Hi. Today is the 16th of December, a day earmarked as the Day of Reconciliation in the Republic of South Africa. Its a public holiday with great history – and it also happens to be the day when marches around the #ZumaMustFall campaign have been organised and are ongoing through multiple cities. Here’s what I’ve observed:
Many seemingly-intelligent black South Africans constantly accuse white South Africans of a lack of participation in protest action, marches etc. The reality is, I and many others (including black and white South Africans) will not take a leave of absence from our respective workplaces to join a march or protest. Its as simple as that. Truly exceptional circumstances will suffice of course, but that’s a definition I’ll never discuss, at least not in public.
Now, marches were planned to take place during a public holiday, and unlike most marches (we have many in South Africa), there’s undeniable, visible participation of white South Africans. This is not going unnoticed. But suddenly, the march in its entirety is being labelled by the same seemingly-intelligent black South Africans as a front for racist anti-black government agendas – and this on the Day of Reconciliation. Why? Because white South Africans have added their voice, tweets, and feet to the campaign?
*picture from BBC Africa