Another post on racial equality. Milisuthando Bongela words in the Mail & Gardian, of 24 February to 1 March 2012, under the heading "Black as a gimmick is so old, sisi", really touched me. She writes, among others, the following:
This is the result of crippling conditioning in emancipated societies that historically marginalised people are noble, cannot do wrong and always must be exalted. Throw a revered struggle stalwart into the mix and there is little room for criticism. All historical imbalances are whitewashed by this symbol of progress: a black woman doing it for herself.
This inherited conditioning is founded on righteous indignation -- that we blacks have an eternal right to be angry for the way we have been abused and we can use that resentment as a reason to use our race as a justification of and for most of our actions. Simply put, it translates to this: people should care about what we do because we are black.
Did we need to be told of the race of the new gallerist? Might we not have guessed she is black just by reading her name? That would have meant we would have evaluated her based on her work and not her membership of a particular race. She foregrounded her race and gender to get attention; she did so because we are still susceptible to such gimmicks.
I am NOT suggesting that all the wrongs of the past should just be forgotton. But relationships cannot work if there is absence of will to make it work. We, South Africans, need to take hands and move forward together.