Xenophobia, Here's why we hate our people

2015-04-20 04:58

Following a week of constant eruptions of xenophobic acts, one has been trying to dissect and get to the root cause of this stupidity. It was until Sunday morning when Sunday Time published a front page of pure manslaughter that one got to conclude on not just the seriousness but the depth of this terrible disaster. The gruesome sight of a black young man wielding a knife just seconds away from a cold blooded murder of Emmanuel Sithole was beyond shocking. This didn’t only shock South Africa but also showed the seriousness of this calamity. The sight of a hateful thug in a bucket hat, blue jeans and jersey, moments away from robbing a family of its breadwinner captured the state of black communities and South Africa in general.

Of course the media has been speculating about possible causes of this with some leaders citing poverty, some labelling it pure criminality. It is true that these elements form part of it and can be detected in some of attacks but to say they are the cause would be a premature conclusion. this would identify elements and not the cause cause of this complete idiocy. Neither poverty nor intolerance can be blamed for what these agents of Satan are busy doing. An empty stomach cannot suck rationality out of a mind to the extent of killing your brother for a 2.5kg of maize meal. Even if you were to survive and cook for that night, I don’t see how this maize meal would fill the void of guilt you have inflicted in your heart, let alone the pain in your brother’s life. Poverty has never surpassed values of Ubuntu. Not even the worst of frustrations can push a young black man to light a match and burn his fellow brother to death.

It is upon critical analysis that you get to realise that this is nothing but the highest state and form of self-hate. This is self-hate in its highest and purest form. This self-hate doesn’t start here. It starts with not understanding or knowing who we are. It is this absence of identity that breeds Lack of pride. You cannot be proud of yourself if you have no idea of who you are. Failing to know yourself and how you relate to everyone including people resembling you leads to not appreciating them. It breeds indifference. You end up not caring about them. eventually you hate not only yourself but every single person that resembles you.

It is because of this today we look at them as ‘them’. It is because of this miseducation that today we see ourselves as an isolated branch in this tree of Africans.  We look at them through a lens of white monopoly capital, same lenses that perpetuate subjugation, self-hate and inferiority complex. We don’t identify with them. Language, religion and other elements of division come quite conveniently in this whole divide and conquer process.   What we don’t realise is that we don’t need any convenience tools to draw lines of parallelism between us and them because at the end of the day, there is no us and them, we are all Africans.Day in day out we see black South Africans on media platforms referring Somalis as ‘foreigners’ threatening to take their jobs. This again affirms the view of indoctrination. We see videos of shops being looted, and foreigners, as the media refers to them, being victims of all this daylight barbarism

This eventually breeds self-hate and this can mutate into a lot of things but gruesome black on black killings and genocide are its eventual phase.  We hate ourselves as Black South Africans. We do not care about our fellow Africans, we fail to reciprocate the love and warmth they provided us with pre our democracy years when we crossed borders to seek refuge. If we cared about ourselves and our people, we would not be turning a blind eye to injustices meted out against them in our backyard. If we understood what being African is, we would not be having Zimbabweans drowning and dying in Limpopo River in their stride for better conditions in our land. If we loved ourselves as blacks, we wouldn’t have idiotic traditional figures calling our people foreigners and calling on masses to attack them.

It starts with leaning who we are and how we relate with our people. It starts with understanding how we fit in the whole picture of blackness, of South Africa and Africa in general. Learn other languages; learn other cultures, that way you will get to appreciate them.

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