African’ definition mixed us up more

2011-03-26 09:02

The revisionist and contradictory definition of who is an African and who is black, largely at the hands of the governing alliance, has not helped our political discourse post-1994.

Consequently, the more we seek to understand and deal with the challenges of racism, class exploitation and inequality, the more we seem to get confused.

Black Consciousness defines black in political terms and we must decry the corruption of that definition to mean race.

We must find fault in the alliance’s agenda that fostered the notion of liberating “blacks in general, and Africans in particular”, which Trevor Manuel throws about in charging Jimmy Manyi as a racist.

Liberating “Africans in particular” is anathema to a Black Consciousness understanding of oppression and liberation.

Conscious of the fact it is inevitable we will have prejudicial stereotypes as part of human nature, the Azanian People’s Organisation (Azapo) believes we must bust myths or at the very least ensure their positive reconstruction.

On whether black people can be racist, Andile Mngxitama is correct on two levels.

Firstly, victims are simply regurgitating what is essentially white racism and, secondly, being black presupposes a state of consciousness and agency that’s actively opposed to racism.

Politically, he is also correct as Steve Biko reasoned that our analysis of the South African problem must concern itself with group power dynamics and what defines racism. 

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