How often have you heard your mom say this?
“Stop fighting with your little brother!”
“You’re family and family is meant to look out for each other!”
These sentences and many more are words you constantly heard when growing up with siblings.
Too often we are told to love each other and play nicely while our parents are screaming at each other!
It seems to always be a case of do as I say not what I do and that’s how I feel when a white person lambasts a black Government.
Let’s break this down so you can understand my discomfort with this narrative.
There are many white activists who fight for the rights of the poor by targeting white business owners or right wing groups. This is not about them.
You then get what I call “the parent” white activist who will criticize black Government and highlight their failures while remaining silent about our social and economic inequality at the hands of white businesses.
They spend an inordinate amount of time talking about how disappointed they are in Government and its failures to address and assist the poor, yet are silent when groups like Afriforum are challenging the Nelson Mandela Foundation in court about their “rights” to use a symbol that remains a trigger to people of colour about our brutal past, namely the apartheid flag!
They will voice their displeasure and dissatisfaction about protests and strikes but continue to shop at the places that are exploiting poc’s with low wages.
But we, as poc’s are constantly told how very disappointed they feel that we continue to vote for a black Government, who fails to address the needs of black people.
“Stop fighting with your sister/brother!”
Is what we are told when places like Du Noon, Hangberg, Khayelitsha and many other poverty stricken townships are held up to the spotlight as black Governments failure, yet will slam those same poc’s who want to protest against service delivery because there are tyres burning or road closures and it’s inconvenient for white people who need to travel that route.
The need for white people to take charge of poc’s lives have always been in a “do as I say not what I do way!” They have always been more outspoken about black people’s failures toward other black people than their failure to act against white supremacy, exploitation of workers and the need to right the wrongs of the past.
Sea Point and Stellenbosch residents who protested against poc’s wanting social housing and integration are but two examples in a multitude of them.
“Be nice to your sibling!”
Is what we are told when Zuma’s “corruption” is highlighted including his failure to “help” his brothers and sisters” yet “white corruption” like Steinhoff et al is somehow given “time out” like a naughty two year old who merely threw a tantrum instead of facing the fact that they took matches and burnt the house down.
Your continued failure to focus on “getting your own house in order” and minimizing or dismissing poc’s concerns when it pertains to redress, reparations or seeking equality remains an indictment on your part.
The almost uncontrollable need to tell poc’s how to “play nice” and how our “siblings” have failed us, would be laughable if it wasn’t so disconcerting. Disconcerting because your siblings aren’t “playing nice” and your focus should be on shutting them up. Your focus should be on protesting about inequality the moment those “siblings” get out of bed and it should continue throughout the day. You should never let up voicing your disgust and displeasure until bedtime and in the morning the same should be done against them until there is visible change.
Stop telling us to be nice to our “sister” when we are pulling her plaits while your brother continues to evict and abuse us!