In Going Back to Race Labels We Risk Crippling Struggle Unity
Black and proudly African - that is how I define myself. Steve Biko once wrote that "merely by describing yourself as black you have started on a road to emancipation ...".
The Black Consciousness ideology was not a matter of pigmentation, but rather it was rooted in a mental attitude and particular mindset.
The flurry of views and articles attributed to senior politicians on the coloured vs black vs African debate has raised many a question and many an eyebrow. Who determines the correctness of these views, and the correctness of policies and approaches stemming from these opinions?
If the truth be told, no one has the right to determine the nature of any individual or group identity, without seeking the opinion of all who live in South Africa and particularly those who experience the impact of these views and are at the receiving end of the resulting policies and practices.
Racist laws may have been abolished, but racism, which constitutes the fundamental legacy of apartheid, is alive and thriving. A change of approach is required to enable us to reach the "one people - one nation" so many desire and have worked for.
During the apartheid years you were either black and oppressed, or not. There was no such thing as calculable degrees of oppression, degrees of being stripped of your dignity, degrees of discrimination based on pigmentation. If this was the case, then Women's Economic Empowerment should occupy a significant space in this debate, which it in fact does not.
The effects of oppression were felt the same by all oppressed black South Africans and therefore all oppressed black people should be empowered equally as opposed to some hierarchical criteria. …