I’ve been going back and forth in my mind over the past weekend. Wondering if this is really worth it. A big part of me, see’s you as a lost cause, you are so set in your ways and there isn’t anything my little letter will change for you.
But, let me humour myself.
House Negro. Sound familiar? I hoped it would. I’m sure you have said it a million times to lots of other people, who have merely taken the blow and walked away, I was going to do the exact same thing, but then I thought, Why should I?? I’m not the one with a problem, you are.
As chairperson of the ANCYL one would expect you to be tolerant of other people’s opinions. What happened to the ANC being non-racial? You cannot turn to racial slurs, when somebody says something that you don’t agree with. The problem with so many of our leaders is that they think they can just bulldoze their way over any opinion that isn’t in line with theirs.
Everybody is entitled to their opinion and they also have the right to defend their opinion. However, defending your opinion by tactics of personal attacks is not fair. Rule number one that you should have learnt and committed to memory when you stepped up to be a leader.
I understand your cause, for heaven sake I have lived in South Africa all my life, and I know the problems that the legacy of apartheid has sowed in our society, just because you see it in black and white, it doesn’t mean I do, or that I have too. Who are you, to call me out as being a house Negro, because I see more than black white?
Who are you to call me out as a house Negro, because I refuse to be a victim?
“The most powerful weapon of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed” How many times have you as “Non-house Negroes” uttered this statement??
The Proper Negros want to quote steve Biko left right and centre, yet at the same time, all you see yourselves as, are unfortunate blacks, because anything and everything that happens to you, is because you are black.
You want the rest of the world to stop seeing you as unfortunate black men, but when it suits you, you will hold onto that ideal and play the part so well. “It’s because I’m black”
You will tell the world, that a campus newspaper has dragged the unfortunate black man’s name through the mud because he is black. It does not matter that he sexually harassed and raped your black sisters, never days. He is being persecuted because he is black.
I don’t understand why you refuse to acknowledge the fact that it’s not always about being black, if you are wrong, you will be wrong regardless of your colour.
I will tread lightly and pick my battles because this battle is yours alone. I cannot climb into your mind and turn on a bright spectrum of colour that will eliminate the ever so present mental blocks of black and white. Until you decide to open your eyes, you will remain in darkness. There are none so blind as those who refuse to see.
All I want is an apology and a retraction of your statement, and yes. You might get your secretary to write the apology and get it over and done with. This probably won’t change your “colour blocking” ways and I probably won’t get an apology for all the other people you have insulted.
When my article comes out on Friday, it’s not going to change the world, but I hope it will make you understand that you cannot treat people as inferiors. Your position does not give you the right to be inconsiderate and malicious.
Being the Chairperson of the ANCYL does not make you invincible. You will not hold this position for ever, there will come a time, where you will be just another student number, and I am quite sure that you will not take kindly to insults from whoever takes up that position.
Let’s forget the politics and power plays for a minute.
You are human, you have feelings, you have opinions and beliefs, all your trying to do, is navigate your way through this life, making some noise for your cause where you can. You know what? I’m trying to do the exact same thing. Without my camera and notebook, I’m just a girl, with feelings, opinions and beliefs, trying to get through this life. So tell me Tshediso, how are you better than me?
This is not just for me, this is for all the other people you have bullied and disregarded as being house Negro’s. You cannot talk to people like this, you cannot force your black and white ways onto all of us. We accept the fact that you choose to see black and white, to each his own. By the same token, you need to accept that we aren’t like you, we have different views and you cannot and will not walk all over every single person you meet. You have the right to make some noise, so do we.
This is my noise, so take it as you will. When you get that paper on Friday, you may disregard the article as another witch hunt, or maybe it will speak to your humanity. Either way, I have decided to go all out with this, I deserve an apology and I will get one. You and I both know that you were out of line.
So Mr Mangope,
I hope you will man up to your fuck up. If not for yourself and your reputation, then do it for your beloved ANC. There are too many of you that have brought it into disrepute, there are too many of you that continue to divide South Africans, calling out the fakes and the real’s. There are too many of you, that want to be you, and in case nobody has told you- the World doesn’t need another Tshediso Mangope.
A house Negro.
Ps. Tshediso Mangope has since appologized to me and acknowledged the fact that he was out of line.