The Helen Zille Tweets - My Final Thoughts on the Matter!

2017-03-29 17:42

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Over the past 10 or so days, I must have read literally hundreds of comments on Helen Z's (colonialism) Tweets!

By far, the majority of these comments have been highly critical of her - most have tended to be downright rude and vicious - with "race", as always, playing a key role!

There was therefore only a minority of comments that weren't critical of her Tweets.

Such comments have usually been guardedly worded with the authors patently realizing that they were touching on what has been found to be highly sensitive ground!

I've been in this latter group (not critical of her Tweets) and, as a White South African, have perhaps been able to view the subject a lot more objectively than my Black compatriots.

I, too, have been extremely careful in my selection of words to avoid these being misinterpreted as me giving my unreserved support for colonialism!

I therefore understand where Helen Z's comments are coming from and I'm absolutely certain that she (like me) isn't endorsing colonialism IN ITS TOTALITY - she was merely highlighting certain positive aspects which came with colonialism – positive aspects which I also believe to be factually true!

The language that Helen Z's used in her Tweets clearly implied that she agreed that there was a lot wrong with colonialism (which I also accept!) - after all, colonialism came with the enslavement of people, the confiscation of land etc.

And let's not ignore Helen Z's background.

Her whole life has been dedicated to fighting for the disenfranchised.

Many may not know this but, as young journalist, she exposed the true cause of Steve Biko's death/murder in detention (back in 1977).

She has also been a stalwart anti-Apartheid activist throughout her life!

Speaking for myself, I believe that I now understand the extreme sensitivity of my Black compatriots to Helen Z's comments - not that I agree with them (because I believe that they're misinterpreting what she said) but I do understand them!

After all that I've read and heard on this matter, I've now reached the conclusion that the subject is WAY TOO EMOTIONAL for it to continue to be debated in a calm and civil manner.

I therefore believe that it's in the country's best interest to accept Helen Z's apology and for us all to move forward!!

Please let it be this!

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