Chris Moerdyk

Doomed to be doggone racists forever?

2012-12-31 11:29

Chris Moerdyk

South Africa is just about to go into its 19th year of so-called non-racial democracy but we still seem to be as race-obsessed ever and frankly, given the way our government is elected, I am not convinced we are actually that much of a democracy either.

But, what really gets my goat is the way in which racism is being perpetuated to the point where we are no more a non-racial society than we were in the darkest days of apartheid.

Somehow there seems to be a conscious effort on the part of those sections of society we are supposed to trust - government and business - to keep racism alive.

Quite apart from President Jacob Zuma's utterly ludicrous comments about owning dogs being a "white" thing, there are daily comments by politicians banging on about skin colour. In business, in sport, in just about everything you can imagine.

Business is no better with its patronising politically correct advertising showing all of South Africa's races having a jolly time together whether they are drinking beer, watching sport or just plain shopping.

And as I have mentioned ad nauseam, worst of all, our marketers still insist on the media providing them with data based on blacks, whites, coloureds and Indians, despite this information having become completely redundant by the country's consumer/media research body  20 years ago.

The point is that racism in South Africa will not disappear as long as political idiots and business morons keep highlighting skin colour.

Different cultures one can understand as being relevant, but different skin colour another.

For example, not all people with black skins follow an indigenous African culture. There are millions of black South Africans who own dogs, go shopping for designer clothing, cars, jewellery and all those things that are associated with places like the USA and Europe.

There are also a lot of white people who don't. Who live in rural societies leading simple lives, drinking home brews made from fruit and cooking over open fires.

So it is ridiculous in my opinion for anyone, especially our president and captains of industry to talk about "blacks" and "whites" as though all blacks and all whites behave in precisely the same away.

There is no worse generalisation than lumping people together by skin colour.

I absolutely refute the argument that it is important for government to have access to statistics based on skin colour.

If we are supposed to be a non-racial democracy - words used in our constitution and for that matter by the ANC - then isn't it time we started behaving like one? And the only way we can behave like a non-racial democracy is to take race out of our democracy.

And that starts with the president and the governing party. Because the longer we keep harping on skin colour the quicker this country will go to the dogs.
      
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