I haven’t blogged on my personal blog in a while, but felt that this is more suited here than on Urban Mystic’s blog. I’ve been listening to a great podcast called Reconstruct, which has a great conversation around black liberation theology. I don’t believe I can recommend the podcast highly enough.
Disclaimer: The following is, however, not a comment on the podcast and they’re in no way associated with this post 🙂 Rather, I’m putting forward a musing on oppression and racism in South Africa which is by no means exhaustive. OK, disclaimers aside.
As an African of European descent I’m often engaged in conversations related to the history of our country and the meaning of reconciliation primarily focused on the relationship between and economic disparity of black and white people. The problem I have with many of these conversations is that they’re often divided superficially over race. Black people don’t consider themselves racist or capable of racism or unjust behavior while while people are considered racist and as perpetuating racism and oppression. This is not in any way an accurate picture as our country is a product of multiple people groups converging on a reasonably large plot of land.
One could re-write the issue of racism and oppression from multiple perspectives, but I’d love to see more thinking and conversation around:
- The oppression of black people by black people
- The racism of the white Afrikaner toward the white English and vice versa
- The struggle of white people to overthrow Apartheid
- The ineptitude and corruption in our government
Oppression and racism don’t have single trajectories or solutions, especially not when dealing with the historical development of multiple people. In our country we’ve got the convergence of several cultures, represented by the eleven official languages of our country, with a narrow interpretation of oppression in our history as primarily focused on and related to Apartheid and white people. Yet there’s a failure to recognize that our political leaders have baptized the unholy conjunction between two dysfunctional legacy systems, particularly tribalism and Apartheid, with democracy and which has transgressed as a system toward oppressing and exploiting all peoples.
As much as we consider the struggle for liberation as being a past issue the struggle continues and has sunk deeper. It will only be complete when people of all races are freed from unjust power structures, no matter whether such is related to politics, economics, gender, or any other human power system.