Blacks are to blame for suffering

2015-06-18 06:01

Lumkile Mzukwa

Lumkile Mzukwa

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The article by Pastor Xola Skosana “Gugulethu: A dream deferred” (City bVision 4 June) refers.

It is desperately misrepresenting the current historical context, and neglects the strides we should have made as a black community, to persistently insist on a black discourse that “the carnage in the black society” could be arrested if we “dismantle white power and the preservation of white privilege.”

“No, we cannot continue to accuse white people for everything. We have to sit back, look in the mirror and see the culprit of our misfortune.

Chika Onyeani, in his new book ‘Roar of the African Lion says it is not the whites.

We are responsible for what is happening to us today, he adds.

If our dream is deferred: what is that dream? What are its philosophical underpinnings? Is it in the same philosophical thought that Steve Biko advocated: ‘Vukuzenzele’.

This tireless notion that our inability to rise must always be located in the trauma of the past, serves to debilitate the mind, and shifts our responsibility to be creative as a people.

There is no way we will salvage ourselves if we consistently play “the blame and victim-mentality game.

It is curious to observe that despite what Skosana asserts, out of bGugs has emerged jazz artists, Olympians, a beauty in the Face of Africa competition.

Legends have also emerged in business, and politics.

The ability of the gutter to produce good and evil, great and misery, points to two things: individual self-drive and the efforts of the group.

On the one hand, we cannot let individual power to rise, be stalled, by waiting for the group to rise; while on the other hand, group efforts must be bundled together to uproot the black community from the quagmire of poverty and poor development.

However, the character of the leadership in our black community also determines our ability to rise as a black community.

We will not rise as a black community if we place whites as masters of our black thoughts, and thus our creativity.

There is no doubt in my mind that the misery, the poverty, the inability of the black community to rise, is very much a remnant of the politico-economic design, more so by the Apartheid government.

The world over, throughout time, communities have been subjected to slavery and misery, and it has not been out of magic that they have disentangled themselves from such harrowing experiences.

The world over, these subjugated communities have made a particular decision to rise, and such a rise could not be traced to the haphazardness of action.

In our case, to quote Onyeani again: “It is about accepting responsibility for our actions; it is about playing the same games that others are playing and becoming very successful.”

Unfortunately, from the point of view of our black community, it is in the nature of life that some will have the ability to run, some will walk; but also, it is the responsibility of a group, through an enabling government, to spur more people to run.

It is not all that is required in the equation of black rising, to abdicate our role and have the government as our surrogate – the sole instrument to propel our rise.

It is not all that is required in the equation of black rising, to point our black rise to God.

We cannot burden God with every minute detail of our life; at what point then can we be responsible agents on earth?

This as well speaks to this unsavoury obsession with whites – and white supremacy.

Every breath we take, every misery we see in our black community, every dirty corner we see, every degeneration of youth we observe, we assign that to whites.

This is the very black disingenuousness we must stop covering our townships with.

For once, let us cover our black townships with a black supremacy.

Our ability to be supreme has no bearing on whites being arrogant or supreme; for all that I care, whites can go on being privileged, feeling supreme.

Whites do not have a hold on my greatness. They might have designed townships in a crooked way, but I cannot allow my mind to be also crooked.

I cannot give joy to a town planner, by also allowing him or her to inadvertently plan my mind.

What is exasperating about these thoughts concerning the question of our townships, is the abdication of our role – in particular, the community leaders, of which Pastor Xola Skosana is one.

Without seeming to be casting aspersions on our community leaders, it does not assist both the black cause and course, to spend all one’s energy blaming external factors for our conditions.

What in essence one is saying is that, as blacks, we have a master-mentality.

So long as in our oration we place too much emphasis on arbitrary intervening forces, where none no longer exist, we will endlessly be hamstrung in our ability to think creatively.

There is just no way out propounding past pain, no matter how prodigious it was; what is needed is ingenuity.

There is no illusion on the fact that structural racism and structural exclusion of blacks is still abiding with us, and stymie the social mobility of the majority of blacks.

However, it is this very enduring social arrangement that demands that we have leaders who have ideas to extricate us from this harrowing quagmire.

We have developed a sweet symphony-like oration, sentimentalising black pain to no black solution; and some amongst us have appointed themselves as the sophists on the question of blackness and black conditions, as though we have a unity of thought of what being black is.

The free-for-all-horizon blocked by these antiquated black thoughts has produced numerous self-appointed orators on the question of blackness and black condition, who have taken advantage of the pervasive ignorance about the enormous world that lie beyond the townships.

These blackness and black condition prophets are limiting our view of the numerous ways we could be black, and thus, salvage ourselves.

We ought to be accountable in turning around our black situation. It is unacceptable to create our own hell, and then turn around and say we are living in hell.

Whites – and their supremacy, do not have power, more than we are affording them. We make whites ever so topical in our black situation, despite the fact that we are no longer under their leash.

We are like that horse whose leash is strapped around the children’s chair, and yet cannot walk away because of conditioning.

While the blackness prophets, and some community leaders want us to remain conditioned to believe that whites and God have a handle on us, I pray for the mothers who are showing their children the vast world beyond the towship, to continue working hard to afford the schooling of their children in the suburbs, out of their miserly earning.

The greatness that awaits the townships will not be determined by the sensationalisation of township conditions.

The best our township leaders could do, is to come up with programmes to curtail the cesspool we are already in.

The statistical social-ills must be put into context, and initiatives be devised to arrest our degeneration as a black community.

Let us give God a good break

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