For Mboweni's growth plan to succeed the ANC has to give up certain dogmatic positions that were formulated when 7% growth was the status quo, writes Adriaan Basson.
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The requirement to remain dignified and meek in the face of racism is becoming a huge ask. Black anger in the face of all this is righteous and justified, writes Zenoyise John.
Recently, social media exploded into a blaze after some
black people expressed delight over the death of four white kids in the Hoërskool
Driehoek tragedy where a walkway collapsed at the school, killing the children.
Those who expressed joy over the incident were met with
floods of rebuke from both black and white people who viewed their
comments as inhumane and devoid of Ubuntu.
The Hoërskool Driehoek incident has put a spotlight on
unaddressed black anger ensuing from years of apartheid
and failure to have authentic conversations about its legacy and impact on
black people's mental health, who are being forced to repress justifiable
feelings of anger and pain. Instead of dismantling the original problem and
confronting the fundamental cause of black anger, some people are reducing the
situation to a lack of Ubuntu.
READ: Mamphela Ramphele - Tackling the resilience of racism in 2019
Yes, any black person worth their salt should subscribe to
the hallmarks of Ubuntu which include forgiveness and grace, but the stubborn
persistence of racial disparity in the wake of democracy has left many black people disheartened
with the narratives of Ubuntu.
Apartheid was a system of white people doing bad things
to black people. It was a system that bred mistrust, fear, envy, rage
and hate. It stripped black people of their dignity, humanity and full
control of their personhood. All their lives blacks have faced
constant, relentless deprivation.
To this day, blacks are still grappling with the
residual effects of apartheid and white people do not dwell within this
space of black trauma. It is a measurable reality that white people are
not subjected to. The requirement to remain dignified and meek in the face of racism
is becoming a huge ask. It is unfair for anyone to dictate the terms on
which blacks must deal with the effects of this sinful system. Black anger in
the face of all this is righteous and justified.
For this anger to subside, I submit that it is necessary for
black people to be afforded a safe space to have genuine conversations about
its roots. I'm not encouraging violence as the answer. I'm advocating
honesty, including the frank feeling and healthy expression of emotion. We
need to be sincere about our own capacity to forgive.
Unfortunately, many people including blacks themselves are unprepared
and unwilling to have a brave conversation about this issue. White people ought
to do introspection and explore the ways in which they are cosy with white
systemic and institutional power and privilege and confront them.
Since the dawn of democracy, we have been required to
forgive unconditionally and suppress our emotion. This is unnatural and
unhealthy behaviour. We have been forced to mask anger, pain and upset to
protect the feelings of white people, who have repeatedly failed to
self-reflect on their privilege and to apologise fulsomely for their
ALSO READ: Max du Preez - When will we be released from the burden of racism?
Those who have expressed anger at the status quo have
suffered hostile consequences including losing their jobs, or not
being promoted or hired at all. This has affected their livelihood and
well-being. In fear, many blacks have been turned into snitches and stooges for
white people in their effort to protect their income.
The growing frustration with the lack of progress is
manifesting in the increasing popularity of the calls for radical change. As
a result, there is a radical shift in political tone and rhetoric. The
logic is fast moving to identity politics. Anger and pain are pushing
many to even support seriously blemished and callow leaders.
The ruling party is not making matters any better. They
are often hubristic and their greed and obsession with glitter and power are
blinding them to the fundamental issues faced by the people who put them in
power. Their sloppiness has resulted in them failing to enforce a just and
inclusive society as per the party's fundamental principles.
- Zenoyise John is a journalist and a Master's candidate in Journalism.
Follow her on Twitter: @zenoyisej
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