A large part of the world remains feudal and no more so than in communist and fascist circles. The truth is modern South Africa has managed to embarrass from office a kleptocrat in the communist style, Jacob Zuma, and have in place very much a successful capitalist and modern personality, Cyril Ramaphosa.
In some quarters, the political habits and ideas of the past persist in a changed world. We have some here in the U.S. even for whom the white right south is meant to rise again. Apparently, some portion of the black population within the ANC has settled into a bad case of Mugabeitis, an illness too well known in neighboring Zimbabwe and only recently, perhaps, brought under control by a junta plenty tired of the old despot.
My concern: that white and blacks choose not to mirror the worst glimpses of one another and consider forming to fight political regress together.
Despite my idealism and hopes, I know the situation is bad for white property owners and certainly crazy for the criminals marauding them.
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The other argument proposed for why black people can’t be racist, namely that they have no power, is wearing very thin 24 years into our democracy. For one, there are many black people with a lot of power in every sense of the word and a good number of whites with virtually no power of any description.
But as happens often, we’re still borrowing this argument from American political culture where black people are still in the minority.
I have never witnessed a black person cursing white people because he/she believes being black is superior, even where the words used would sometimes suggest that.
“Reverse racism” is thus not racism in the real sense of the word, but it could be described as intolerance, hatred or vengefulness based on race.
LONDON — If Vicki Momberg had only unleashed a high-volume tirade at the South African police officers, video of it would have been of mere passing interest. But her repeated use of a racial slur — unfamiliar to most Americans, but explosive in South Africa — made her notorious, and led to demands to make her an example.
For years, we’ve watched and seen white South Africa’s false solidarity with black people and absence from involvement on issues affecting blacks. White South Africans expect black people to join movements when the issue in question affects white communities yet remain silent, retreating to leafy or non-impoverished suburbs, when blacks face prejudice, lack of economic access or service delivery. In January 2018, residents from the Thembelihle informal settlement, south of Johannesburg, took to the streets in a service delivery protest demanding housing.
The 1994 ideology of “sameness” that was introduced post-apartheid to bring peace to a much-wounded nation has begun to show cracks, a clear indication that this was, for the most part, a one-sided concord dependent on whose privilege matters most.
Posted to YouTube March 1, 2018.
Posted to YouTube July 28, 2018.
Posted to YouTube, November 28, 2017.
Related: “If not now, when?” Hillel The Elder (Wikipedia)
He is popularly known as the author of two sayings: (1) “If I am not for myself who is for me? And being for my own self, what am ‘I’? And if not now, when?” and (2) the expression of the ethic of reciprocity, or “Golden Rule“: “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn.”
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