Indeed atrocious behaviour and the incidents that transpired from the DA march versus COSATU is one that threatens to shutter any faith in our so called leaders ability to host such sensitive conversations about service delivery at a diplomatic and intellectual level and I cringed with disgust as images were broadcast in rapid succession of people getting injured in the bloody confrontation as the workers union members allegedly attacked opposition party, the Democratic Alliance marchers. Many innocent people were injured were injured and this is a shame.
But my true concern lies with the prevailing assumption that the DA is mere masters behind the black puppets. Many reported to social networks such as Twitter to draw gross parallels between black people in support of the DA in the march as ones very similar to black people involved in the so called black on black violence as the white master engineered everything intelligently from the shadows during Apartheid. Such sentiments were echoed by Zwelinzima Vavi in his interview later yesterday on SA fm,as he expressed concern at the DA s usage of “uneducated black people as human shields”. It is unclear whether his claims of the DA supporters being uneducated were factual and whether aggressive COSATU members that resorted to turning the whole democratic process into a rock concert through displaying questionable behaviour were in fact educated. I would like to draw attention to the fact that the constant claim that black people are being used has extremely serious implications on the manner in which not just black South Africans, but the leaders reflect on themselves. It is underlain by salient assumptions of black people being un intelligent beings with limited insight ,who are eternally subject to exploitation because well, they are unable to think for themselves.
This very sentiment was invoked back when COPE’s official name was contested by the leading party, the ANC and COPE, due to its historical association and relevance to the ANC.It was said that people will “confused”. I am concerned at the failure of our leaders to often entertain different perspectives where they think more broadly about some of their prevalent ideas and how these can sabotage Steve Biko’s legacy on invoking a positive sense of self amongst Africans. I argue that the continuing portrayal of black people as weak and unable to think for themselves sabotages our very essence of emancipated nation if we constantly question the ability of its citizens to be rational adults who are in a position to make mature and informed political decision. The arrogant idea is that we have to be babysat and guarded against smart vultures who will take granted of our ignorance. To what extent to these widespread notion and political arguments conform to the defaming black people stereotypes?
Furthermore, It is appalling that such ideas are prevalent amongst black youth as well, the pessimistic self reflection as mere agents for other people’s ulterior motives. It is not whether the DA did in fact use black people as human shields or not, however nasty the whole argument is that I am concerned with but rather the continuous conceptions on black people as automatic victims and inferior lapdogs. It is repulsive and offensive and very sad to see this card being played for political gain but our leaders. I feel as South Africans; we should rigidly rebuke this and question our pessimistic political outlook.