Definition: “to spill the tea” means to gossip, to bring out the news that used to be “hidden!”

In life, things have to make sense for the broader community to accept. 

If it doesn’t, it begins to trouble a few people and eventually, the truth is “revealed.”

Let’s be frank here, during Apartheid, very few white people actively fought against the system. Most of them maintained the system, even though they saw or heard about the atrocities perpetrated against Black and Brown people. If they were against it, it was whispered behind closed doors, quietly spoken about at garden parties and never shouted from the rooftops. Most white people would argue that they remained silent because they were scared of being locked up or didn’t “feel the need” to speak up. I’m going to “spill some tea” here and say that they were ensconced in privilege and didn’t want that taken away, so they turned a blind eye. They pretended not to comprehend to appease their conscience. It is, after all, “easier” to “go with the flow” than fight it. This complacency of “law-abiding citizens” lasted for nearly five decades.

I have to ask myself, what changed after 1994? Who, or what, empowered white people to speak up and “rise” against the system even after only five years?

Could it be that former President Nelson Mandela empowered them with his many “speeches of reconciliation?”

Maybe it was the fact that South Africa became a democracy?

Could our Freedom of Speech have “emboldened” them to speak up because of their rights as South African citizens?

I posit that it was none of the above and that all it took for white people to speak up was:

a. The “threat” to their rights being “taken away,” as was done to Black and Brown people during Apartheid.

b. The “threat” or fear of losing the material possessions they acquired during a time when only they could have.

c. The inherent belief that they are INDEED superior to Black and Brown people, and as such, they have called upon the racist systems they grew up with and “fought” for their freedom.

It is noticeably evident that white people will bravely speak up since there are Black people in Government. I don’t believe they would have done the same if the Democratic Alliance had been in power. The Western Cape is evidence of how most white people will see the unequal society but will “play the blame game” by pointing fingers at the ruling party’s failure to address ALL the inequalities. They will happily vote for a party that represents their interests above all else.

So what happened to the “rainbow nation” and Ubuntu they like sprouting?

Well, the true meaning of Ubuntu has been “hijacked” to suit a racist narrative. It is only a word to throw around when some white people “feel” Black and Brown anger and despair. 

Much like Nelson Mandela or Archbishop Desmond Tutu are “mentioned,” whenever Black and Brown people bring up the land issue.

I know a few white people who seek “real” redress, but they are a tiny minority.

The rest are content to sip the tea their domestic worker made, and if it does spill, they are happy to call “Sophie” to mop it up.

As long as Black and Brown people are content to live in the prisons called townships, earn the minimum, not living wage and don’t demand too much, white people are happy with the status quo.