By| Carlos Ncube
“I drew the conclusion that a contributing reason to my being charged is the fact that I am not black‚” – Helen Zille
South Africa, land of the settlers and home of the poor. Everybody thought 2017 would be a better year than 2016. But as it turns out 2017 has been one big elephant in the room. The country is in a technical recession (That is expected) and State capture has been at the center of the biggest literacy project since Bantu education – The Gupta emails.
However, this are issues small details compared to the recent discovery of the actual cause of racism – a discovery that makes Homo Naledi sound like a dog bone from last night’s left-overs. It turns out that the real cause of racism is stress.
The Game of Crayons – Race is Coming
Race is a performance of difference based on identity markers such as one’s historical background (because somebody thought it would be cool to mix race and nationality) in recent time however, race has been based on identifying people by their skin colour. So, Black, White, Indian and Coloured are all different races in theory. Racism begins when the assertion that one of the crayons in the box of Race is more superior than the other.
What’s in a Word? Racism Perhaps
Apartheid was built on this fallacy that was carried out through the subjugation of the Black Majority in South Africa. And what’s subjugation without a word to undermine the population you wish to control? The word Kaffir/ Kaffer(depending on the racist racist you are) was the official term used to describe the black people. The term derogatory and therefore it is an official racial slur, which when used by white people can either get them beaten up or suspended from School…
How Stress Causes Racism
…Like Zoe (I couldn’t find the dots to put above the ë) a pupil from Pietermaritzburg Girls High School who decided to channel her inner 1652, in a voice note where she went on a rant about how her name was misspelled. In the Voice note she said ‘Kaffer’ twice. (She didn’t say Kaffir, the letter r was not emphasized so we are guessing it ended with ‘er’. The outrage expressed in the said voice note was reduced to one thing: Exam stress.
Exam stress caused Zoe (dots on the e) to speak racist profanity. Not only that but she had the school come to her defense by switching off WiFi to prevent outraged pupils from posting about the incident – basically they were never ready for students who had data.
Zoe’s Exam stress has shed light on other issues of racism that have occurred in South Africa. 9 days into the new in 2016 Penny Sparrow called black people monkeys. In an interview with news 24 penny Sparrow in defense of herself said “Monkey’s are cute”. But what she meant is that she called black people Monkey because she was stressed.
Hendrik Verwoerd in defense of Bantu education said the following “There is no place for him[The Black man] in the European community above the level of certain forms of labour.” This he possibly said under the stress that he would have to create exams for the black population.
Zoe Stressed has since been suspended pending the outcome of an investigation. This was confirmed by Kwazi Mthetwa spokesperson for the KZN Department of Education in an article by TimesLive (TheNtsikiMazwaiStalkerRoom.com). Suspending a student is far from attending to the root of the problem, especially when entire schools are complicit in perpetuating racism and protecting the racists (but then again, the school is probably stressed).
Perhaps the school was also interested in seeing what exactly the other students were going to get from Zoe, but now that she is suspended we’ll never know. At least she wasn’t suspended because she is white, Like Helen Zille.