The war on the black body, the black mind, the black presence, and black humanity has not stopped.
A democratic government continues this relentless war on the Black human. This war was started by the colonial occupation, and perpetuated by the apartheid government. It was black bodies that lay on the ground at Marikana.
It was black bodies that were killed at Life Esidimeni. It was black bodies that walked home during the taxi impoundment strike. It was black bodies that died at 80 Albert Street in Marshalltown. It is black bodies that get pulled out of pit latrines.
Never has a group of people so willingly given their sons and daughters to pay the price for their nation’s liberation, only to find their liberators rising to become complicit in the killing of their futures, their hopes and their dreams.
A cold, callous, heartlessness has set in on the faces of our government.
Watching President Cyril Ramaphosa’s actions at his press engagement at the fire scene, I saw a man who did not mourn with the victims’ families, nor did he appear to be distressed by what his citizens were facing.
I saw a man smiling and waving to the crowd. The emotional detachment was heartbreaking. He began his speech by telling the media about the event he was at earlier in the day. The nation did not care what his day consisted of. We wanted a man who could speak into that tragedy and our pain. He could not. He did not.
Our Parliament is burnt down.
Our public transport is in shambles. Our hospitals, post office services, and roads are in a state of collapse. We are doing to black people what ultimately apartheid wanted to do to black people – turn them into a nation of subservient security guards to guard the interest of the elite.
The black mind, body, and being are only good enough to guard the interest of the elite.
This is a higher form of discrimination that goes to the very heart of apartheid’s vision for black humanity. Their existence is not premised on their worth as equal humans. Their worth is only premised on their usefulness to others’ existence.
During apartheid, their worth was determined by their value in serving white interests.
Under a democratic government, their worth has further been diminished to being only useful in keeping their liberators in power. To their government, they now serve only as a hand to place an X on a ballot paper. The rest of their being still resides in the same narratives as apartheid sought to create for them.
This incredible cruelty inflicted on the black body and the black presence by all levels of government across all provinces has spread like cancer to fulfil apartheid’s prophecies. Black citizens are described as lawless. As thugs. As not decent. When one has lived with those words as the continuing narrative of your life for more than 300 years, then at some point you will cave in to become the worst version of your being.
My most troubling observation is that black people have given up celebrating their hard-won freedom. They now only mimic white opulence. This veneer of opulence covers a thick layer of ongoing and deepening poverty, rage and humiliation.
This mimicked opulence has become the drug that helps them escape this horrible sense of betrayal by their liberators.
When your government blames you for seeking safe shelter for you and your family in an empty building because housing has not been delivered at pace, then they are no longer your liberators, they have become your oppressors.
While white people complain about damage to their tyres due to potholes and malfunctioning electronic equipment due to load shedding, the black existence continues to be persecuted and their dying black bodies fill the streets of the country they freed. This rage, this black rage, will deepen.
* Lorenzo A. Davids.
** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.