Joining Protests tomorrow is not anti-Black people

2017-04-06 09:35

There are two things that never visit human beings equally and timeously – foresight and sense of strategy. Much of the loud noise by black people (and some white people) making self-righteous arguments about this call to action is being about interests of white monopoly capital are a timely reminder that foresight and strategy do not visit us equally and timeously.

I will be the first to submit that some (not all) of the people that are going to participate and probably fund the protest activities are among those I view as enemies of transformation, redress and many other progressive agendas I stand for. However, I will also be the first to admit that some of the organisers and protesters (even those that are white) have worked hard to fight for some justice in spaces of health, education, access to justice and ensuring that the executive upholds the rule of law be it in legislation formulation or appointments to office. The truth is that litigation is an expensive task and some of the organisations branded as “being for white people” have pursued some important court cases to reverse certain appointments by the President and his executive as well as ensure the alignment of certain pieces of legislation with the constitution. These are important and have acted as good brakes in the face of wanton political destruction by the incumbent government.

The truth is that some of the people shouting that black people who join protests tomorrow will be serving white monopoly capital, they too have done very little for the advancement of this country. Some of those people are actually trapped in black middle class privilege, which allows them to be indifferent because even if the country were to collapse they may have some options – to keep jobs (downgrading lifestyle a bit) or move abroad (because they possess sufficient ‘qualifications’ for such). This entrapment in their middle class privilege even makes them to make a mockery of poor South Africans by saying “black people have been poor, we would rather be poor than act with agents of white monopoly capital”. This fails to appreciate the crossroads that our country finds itself in. No matter how meagre the gains have been in providing education, health and social security to black people – if we allow misrule over our country it could all be undone. Governments that face high public debt and increased interest rates (because of becoming junk status in terms of credit ratings get to adopt structural adjustment policies). Those policies in the main get creditors (read foreign powers) to dictate both fiscal and monetary policies of the country.

It does not matter if you are a rating agencies skeptic or not – the fundamental truth is that for as long as we borrow money for development from white monopoly capital abroad we are bound by their rulings. Effectively, they influence our lives. We stand at a crossroads of needing to understand what is more strategically important – saving South Africa from maladministration that could lead us to a state of undesirable living conditions. The executors of the maladministration may long be gone and dead by the time we are hardest hit by their actions. If not gone and dead, they would have amassed enough wealth through corruption to secure themselves in comfort while us fragile and hardworking citizens suffer. It will mean for some of us black middle class people who talk about BLACK TAX, we may not be able to afford that black tax – the consequences of which is dire straits poverty and socioeconomic immobility for people we claim to love. Our families would regress in terms of the developments that they have attained in the past decade or two decades.

I am unwilling to prioritise my ideological beliefs and risk sinking my family into a state of even greater socioeconomic hardship. The love I have and owe to them is such that I must do whatever is within my means to communicate unequivocally that South Africa deserves good governance for the development of our people. The truth is whether you believe in decolonisation, Afrocentrism, Pan-Africanism, etc. and you refuse to partake in popular movements that call for Zuma (as a symbol of misrule, corruption and authoritarianism) to go, you risk having nothing left of a country worth decolonizing. That is very important. If we let this country to go junk, the risks of corruption and misrule even heighten. Believing in a miraculous rise from the ashes that will symbolize a better and more robust future may not always be possible.

We are at a crossroads. Whether we all see this is something else. All I know, fighters of social justice will be out on the streets because ALL forms of injustice should make us tremble with indignation, to paraphrase Comrade Che. This injustice perpetuated by Zuma and accolates – of thieving from the democratic state – is much more alarming because it is betrayal. Betrayal is one of the greatest injustices. These are people who entered into a democratic pact with us, promised to act in our best interests and advance the nation and its constitution. They have chosen to betray that because the person at the helm allows it as he is number one instigator of that betrayal. There is no greater time to stop him than now. We still want to wake up in a country where we can contend meaningfully with issues of redress, transformation, wealth redistribution.

To paint those of us black people who will join protests tomorrow as anti-black, servants of white monopoly capital, sell-outs, treasonous etc. is quite disturbing. We choose not to stand for betrayal of our democratic state values that we choose to ascribe to. We choose to save the country before there might be almost nothing left of it. That there is coincidental convergence on this point with some of our enemies is a strategic point for numbers and possibility for attainment of victory. That victory is not to say the ANC will necessarily recall Zuma as President over the weekend but that victory is igniting a movement of resistance, a movement that will no longer standby idle and only punch away in keyboards to voice frustration, anger and disapproval. A movement that knows there is a limit to courts and parliamentary processes. A movement that knows that popular movements grow and impact on the legitimacy of any sitting government. Eventually, popular movements force the hand of even the most hardened regimes when well coordinated.

Fundamentalism on black issues is more outweighed by fundamentalism to have a country to work towards building for the better good of all. Tomorrow I will participate in those protests with a clean, vindicated and affirmative heart. There is no amount of black guilt tripping that will work. Fellow compatriots must not be guilt tripped. This is the time to press on and press hard. The message is unequivocal. Zuma must fall. The ANC must do the right thing to retain any semblance of its revolutionary consciousness against a counter-revolutionary agenda that continues to steal from the coffers of the state.

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