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Thursday, March 3, 2011

And now I'm fighting about coloureds, too

Trevor Manuel, Development Committee Chairman,...Image via Wikipedia
I'm not normally drawn into online debates. And especially stupid ones like the fallout from the Manyi/Manuel war.

But an op-ed on Thoughtleader got to my nerve centre for some reason.

I think partly because the writer of said Op-ed is currently a post-grad student at my old University. I'm strangely proud of that old building... we learned some good radical leftist liberal stuff there.

Anyway, two particular statements jumped out at me - and got my hair in a twist:

Kim Smith writes:

"In my view, there is a problem with coloured people. The problem perhaps with coloured people is summed up in Minister Trevor Manuel’s letter. On the one hand, he says something to the effect of the idea of “coloured” being a construct of apartheid and that he doesn’t subscribe to it, but on the other hand, and I mean let’s be honest, the reason he’s writing is because he’s coloured! That in itself is a kind of hypocrisy almost, one which translates into a contradiction protruding into the very existence of coloured ethnicity."

And further...

“Coloured people don’t know who they are. Those who say “we are African” or “black” are delusional: coloured men don’t go into the bush to be circumcised. The point is, black people in South Africa have their own culture, separate to the culture of coloured people. And you know what? There is nothing wrong with that.”

Nigger can't let that shit ride... So, I responded - somewhat emotionally and hysterically, it's probably fair to say - in the comments section thus:

“I think there are a number of presumptions in your column, but I will just address two. You say that Manuel responded because he is coloured. I think your presumption is problematic.
It could well be that Manuel responded in the way that he did because he found the offending statement to be dangerously fascist. We are a society built upon the values of a Freedom Charter, which such statements directly oppose.

As for coloured men not being black, or African, or Martian... you offend in the same way that Kuli does when she declares what coloured women ARE, by declaring what "coloured" men are NOT. THAT is the construct... that you make up rules by which you expect others to be measured.”

(Sigh...) There it is... drawn into a an unwinnable argument. So easy. So easy...
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