Howard Feldman

Why I won't wear black to support white farmers

2017-10-30 06:50
A farmer observes the names of farmers killed in farm attacks at the Wall of Remembrance in Nampo Park in Bothaville, Free State. (Amanda Khoza/News24)

A farmer observes the names of farmers killed in farm attacks at the Wall of Remembrance in Nampo Park in Bothaville, Free State. (Amanda Khoza/News24)

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I won't be wearing black for the murdered white farmers. I won't be signing the petition to create awareness and I won't be sharing pictures of blood splattered walls on my Facebook page.

I won't be doing this because I believe that it is wrong to do so, and this is why.

South Africa has one of the highest murder rates in the world. All races of South Africans are murdered every day and in alarming numbers – white farmers and black ones and white plumbers and black ones and white doctors and black ones. White school teachers and black teachers and white moms and black ones and homeless people of all races. South Africans are being murdered each day.

Their colour and vocation are not relevant.

At least not to me.

And that's why I won't wear black for white farmers.

27 years ago a member of my family was murdered in a home invasion. To this day the subject is too painful for some of us to speak of. The family might have gathered itself and moved forward, but the pain and the loss and the horror are a precariously closed wound that might burst at any time, reminding us all of the day that changed our lives.

She was white. But she wasn't a farmer.

And I don't need to wear black for her.

President Jacob Zuma has tried his best to racially divide the nation. He has used this tactic against the people he was elected to serve: all South Africans of all races.

The term "white monopoly capital" has been used to cause further resentment and anger in a country that struggles with race identity and its past. This strategy has allowed the government to continue to plunder the resources of country.

He has used our race against us.

I am devastated that farmers are being murdered. And that they feel that no one cares. I am just not confident that highlighting a racial group will do more good than bad. I am worried that it sends a message to fellow South Africans that their lives might be worth less because they are not white or they are not a famer.

South Africans need to stand up to government to demand that crime is dealt with. For all of us. For each and every South African.

Including white farmers.

- Feldman is the author of Carry on Baggage and Tightrope and the afternoon drive show presenter on Chai FM.

Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. 

Read more on:    farm murders  |  government  |  murder
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