Annually we South Africans celebrate Human Rights day. This day is a reminder of the freedom struggle by fighters, some who paid with their lives, blood and extended periods of incarceration. It also signifies the rejection of discrimination, alienation, intolerance and prejudice.
The big question: are we living this culture of human rights? To be brutally honest NO WE ARE NOT. Helen Zille’s recent tweet, “For those claiming legacy of colonialism was ONLY negative, think of our independent judiciary, transport infrastructure, piped water etc.” In Matthew 15:18 “But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these things defile a man”. Many white South Africans believe what Helen Zille uttered in her tweet to be true.
Moving on to the spur incident between adults in front of children. A white man and a black lady had a heated confrontation. He utters the words followed by taunting her “Ek sal jou n p*** klap gee”. My oh my, when I viewed the video my blood boiled. An argument about kids being kids turned racial and man-on-woman violence transpired in what seemed like a split second. My first thought was that if she was accompanied by a man he would not have dared to confront her in that manner and secondly how he spoke down to her as if she is a second class citizen. Twitter is abuzz with political parties like the Economic Freedom Fighters requesting his address. An injustice to one is an injustice to all. Is there an underlying current, an eruption or a Tsunami of ill feelings about the past never dealt with before that is coming to the fore now?
The so-called Rainbow Nation seems to depict a bubble that will burst soon. The political landscape has changed drastically. Party party lines seems to have blurred since coalitions and marriages were concluded. Leadership and economic transformation is as scarce as chicken teeth. The economic climate is further exasperated with the fight against poverty and unemployment is at an all time high. This seems to be a recipe for disaster but no one is anticipating how this cookie will crumble.
My fellow South Africans change is not going to come from a political platform. Political parties’ first priority is to get elected and the second to be re-elected. The focus now is on 2019 national elections and not the plight of the poor or addressing issues on the ground. Human Rights Day should be a reminder that one cannot brush issues under the carpet with the hope that you will forgive and forget and the future will be bright. The first step is to admit we have a problem and that racism, discrimination and oppression still exists, and deal with it once and for all. This is not an overnight process but one can only succeed when you take the first step. That’s when we will eradicate all that this day truly represents.