Firstly let me also say ‘good going’ to @news24 for not tinkering with our posts.
Anyway, after a heated debate there’s that awesome moment amongst mature, intelligent people, when they shrug off their differences and focus on some other BS or serious topic to debate and laugh about – those pics he was posting were most irritating and he knew it, that I’m quite sure of - I wanted to wring that brother’s neck for waving that DA flag the day before we were to reflect on the loss of Ashley Kriel (the Cape Town Freedom Fighter brutally murdered by the past regime) and Steve Biko, it took some doing to remind myself that it was his right to be a fool or a coward or whatever he now wanted to be, I relaxed and kept an eye out for those updates with a wary but beady eye, eventually we moved on and were both better off for the brief argument.
But that was earlier in the week so I was looking forward to another good, boisterous debate with one of those very supportive online friends who shares a similar ideology as me – have you ever had a day or a week where everyone seems to get quickly annoyed with you? or you with them?
Yep, turns out that it was this week and it was all my fault, I’m not sure what started it but something was said and I pushed back with this question, “why do you get so cagey, uncomfortable, when the Coloured question comes up?” I carried on, “Well, I’ve always shared my thoughts on White and Black experiences past and present and yet you avoid to entertain by all means, any discussion concerning Coloured peoples’ experiences and how they fit into the current picture” If I wasn’t aware that I was being annoying and working on his nerves before, I was now fully aware, the long silences gave way to heavy sighs which told me I was touching a nerve, my cup of tea, touched nerves make you think.
Now let me get off this bus for a second and state quite categorically that many Coloured leaders past and present have not painted us in a good light, those in the media spotlight in any case, were quick to put self-interest over and above the best interests of the majority just like the Lucas Mangopes’, Matanzimas’ and the rest of those former homeland leaders. Yes we’ve had the Trevor Manuels at the top but do you really think he’d raise a voice to defend Coloureds exclusion from BEE (yes, in theory they’re there in the policy, but there’s a review of that now, and in practice it looks more bleak) while he enriches himself and defends one policy after another (RDP, Gear, NDP etc) policies that do nothing to address inequality nor even see the implementation stages for that matter.
We’ve had Robert MacBride who readily forgave his former oppressors without being forgiven by them for acts he committed during the freedom struggle, after several minor indiscretions his comrades left him out in the cold to dry, comrades that cannot be trusted.
We have thousands who stood up to the former oppressive regime, people like Ashley Kriel from Cape Town who was hunted down like a dog and murdered, you may not find their images emblazoned on any t-shirts, movies made about their lives etc but they fought a good, brave fight, and won.
In my article ‘Coloured’ http://www.news24.com/MyNews24/Coloured-20130111 I tried to explain that Coloured people have many differing backgrounds, some come from the Malay slaves, some from the Khoi San, and some are mixed proper between Black and White but we have the same experiences, we had to deal with the same question, which side are we related to more?
Everyone has dealt with it differently – some even applied to have their names changed to be more in line with White culture, some reinvented their history, changed their looks, and turned their backs on Colouredhood for good. In theory there should be no segregation between Coloureds and other indigenous groups because the San no doubt lived quite happily and peacefully amongst them in years gone by, but past laws have split us in two and most have accepted that, in fact any such talk by me would quickly have some people whispering that I now wanted to gain undeservedly.
So to my friends, Black, White, and Indians: don’t be afraid to mention the word “Coloured” in my presence even though it was given to me to enslave me - I’m not one of those who will insist you call me ‘African’ (which I am) or ‘Mix-Race’ (which I am), (there’s more pressing problems to address)
Other than being straight-talkers, we Coloureds are a proud lot, a damn proud bunch of people.