Racism is for all of us to fight
IT IS easy to conclude that racism and racists will always be with us. Human beings have always found reason to be bigoted and to conclude that they are a better version of what humanity ought to be about. This week we saw a protest about farm murders descend into a racial quagmire. By the end of the week, estate agent Vicki Momberg had been found guilty of four counts of crimen injuria for her racist rant against a black police officer. Her rant was caught on camera and went viral on social media.
With our country’s experience of racism, we must at once understand why racism is with us and at the same time commit ourselves to eradicating it. Court processes are just one way of helping out but they are not the only way.
The zero sum nature of court processes is that it leaves winners and losers. It possibly does nothing to make the racist regret the error of their ways. Racism is a problem.
The feelings of superiority and of marginalisation on grounds of race – as it is the theme in many coloured community protests against the state – are not issues to ignored and those who complain about them are not to be dismissed out of hand. They too must be heard if we are to heal our country of this ugly scourge.
What we need in South Africa is a culture of understanding that no human colour is better or worse than the next. It is a movement that must cut across society. The government, communities, sporting organisations and families all have a role in creating this reality.
This is not to discount the fact of how race also reflects property relations in South Africa. It is not to pretend that we do not see colour in poverty.
This movement must start with acknowledging the history that brought us here but refusing to surrender to a past we can do nothing about. Racism is our common inheritance and it is thus our common duty to do everything we can individually do, to rid our society of it.