February has been declared Race Free Month and every day in February we at MyPE will be combating the subtle racist nuances that hamper our thinking, cloud our judgement, restrict our development and increase the tension in South Africa.
Writing in her weekly column – Inside Government – an optimistic after SONA Helen Zille talks about the years when she had been tasked by Tony Leon to start the DA’s first branches in Langa, Nyanga, Gugulethu, Cross Roads, and Khayelitsha.
Zille says; “Back then, people living there literally took their life in their hands if they joined the DA; they had their houses burnt down and were summonsed to appear before kangaroo courts to face ‘charges’ of joining a ‘white party‘.”
And there is the label – ‘white party‘
Make no mistake – the reverse has also been applied to the ANC who have been characterised as a ‘black party‘.
Oh how naive we were when we started the name calling and resorted to the lowest of the low – a racial classification. The ordinary man when slapped will retaliate by slapping back. Very few will have the emotional intelligence to resolve being slapped in a peaceful manner.
So too when you accuse someone with a hurtful label will they retaliate with an insult of their own and the mayhem will continue.
Old and wise people will tell you that “a fish rots from the head”.
If we accept that our political masters are the ultimate head of our country then we need each and every one of them to cease using these divisive hurtful labels and rather apply accurate labels to themselves and others that describe exactly what each political party wishes to achieve for each and every citizen of South Africa.
And each and every citizen in South Africa needs to echo what those early members of the DA from Langa, Nyanga, Gugulethu, Cross Roads, and Khayelitsha said; “This is not about race, it’s about the future of our democracy and defending the freedoms guaranteed in our Constitution, and one day we will be proved to have been right”.
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