It’s 2023, enter the ‘woke’ anti-everything brigade

NEVER in my wildest dreams would I expect to be confronted by a ‘woke’ self-proclaimed Anti-Racist in my own home over the festive season. The young man from New York, is “studying colonialism and apartheid’, proceeds to challenge me with some academic BS, by throwing race labels around.

In particular he insists on calling me ‘white’ in front of my Rainbow household and busies himself with a George Floyd narrative about how his ‘unique black experience’ is particular to his ‘skin colour’ ‘ and how all the stats equal to non-racialism being dead, which to him is merely a ‘neo-liberal’ concept. You can read my experience of apartheid race labelling here

I explain that Steven Bantu Biko was correct in his analysis that blackness is not the result of skin pigmentation but rather a mental attitude. I don’t get very far in narrating the story of the Unity Movement as it relates to Black Consciousness and Non-racialism. Instead he takes umbrage and insists that he doesn’t know who Biko is, as if the name of a key figure in the anti-apartheid movement means absolutely nothing to him. It is clear he is being totally ignorant and throwing offensive race labels around.

The incident lead me to pen the following:

Note to self, when confronted by the next woke anti-racist nitwit issuing a confused assault against non-racialism as yes, ‘nothing more than racism’, remember to remind the aforementioned idiot that non-racialism is not ‘non-racism’ per se as in “I’m colour blind and don’t see racism” OR “I’m not a racist but”, OR ‘I’m not woke to racism, nor institutional racism, so please provide me with a woke lecture on why I should be”.

Rather non-racialism, as the late Neville Alexander would say, is ‘opposition to the racialisation policies of apartheid’, the pseudo-scientific categorisation according to now defunct categories of race, the entire racist endeavour and its opposition that the above dolt is now attempting to negate by pseudo-scientific, obsessive, wokeness. (see note below).

As I write, the death of Adriaan Vlok, apartheid-era Minister of Law and Order has been announced. Lest we forget.

When Anti-Racism manifests in true opposition to Racism, for example, Rwanda’s attempt to remove ethnic distinctions between Hutsis and Tutsis, it may be considered positive Anti-Racism.

Negative Anti-Racism of the woke variety, on the other hand, is essentially another form of Anti-Humanism. Yet another attempt to exclude persons, to otherise and ostracise individuals, on the basis of pseudo-scientific pet theories about race, this in an absurd and tragically flawed effort to forge some form of hip counter-Hegemonic Narrative, one based upon moral brinkmanship, cancel culture and ostracisation.

So let’s get this one sorted for the New Year — racism according to most contemporary definitions is ‘hostility, prejudice or discrimination towards another person on the basis of their membership or association with an ethnic or racial group’. It is also ‘the belief that different races possess distinct characteristics, abilities, or qualities, especially so as to distinguish them as inferior or superior to one another.’

Therein lies the rub.

Racism is certainly not challenging one’s strongly held opinions and beliefs about race, and it is by no means the act of refusing to be racialised or race labelled. I am pretty much done with ‘woke’ youngsters attempting to lecture a struggle veteran, on racism whilst upholding race categories that deprive persons such as myself of a defence against the problem, this at the same time my very real lived experience of apartheid and case against an apartheid media company (see here) is trivialised.

NOTE: Wokeism is a form of virtue-signalling but often going beyond what may be required. When one offensively treats everyone else as if they were asleep, or insists on lecturing from a primer on a subject to experts in the field. Thus amateurish over-compensation. Blind scholasticism without reference to actual evidence and research. Purposeful misreading of history to score short term popular goals. A denial of individualism in favour of a hive-mind or group-think. A platformism strategy, where an individual hogs the mic or assumes the mantle of expert even in the face of real expertise. The person who claims to be awake, is more often than not, the one still asleep.

SEE: Masilo Lepuru: ‘Africa, for the Natives Only.’

1989 Peace March: apartheid revisionism or memory playing tricks?

FOR  Desmond Tutu, the 1989 Peace March was a “tipping point”, for Allan Boesak, it “wasn’t about getting permission, it was about marching for peace come what may”. Those who were in the front of the 30 000 gathering which became the last “illegal march” under apartheid, at least in the minds of the majority of people who were there — a supreme act of defiance against the regime of FW de Klerk — appear to contradict today’s revisionists who at once focus on the failure of the government to suppress the march as evidence of the president’s noble intentions (which had yet to manifest in tangible policy) while writing off an act of insurrection by Cape Town’s Mayor at the time, Gordon Oliver.

Oliver is a Unitarian and thus his views are not readily given the kind of credit they deserve, at least so far as the Anglican Church is concerned. I attended today’s commemorative event hosted by St George’s Cathedral and was swept up in the highly emotional interfaith service which appeared to unite various strands of the Abrahamic tradition. From a Call to Prayer by Yusef Ganief which utilised the supreme acoustics of the venue, to the closing hymnal of Birkat Khohanim — a Judaic paeon to Peace sung by Jessica Thorn — the whole event struck a raw nerve. I was simply and elegantly brought to tender tears by the Cape Cultural Collective, this after a candid speech by the Cape Flats’ Cheryl Carolus who surely embodies the youthful rebellion of the time?

It is easy to forget the kind of political will which exemplified itself in People’s Power and which made the United Democratic Front (UDF) such a revolutionary force in South Africa. One can always slip into neat semantics of the kind which gets people Nobel Peace Prizes and forget the fortitude and determination which marked the crowd of “students, business people, domestic workers, civic and political activists; of every race, faith, age and class”, some of whom had witnessed the Purple Rain debacle ten days earlier and the chaotic start of a defiance campaign spurred on by the problematic all-white election — a velvet revolution was also occurring in Eastern Europe (which would result in the End of the Cold War and fall of the Berlin Wall).