Name any prejudice, we will speak it

2011-03-26 09:08

The recent statements by Jimmy Manyi and Kuli Roberts arise in the context of other challenges: racial attacks, xenophobia, misogyny and homophobia.

We are a nation of racists, bigots and discriminators.

Sharpened by 350 years of colonialism and 50 years of apartheid, we are fascinated with “race”, “ethnicity”, skin colour, tightness of hair, foreigners and sexuality.

We have names for everyone who is different from us: “darkie”, “honky”, “bruin ou”, “makwerekwere”, “moffie”. We are all guilty, it’s part of the national discourse.

I don’t think most “blacks” are bothered by “whites” who don’t like them. The real issue is not prejudice, but the material and psychological consequences of being defined as the “other”.

Manyi expressed a view that is common currency in taverns, at dinner tables and on factory floors. Blacks cannot be racists, but they can be bigots, xenophobes, homophobes and anti-semites.

Manyi wants to make an economic claim premised on hierarchies of oppression.

We cannot build non-racialism by ignoring the fact that claims to identities are linked to resources and power. Let us not accept Manyi’s terms of debate.

We are all Africans.

We are all coloureds. If he wants to go down that road, then we need new racial classification legislation to decide who is “purely” indigenous, who is “coloured” and who is “white”.

Such fascism can never be tolerated.

The ANC must fire its latent fascists, regardless of their positions in government.

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