Some say blacks are all the same

2011-03-26 09:10

A friend of mine, a high school teacher, invited me to speak to his pupils, all of whom will be voting for the first time in the May local government elections.

During the question-and-answer session, one of the pupils asked: “I understand the importance of voting as a citizen, but aren’t all black politicians the same?” I then asked her what she meant by “the same”, to which she replied: “Aren’t all black politicians just corrupt?”

Disturbed by her question, I nevertheless tried to make her realise that there were many honest, hard-working black people out there, including politicians, who serve our country with diligence and loyalty, and who could be regarded as positive role models.

The ruling party must carry the bulk of the blame for the current state of black life, but the nature and complexity of the problems that blacks face will require a much broader approach to leadership – one that will enable blacks to work together towards their own development and that of their country, regardless of affiliations.

Is the current crop of black leaders capable of providing this?

By managing our country and its various institutions in a manner that erodes the dignity of the very people they are supposed to affirm, black youngsters are getting the message that blackness and excellence do not go together.

If we are really in charge of our country we must take responsibility and manage our affairs in a manner that will make blackness synonymous with excellence.

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