“Are we feeling poorly today Master?” Are the words that would be spoken to the white slave master by the slave who has been beaten, dehumanized, and oppressed.
“I will vote DA because ” Africans” meaning black people don’t know how to run a country.” Says scores of brown people in the Western Cape.
The following is an explanation of a relative we all know: “Uncle Tom” is a pejorative term for African-Americans who give up or hide their ethnic or gender outlooks, traits, and practices, to be accepted into the mainstream.
Uncle Tom doesn’t earn much but is happy to go to work and be exploited by a racist, capitalist system because “a half a loaf is better than none.” That is Uncle Tom’s mentality because he is quite content being infantilized and oppressed.
Uncle Tom loves it when he hears, “You’re not like those people or I thought you were white?”
This makes Uncle Tom work even harder to please the Master. Uncle Tom or “Aunt Jemima” love compliments from white people only.
Uncle Tom is told how dangerous and violent black people are and saves the day by offering his brown body as protection for the Master and the Masters family.
Sadly, Uncle Tom can barely feed his own family but he believes that tomorrow the Master will see all the good he is doing and will pay him more.
He has learned to hate not the slave owner but slaves who look like him and will betray his own kind to gain favour.
“Aunt Jemima” is like Uncle Tom except that she cooks and bakes over weekends and brings delicious meals to work so the Master can have a taste and marvel at her culinary skills. She pays no mind to the cleaner at the office who may not have eaten and would never dream of offering the food to the cleaner instead.
Uncle Tom’s children wonder why their dad, who is their hero, is silent when being shouted at or insulted by the Master. He proudly encourages his children to play with the “white children.”
Uncle Tom and Aunt Jemima are proud to have “white” friends who occasionally pop in for a visit, never thinking that the invitation to meet and socialize is often one-sided.
When Uncle Tom and Aunt Jemima are told to vote, the Master encourages them to vote for a party that seeks to maintain white supremacy and privilege. The Master does this by using images and words that portray black people as greedy, good for nothing, violent looters that are incapable of running a country.
They are further encouraged to “spread the word,” and they willingly do so. After all, they do have German or Scottish ancestors and feel closer to whiteness.
Uncle Tom and Aunt Jemima are the gatekeepers to black and brown people’s freedom. Whenever there is dissent, you will find Uncle Tom talking about how much the Master gave even if it was a few extra pennies.
When people are violently evicted from informal structures, Uncle Tom or Aunt Jemima stand aside, watching and saying,” those people should not be there.” Often Uncle Tom and Aunt Jemima are the ones who call the authorities to let them know about the “illegal structures.”
This behaviour can be attributed to their inability to see the shackles on their own feet.
“The most potent weapon of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.”
– Steve Biko