Let us first and foremost get the small but enduring irritation out of the way right from the word go. In case this piece somehow enjoins you to fall into some morbidly lazy trap of labelling me, please note that I am not racist (how can a black subhuman like me be racist, silly?), neither am I (as some would say) an angry blackman determined to live in the past.
That said; let me get on to the point.
Many years ago my friends and I attended a conference somewhere in Johannesburg where one of the speakers made the point that, even though evil, it nonetheless makes sense for white people to have sustained and defended apartheid with such single-minded vigour simply because of the benefits it afforded them.
The speaker argued strongly that you cannot have a system that ensures your flourishing survival, a system that works wonders for you and your children to collapse without a fight.
Some agreed, some not.
To some extent I agreed. Why, I ask, once whites took the land and the minerals and dignity from blacks, why on earth would we expect that they hand it all over again to blacks? What then becomes of their children and grandchildren if they gave up everything to blacks? Look at it from a white man’s point of view and tell me if there is good sense in that at all.
Why, in your mind, did the ostensibly God-fearing white man dispossess and
dehumanise blacks in their own country in the first place? You reckon the satanic Verwoerd was kidding when he spent everyday of his sorry life perfecting and enforcing white superiority and exploitation of blacks? You reckon whites themselves would willingly and happily forgo the racial benefit of the “Blankes alleen/Whites only” setup? You think Mrs van der Walt is happy to share a public toilet with “Diphaphang”, a stinking subhuman undeserving of a place next to her? You really do?
Well, it’s a little hard for me to.
I instead contend that for certain whites, blackness is good only if it advances their racist life. Beyond the point of the usefulness of the subhuman, blackness ceases to exist.
Take for instance “Diphaphang”, a domestic worker. She cleans baas Van der Walt’s house, bathes and feeds klein baas and their dogs and cats and pigs and then prepares some nutritious supper big enough to feed an entire street somewhere in Ethiopia only for the small Van der Walt household to feast away.
She does this everday- for nearly nothing!
She then washes the dishes and knocks off to be with her wretched and hungry family.
You reckon this bothers the Van der Walt’s one bit? You do? How do you then explain the fact that to this day, twenty one years into our era of ‘freedom’, the Van der Walt’s have not decided to willingly share their opulence with Diphaphang’s and such like families?
How do you explain the fact that until today, they still exploit her and other black mothers daily in their large kitchens of plenty and farms and plantations?
Granted, not all whites are as evil as Diphaphang’s Van der Walt. But where are the good whites when the evil Van der Walts of this world continue to exploit and oppress Diphaphang and many other black mothers and fathers alike?
Maybe you have, but I have not heard of a march by a group of white people against other white people exploiting black people. I have not heard of a march by white men and women and their children demanding land in Alex or Mkhuhlu or Molelema in order to erect shack dwellings there to stay with their black brothers and sisters.
Or whites leaving their first world schools and flooding the townships to register their children at township schools?
I guess the question is, at least in the South African context, where have you seen whites – in the past twenty one years of our ‘freedom’, abandoning and rejecting the benefits visited unto them thanks to their skin colour to become one with black squalor? Did you say nowhere? Yes? Yes.
But whites, correctly so, would not want to drink unclean water, or stay in an RDP house, or attend a school without a library or a science laboratory.
They would quite correctly not, twenty one bloody years into our era of ‘freedom’, want their children to travel kilometres on foot to a school that is understaffed and without books.
No. The scenario I painted above is for blacks and blacks alone. Whites know this fully well. Blacks know this too and, strikingly, they accept it! It’s all one major shame, this.
All the above is nothing really new. You have heard it all before.
But the nature of things right now is such that I fear one of my future pieces would speak of our socioeconomic ills ‘forty two years into our era of freedom’ – and the content will be no different, if not worse.
Ed: Maruping writes in his personal capacity. Check out his social media platforms for other thought-provoking material.