OPINION

Raceballs 3

An occasional feature celebrating the wit & wisdom of the colour-blinded and racially obsessed

Christianity was an integral part of the process that reduced so much of Africa to near-slavery and produced certain forms of “whiteness” as the goals Africans would have to reach if they were to become “civilised” and fully human in the eyes of the white West. Why have those attempting to dismantle the power structures and skewed patterns of ownership left by colonialism paid so little attention to religious beliefs that are undeniably a colonial legacy, and are arguably as damaging to African souls as apartheid was? The religious colony has barely been evaluated, let alone deconstructed – and certainly not uprooted or countered ideologically as comprehensively as it should have been. - Mail & Guardian Editorial.

White people do not need a mass meeting. They do not need a workshop to convince each other. The project is common to them, they all subscribe to it. So, for us, when we encounter them, or when we confront whiteness, we confront an institution that also has agents. Between the institutional culture and the institution and these agents there is unanimity on what needs to be done. It is precisely that that we need to disrupt. The task of decolonising the higher education institutions in this country, the task of decolonising the curriculum in this country, simply means we have to break this unholy alliance between white academics and white institutions. We have to remind them that these institutions are funded by the taxes that are paid by the poor black people in this country. It is our mothers and our fathers who every day pay VAT that sustain these institutions. - Dr Lwazi Lushaba, Wits Shutdown Assembly. Source: eNCA recording.

The Education must be decolonised, the education must be decolonised! Process must be decolonised, structures must be decolonised, ten fourteen [?] must be decolonised! Amandla! Amandla! The mandate is very clear, decolonise process, decolonise structures, decolonise ten fourteen. ! Amandla! Amandla! We want decolonised civil engineers, we want decolonised mining engineers, we want decolonised electricians, we want decolonised nuclear physicists, we want decolonised mechanical engineers, we want decolonised chemical engineers, we want decolonised metallurgists! - Mcebo Dlamini, speech to Wits Shutdown Assembly. Source: eNCA recording.

The cry of black pain has been heard audibly throughout the two years that these students have maintained this struggle. It is real. It is whispered, it is spoken, it is screamed and yet so many simply choose to ignore it or write it off as an unnecessary pathology. But for the revolutionary youth the violence against the black body through historical institutional racism has truly run its course. This generation of so-called born-frees are no longer accepting the crumbs the white monopoly capital and a black elite. They are saying no more to usurpation, using this pain as the very thing to fuel their resolve to break free from this discourse. - Gillian Schutte, Sunday Independent.

I stand out in the midst of your power and supremacy degraded by your battering and hatred for me because I am. But what are you? Dwelling in self-hate concealed by your self-righteousness. Your supreme nature encroaches my existence, stops me from inhaling my air that you have so wrongfully taken. But you know nothing more but to take and strip me of my dignity. Stripped of my integrity and being, my very existence is said to be non-existent without your being. - Poem by Khensani Masisi, Daily Maverick.

The fact that a few black faces pepper the white privilege of the cigar-smoking salons to drink champagne and eat caviar has not changed the business model of exploitation under apartheid. - Jay Naidoo, Daily Maverick.

It is not merely educational institutions that need to decolonise. News media need to seriously consider the intersectional ways in which they contribute to the very forms of oppression that student activists are engaging critically. In short, news media need to decolonise. – Adam Haupt, Thought Leader.

As support staff and post graduate students, we are committed to a decolonised education project and to our students. Thus we see it as our responsibility to ensure a safe learning environment. Such a safe environment is one where students, and all those who support them, do not have to suffer the trauma of surveillance, the constant threat to their physical bodies, or the brutalization of their psyche and spirit through a curriculum and pedagogy that dehumanizes them, and fails to address the most immediate needs of their communities, and the society as a whole. Open letter to UCT from “academics and postgraduate students”, Daily Vox.

The “vanguardism” characterisation beloved by some, which suggests that protests and indeed national shutdowns are artificially conjured up by radical elites, is pure sophistry. People who promote this theory should not be allowed to speak in public. – Elisha Kunene, Daily Maverick

*With apologies to Private Eye.

raceballs@politicsweb.co.za