Racism also rife among blacks

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IOL pn rainbow nation INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS Realising Nelson Mandelas dream of a rainbow nation may not happen in our lifetime, unless we rectify our vision, argues the writer.

There are many more acts of black racism occurring than white racism, they are just seldom reported by the victim, writes Johan Cronje.

Pretoria - I normally enjoy Fikile-Ntsikelelo Moya’s articles in the Pretoria News, because they are usually objective. But in the article of August 19 about transformation, “Racists won’t stop me going places”, he allowed his judgment to be clouded by the unfortunate incident at last weekend’s rugby test match.

Or maybe, having grown up during the apartheid era, he has not noticed the many changes – positive and negative – that have occurred in our society during the past 20 years.

I hope he is not one of the many South Africans, who still blame everything bad that happens on the legacy of apartheid.

I doubt that sincerely, as that would not be the reaction of someone who advocates speedy transformation.

First, for transformation to become a reality, it requires active participation from all the race groups in South Africa. Realistically, such participation has been limited, hence the lack of transformation.

Second, it is a fact that nowhere on earth does true harmony exist on a large scale, between groups of various races or cultures.

Worldwide many examples exist of the lack of racial harmony.

Considering the progress that has been achieved during the past 20 years in our “Rainbow Nation”, with our various ethnic groups and cultures, the transformation will probably not be realised in our lifetime.

Realistically, it therefore remains a dream.

By quoting Nelson Mandela on his thoughts against black domination, Moya states that many South Africans do not “appreciate that until now, history has not known black domination of white people”.

By making this statement, Moya was being blinded by the realities of what is happening in this regard in our society.

One only has to reflect on how whites have been targeted through affirmative action and black empowerment measures, which have been enforced by a predominantly black government, in the workplace and businesses.

Moya might argue that this is to address injustices of the past, which is true, but in reality it still remains domination by the democratically elected black majority government.

It is also classified by some whites as “reversed discrimination”.

Moya did not elaborate on his next comment, that there are black racists as well, by saying “to spend time and energy on this would be to partake in a diversionary tactic”, adding that “an honest conversation must however be about a more pervasive wrong. As matters stand, that is white racism.”

I disagree that white racism is more common.

There are many more acts of black racism occurring than white racism, but they are either not reported by the victims, or splashed in the media.

As blacks outnumber whites by 11 to 1, it follows that the majority of racism incidents would be by blacks on whites.

This is a problem many whites are experiencing. Without fail, most occurrences of white racism are reported by the black victim and correctly feverishly reported on in all the media, and disciplinary and criminal action follows.

However, when black racism occurs, it is seldom reported by the victim.

Even in the instances where it is reported and highlighted, it is downscaled as an isolated incident and swept under the carpet.

Even I was recently sworn at and called white trash by a young black pedestrian during peak time in the centre of Pretoria because I did not allow a vehicle driven by a black woman, into the traffic, as she was breaking a traffic rule by traversing three lanes.

One wonders what would have happened if I had parked my car and attempted to get his personal details or called the police to lay a charge.

It would have been a futile and dangerous attempt, as I would have been outnumbered by him and his two friends and would most probably have come to harm. We must be realistic and accept the fact that the injustices of the past will not simply disappear from memory and be forgiven by all those who suffered under apartheid.

As a nation at large, we have not even successfully completed the process of reconciliation.

True transformation can only occur once this has been achieved.

* The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Newspapers.

Pretoria News



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