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Diminishing dream of a rainbow nation

By: Jerry Mashile 2014-08-16 06:00

Following the survey results published on News24 on the 14 August 2014, titled “Blacks, Whites don’t trust each other", new democratic South Africa seems to be built on top of dolomite rocks, racial prejudices.

Any building erected on top of such land ultimately collapses because of ground and rain water which will dissolve these minerals, causing sinkholes. The founding of new South Africa was based of shared value system among all races. Now it has appeared that sharing is tipping over one side of those who have advantages than it is in favour of the previously disadvantaged.

Although the survey does not elaborate on reasons for lack of trust, this appears to be the cause of racial polarisation. According to statistics on censors of 2011, whites in South Africa earn 6 times more than blacks.

Many racial incidents reported in the media point to perpetrators as being white, committing atrocities against blacks.
Some few well covered examples include:

1.       The feeding to the lions of a black worker by his white employer.

2.       Numerous incidents relating to the dragging on the back of the bakkies of employees by their white employers.

3.       The shooting of the black worker by his white employer, who in his defence (employer) said he mistaken his employee for a baboon.

4.       The urine and humiliation story of black workers in the Free State.

5.       Recently, the painting of faces black by students in Pretoria.

Furthermore, white people created their own separate settlements away from blacks in Orania and Kleinfontein. Therefore, these few known incidents speak volumes about the overall acceptance of black society by the whites. It is horrendous and unexpected in a democratic society that is based on the one of the best constitutions. While this appears to be a one direction act of victimising blacks, no retaliation has been recorded from the black society besides the hardened attitude towards whites.

This has however become the reality of South Africa, in Workplaces for example, fronting on BEE deals is the act perpetrated by whites using the vulnerable black workers, the continued granting of slave salary of blacks by whites, the appointment of blacks in top positions which have been stripped off key responsibilities, translate to aversive racism.

May I say that such survey results do not come as a surprise or a shock to many of the black people like me! Therefore, the hardening attitude of blacks towards whites does not appear from thin air. The situation has been brewing for sometime now, and I fear for the coming generation who seems to be also inculcated with the virus of racial hatred, as evidently young generation is also getting involved in poisonous race games. In the new South Africa, black people were upbeat about newly founded dispensation. However, many racial incidents against the black society, led to the change of heart and lack of trust between these races.

The common message in all the incidents that occurred is that black people are not preferred by white people who are perpetuating their demise. Nevertheless, there are numerous good white people who will treat blacks as human beings and with respect, and are empathetic.

Those who dislike blacks have just re-opened the wounds of many years of segregation and they continue to create the ugly reality of South Africa. This experience is not new to blacks; we have seen it for more than 200 years. We were called native people, then Bantu people, when racism intensified and legalised we became k....s, today we are called brain-dead monkeys and in some instances called monday.

Why Monday? Because no one wants that day, equally no one wants blacks. What I find stunning is the fact that after going down my memory lane, I cannot come up with one name-calling that blacks had for whites, which means either the systems of oppressions inculcated us to the point were we became helpless and did not have time for insults or it reflects that we are good people on the inside, or it’s a combination of the two.

In all these, black people want to restore their dignity; meanwhile some whites keep extending the distance in economic and social spaces. Feelings cannot be changed by criticism, attitudes cannot legislated, it is only a wise mind that will realise that racial polarisation only falsely affirms to racists that black and white do not mix, while more and more giving birth to hardened attitude by blacks towards whites.

What future will this country have if the situation does not change for the better? It will only mean that Mandela’s era produced a failed revolution and that radical action of total take-over by the majority becomes relevant for the new generation. Well, with the ever growing gaps between the poor majority and rich minority, there is no stability that can be claimed in South Africa and I hope that someone will find a link of the survey to incident such as Marikana and many violent service delivery protests and the emergence of leftist party such a EFF, and get the message that continued subjugation of blacks must stop.

A difference in social life does not have to strip the society the respect it deserves. We share a common land, country and sources of energies but want to create two worlds in one; this is not the dream of a rainbow nation!

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