Even Today, The Race Question Remains Shoved Under the Rug

By Mpho Mabala

Are we equally integrated or are we assimilated? A stark black and white reality in the new South Africa.

Why are some white people still finding it difficult and well-nigh impossible to pronounce and recall our names?

On the other hand we recall their names even in our sound solid sleep. We are proficient in pronouncing and enunciating their names names, with a clear articulation of syllables found in their names.

Why are we keen to laugh when a white man cracks a joke? Even when it is not worth laughing. We laugh before he even finishes it.

Why are whites showing such a sheer lackadaisical and lukewarm approach towards a black man's life?

On the other hand we unshamedly mimick theirs and even bring it to our black households.
Why are black people always appeasing white people in the work places by speaking ill of their own kind? Is that how they want to climb the rungs up to the white world?

I dream of a South Africa where a black colour will contain nothing, other than the colour itself, other than melanin, other than all the pure black cultural elements, with ubuntu being the conspicuous one. A South Africa where negative connotations of black colour will be effaced. Black colour has been defiled many times that it is normal to subject it to mockery, violence, poverty and all the bad things. Today we still have those black people who believe that their skin colour puts them further from the Creator God. Today we still have black people who wish they were born white, and that is because white is associated with all good things you can think of. And I say this was all engineered, for what I do not know, but I believe it was for economic, subjugation and hierarchy reasons.

We claim to be integrated with whites, but that phony integration is only seen in the work places and schools, the primary reasons being to work and learn respectively. Apart from work, and school a black man is on his own in the township, and a white man is on his own in the leafy suburb. Whites still occupy the oases of S.A, and they still continue to detach themselves from us to be as far afield as they can (And we run after them), they continue to detach themselves from us in more ways than one. The movement of black people from rural areas and townships to white towns is still happening, and that’s understandable because money happens to be in town. But if they really want to integrate with us, so why do we have no white teachers coming to teach in rural areas or whites nurses coming to work in black community clinics?

Why do we have virtually no white people staying in townships and rural areas? The inescapable and undisputed reason is that a white child cannot afford to grow in such ghastly poor conditions, white parent cannot afford to reside in such a rustic village or a sprawling township. Today our aspiration as blacks is to get educated, venture in business so we can join white people in leafy suburbs. And if we do that, what do we say about our townships and rural areas? Are we not supposed to be developing them so they can be on a par with leafy suburbs?

Today even the steadfast proponents of African culture are found in the belly of suburbs. They take their children to white schools where indigenous languages are not taught. Paradoxically they continue to teach African culture and encourage us to teach our children their mother tongues, which is right I guess. But why don't they practise what they preach? Thus because they know that with white comes good things and bright future. It is astonishing that in a country that is comprised of approximately 70% blacks and 30% whites, 70% scurries to the small circle of 30%, not to change it, but merely to undergo colour metamorphosis, to grovel to be part of the circle and expand it.

We always talk of diversity holding us together, and I say that concept is superficial as Zulus are still and largely found in KZN, the Xhosas in EC, the Tswanas in NW,the Pedis in LP and the coloureds in CT. Are we not supposed to be cosmopolitan? So Verwoerd's Balkanisation Mechanism is still afoot. Am I wrong?

If the Pedis still refer to Ma-Tsonga as Makwapa, If the Zulus still think Mapedi are anaemic, If the coloureds still look down on the blacks thinking that they are more related to whites than they are to blacks, if white people do not cooperate with black people, if they still harbour that wanton loathing towards a black man then a DREAM OF A RAINBOW NATION WILL FOREVER BE GRANDIOSE AND REMAIN HOLLOW. Let’s work together South Africans and pulverise the wall of race.

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