By Maynard Manyowa
The real struggle we face is not defined by skin colour as we perceive, it is about a minority bad people exploiting and polarising good people.
Over the last few weeks I have been extremely active in the biggest political forum on Facebook, the New Political Forum 2.0 – Khuluma Afrika.
My honest views have earned me fierce criticism from communists, and horrendous abuse from supremacists.
The conduct of one particular member of the forum made me think deeply about the exact nature of race relations, and tensions in South Africa.
His name is Adrian de Melo, and he identifies himself as a proud ‘offender’ of blacks.
During the course of the week, I watched him mock victims of the Marikana massacre. He said they deserved it because they voted for the ANC.
He mocked the victims of the Bloemfontein accident that claimed the lives of 10 ANC members. He said they got what they vote for.
The target of his remarks were always blacks. He often passed comments like, “Blacks should have never ended apartheid, there would be no Nkandla.”, or “Blacks deserve every abuse they get from the ANC government”.
Expectedly, he incensed several people of colour. Communist and Socialist members of the group were quick to state that his comments “were evidence that white people are still inherently racist”.
Even for a while, he had me riled up after he said Rhodesia was a heaven for black people. My father died a horrible death, never coming to terms with the brutality he was exposed to during colonial days. My aunts were raped, then thrown into a deep well. Before being buried alive as they drowned.
When he said blacks deserved it because they were born the wrong colour, I was overcome with rage.
But then I realised something. Adrian de Melo, like Penny Sparrow, is not a horrible person because he is white. He is an insensitive racist p*&%# because that is just who he is.
I know a lot of white people myself. My best friend is a white male. More than a brother, I would trust him with the life of my children before most of my own blood relatives. I have keys to his home, and am a part of his family, even in his absence.
Some of the moderators on the forum are wonderful people too. They are not horrible people because they were born the same colour as Adrian de Melo.
What hurts the most about this the majority of people are not racist. I know several Zimbabweans, South Africans, and Belgians. Of all races for the matter, from all walks of life, and of varying economic statuses.
None of them are barely racist.
But along comes one Penny Sparrow or Adrian de Melo, and the whole society ends up divided. Yet they are such a minority. There are more people with flu in the world today than there are such offensive racists.
Sometimes I feel these horrible human beings do this deliberately. Granted, Adrian de Melo even said that “Africa needed another Hitler and another Genocide”. He said he hoped “things explode” – meaning he does hope to offend until the tension blows up
For some reason these people love to play on raw emotion in the hope that it all blows up and chaos ensues.
The present state of race relations in the country, and the explosive volatile environment is testament that things are not OK.
But the only way we can actually win is to shun the racists, and the trolls that incite deep divisions based on colour.
The minority are dividing the majority, and it’s up to us to stop them from fooling us. The problem in South Africa is not a black or white problem, it’s a bad people problem, and there are bad people in every skin colour niche – black, white, yellow ….
(Writer’s Notes: I have not uploaded screenshots of Adrian de Melo’s comments intentionally as i feel that they will only go viral, and become weapons in the hands of those who want ride on hatred and racism – i believe trolls must not be fed – and uploading those bile comments here only gives trolls a nasty kick – people will get offended – and that is what he wants. I am organising with a friend to lay a complaint with the South African Human Rights Commission and to see if criminal charges can be laid with the SAPS too – I believe that is the only way – shun them, expose them, and lay charges
- Many thank to Markus Anderson, for his sober perspective, and to the various moderators of Khuluma Afrika