02-04 00:00

Dear Lee-Anne [Manas], Vuyo [Mbuli] and the SABC,

With regard to the letter read out by yourselves recently from the Hispanic American lady regarding the origins of Barack Obama and his race group, I think she has a point.

Obama and Lewis Hamilton are from a mixed race between a white mother and a black father, thus making them in South Africa coloured males. However, in this country this is not always the case.

Too often the coloured population is disregarded as an authentic race in South Africa. Who gave the black population the right to adopt us as their own, when it conveniently benefits them? I deal a lot with the state in terms of business and to register with the state one has to fill out entity forms that have a column which clearly requires one to identify yourself in terms of racial group: I for Indian, C for coloured, B for black and W for white, and probably soon they will put CH for Chinese. When one goes to the police station to report a crime one has to clearly stipulate which racial group was the perpetrator.

So why is it that we differ when it’s convenient? When Chester Williams, Breyton Paulse and Bryan Habana won the South African rugby player of the year awards they were branded as blacks, as well as when Habana won the world player of the year award. In essence, no black man has won the rugby player of the year award yet.

The coloured and black populations in South Africa are clearly two different race groups in terms of values, culture, etc. We even have different diets; we still enjoy our koeksisters on Sunday mornings. The only bond between us is one which happened 300 years ago and even then it was between two racial groups, so why don’t they call us whites as some of us are whiter than the whites. Some of us are the mixture of Indian and coloured, Indian and white, coloured and white, coloured and Chinese, Chinese and Chinese and so on.

The coloured man has achieved much recently and should be credited for his achievements. The Brazilian soccer team are mostly coloured folks, the Botswana president is coloured, Hamilton is coloured, and the most powerful man in the world, Obama, is coloured. If the ANC got its act together it could have a coloured man who can lead it with integrity, vision and great leadership, namely Trevor Manuel.

If the entire world has realised that a coloured man can lead them forward don’t you think [that] it’s time for the SABC to at least put one coloured [person] on Morning Live during the week? I’ve watched your show since its inception and as much as you preach rainbow nation, it’s still black and white. If Lee-Anne resigns she will be replaced by another white person, If Vuyo resigns he too will be replaced with a black person and this has been happening for years. Almost 90% of your adverts are black and white.

On one occasion your TV licence guys turned up at my door and asked why I didn’t pay, to which I responded, “I bought a colour TV and only see black and white on it.” Why don’t you have all four races represented in the morning? It becomes very difficult for me to explain to my sons why you people have such disregard for his race group, a race group that I am proud of, and this is the motive for this letter.

We are two different race groups. We live in a country where it feels as though someone waved a magic wand and everybody forgot that there are coloured people living here. Please don’t forget to take the Brazilian team to visit their brothers in Eldorado Park, Wentworth and Manenburg when they jet in for the [Fifa] Confederation Cup and [2010 Soccer] World Cup, as the only place famous people are taken to is Soweto. Maybe also have a good look at them and try to see the difference, you will be astonished.

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