The Colour Crime

2013-03-08 07:51

In my previous blog, I made reference to how I strongly believed that the debate (often synonymous with race) against crime, should never be reduced to favour any group over the other.

Almost nothing was known about Thandiswa Qubuda, till about a week ago when she made local news after she died in hospital after six weeks of fighting for her life. She was savagely beaten and gang-raped. Yesterday afternoon at her memorial service, I was overcome by a harsh, chilling realization.

As someone with beloved female family and friends, I was amazed at how desensitized I stood when I saw her picture for the first time. I immediately made no exception to the fact that -at this rate - it was only a matter of time. Only a matter of time till my Black sister is strangled in her sleep, my White colleague stabbed, my Coloured sister-in-law is hijacked or my Indian GP is assaulted

The often simplistic approach of recording violent crime and regressing its effects to a superficial cut between black and white is biased and in itself racist. Often the go-to argument for those desperate to maintain their prejudice, it makes no consideration to the fact that the likelihood of being a victim of crime exists (equally) for all of us.

In full awareness of statistics concerning crime, am I wrong to assume no race contends crime MORE THAN the other? And in hindsight to Dewani, Steenkamp, Booysen and now recently Qubuda, it is understandable that the suspicion of others' efforts will lead to (ironically) the inclusion of your own (race's) just efforts at times.

It is in this breath I was discomforted by Min Xingwana's comments. The reality is crime affects all of us and it is only in this 'united-ness' that we will truly begin to fight it.

Giving ground to such utterances, it is one criticism against a long list of valid complaints, however politically incorrect, but it must be said that similar can be drawn from other races.

The linear rationale of failing to acknowledge our historical differences but holding them responsible for South African being the world rape capital and one of the most crime infested societies is wreckless and irresponsible. Other nations prosper despite far worse

Outside of some scratchy aspects in this approach is the painful reminder that people have and will always favour their own identity even if it means defending criminals. Within each group are the ruthless and greedy but an incomparable number of people fighting to change that.

So even if I sometimes convince myself that my doctor is over charging me (perhaps because he is Indian and I assume my negotiating position) and that numbers suggest that my sister may be fighting for her life at the mercy of an intimate partner, I make no mistake. The battle is against crime and the chill I experienced was a wake-up call, sounded by the many victims before and after those mentioned above and how it is only a matter of time till the colour crime was painted on me.

Do follow me on Twitter: @Thabo_SerokeY


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