The Colour of the Race Problem in South Africa is White


‘’A black man can’t be racist’’ –Mcebo Freedom Dlamini

It has become increasingly difficult to talk about race in our communities and not offend someone in the process. The subject has unnecessarily become overly sensitive and has built barriers that prevent constructive and critical political and socio-economic analysis of the issues we face as a country with a dark history of racism and racial segregation.

Given South Africa’s history of institutionalised racism and racialism, race has often been a sensitive and a very controversial subject amongst many people.  Almost all civil rights protests in the 20th century have been mammoth efforts by Black people to re-claim their rightful place in the human kaleidoscope of history.

Two decades into democracy, South Africa is still one of the most unequal societies in the world. The income gap between the rich and poor increases annually and little is being done to redress this inequality. The people who were poor and disadvantaged during apartheid are still poor and disadvantaged in the new political dispensation in South Africa.

When trying to unpack the undeniable question of white supremacy in this country, one has to tread carefully along that line, to avoid being labelled as ‘racist’ or ‘anti-white’.  More often than not, it is Black people who are subjected to abject poverty in this country. It is the same Black majority which was oppressed in the past that is still swimming in the deep pool of inequality and sweating profusely in the heat of injustice.

A radical shift is therefore needed to tackle these issues which have been deferred and swept under the carpet thus far.  Black radicals and white liberals need to tackle the persistent issues of inequality and white supremacy in South Africa simultaneously and hand-in-hand. There needs to exist a healthy interaction between Black and white in the fight against white supremacy and Black inferiority.

This interaction has to commence as early as possible as it has been ignored and deferred for a long time. The greatest fear is that if the situation does not drastically improve for the benefit of all –Black and white- then South Africa will head towards a second revolution.

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