Deferred conversations ZIPHO MAKHOBA

2016-10-19 06:00

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WHEN one pays attention to the media and literary works, one notices a very biased portrayal of black people.

This has been going on for centuries now, such that blacks seem to have been muted, and to some extent unqualified to promulgate views and opinions regarding their lives, let alone of others (whites).

The foregoing assertion has been registered before by Steve Biko, when he asserted “So many things are said so often to us, about us and for us but very seldom by us.”

Sadistically, these beliefs and values imposed on blacks by media and subtly through literary works had ossified, such that, it seems axiomatic to take them as authentic representation of black culture and ethos.

Mark Twain puts it succinctly, “The trouble with people is not their ignorance, it is the number of things they know that just aren’t so.”

Therefore, the intent of this article is to make pronouncements on the prolonged frustration, fear and agony suffered by whites for having instigated an unequal space.

Of course, my position is informed by a number of reads, studies and observations conducted within and beyond the parameters of our beloved Africa. White people of this country must be extremely frightened about what they did and sporadically continue to do to blacks of this country.

Equally so, they must be extremely livid since blacks are becoming expressively vocal about the injustices and atrocities of the past and its continued legacy.

Of course, many whites would sheepishly refute the above narrative, not on the basis of merits, but pride. This pride which has proved to be an insurmountable obstacle in facilitating real and honest conversations.

We have not been introduced properly to one another, there are lots of conversations we ought to have had, but have not.

I have only highlighted a few causes that are a major impediment to the attainment of the aspirations of both the Freedom Charter and the Constitution.

• Zipho Makhoba is an author, research consultant and social commentator.

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