Let's Talk About Race

2014-02-20 16:10

This is a classic topic that many dread talking about all around the country. South Africa is a country that has had to deal with racial issues across the country in high profile cases. Recent happenings at the University of the Free State have highlighted the need to actually engage in discourse when it comes to race in South Africa.

As a student at the University, I have had many conversations around the issue of race and the importance thereof. More often than not, all I hear is that they feel that speaking about race aggravates people is the cause of all the violence that we see and hear of. Is this really the case? I find that the topic on race has been done to death but it is something we need to talk about so that a way forward can be found. Speaking about our individual grievances gives us a chance to analyze where we stand as communities as well as what makes us tick. We can no longer look to sport only as a unifying factor. Sport unification is great but often it is not long lasting.

What I find is the danger to the South African community is that we love the idea of a united nation but we do not practice the execution of that idea. More often than not we sit around in our cliques and discuss the different races and usually it is not constructive. I know this because I have bared witness to the caucuses. It is amusing how we embrace every culture and race when the tv cameras and radio station microphones are on us but act completely different when we are alone in the comfort of our homes.

Reality is that we are still far from actually realising Madiba's dream. We need to start engaging in these discussions on a large scale. We need to be proactive enough to look for ways to foster good positive relations amongst the diverse races in South Africa. Although we might not be there, I believe we can eventually sound the call to come together and stand united. Let us strive for our freedom because South Africa belongs to all who live in it.

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