Julius: “The majority of Indians are racist”

We were not all oppressed in the same way. Indians and Coloureds had all sorts of resources Africans didn’t have. The majority of Indians are racist. I’m not saying all, I’m saying that the majority are- this according to Julius Malema… well oh well!

Dear Indians, he is not wrong, but neither is he ‘right’ (correct) in what he is saying! ‘Indians’, as in members of South African society, who were born and generally raised within Indian-exclusive communities, suffer from a prejudiced (unfavorable or even hateful) and elitist (we are better) attitude!

It is not uncommon to hear my relatives (who are Indian) talk ill of ‘the Blacks’ or talk about how some jobs are only ‘darkie jobs’ and use a very lovely ‘K’ word, originating from the Gujarati word for black (Kari) to refer to Black people. It is not uncommon to find racism being deeply imbedded in the collective Indian mentality, but now let us look at Mr. Malema!

He is not wrong in stating that Indians had access to resources which ‘genetically-indigenous’ Africans did not have – yes Indians were subjected to degradation and poor treatment, but the ‘hierarchy of the races’ was a part of the apartheid system. To be ‘native African’ was to be the lowest members of society, and other non-Whites were simply above the ‘Blacks’ but not equal to the Whites! Where Julius could be faulted is that he misuses these findings to be too divisive.

Calling people racist (especially when there are many within this particular group) is divisive- not because it’s false, but because people will react badly to it. Julius Malema is taking the issues surrounding race, class, history and prejudice and presenting an argument (or statement) which does not seek to tackle what is wrong and to build on what must be done – he is simply equating racism with privilege.

The EFF is a party which speaks to the poor and to the youth of the country. South Africa is a divided country. The ANC (and this is the view of many) did little post-994 to revolutionize or develop this country. Our greatness began and ended with democracy. The same unjust economic systems prevail and the poor are still waiting for ‘their homes’ which had been promised to them decades ago! ‘The different races’ still look at one another as… the other! There is a lack of social, economic and cultural unity and equity within South Africa. The ANC is a failure as an organization and the legacy of apartheid stares at us without fear of being dismantled. We need a party that cares for the poor, the young, our history and our future as the EFF claims to care, but the equating of race and privilege will only foster more division and prevent progress and ‘revolution’ from taking place. Not because those claims are faulty or untrue, but because they are being used to alienate an already exclusionary segment of society and that level of divisiveness will not easily lead to dialogue and change!

What Julius Malema said is being used for the wrong reasons. Indian people need to do two things. The first is to take cognisance of the deep-rooted racism in our ‘collective-mentality’ and the second is to challenge these issues within this community. All people can be racist. It is not a ‘White only’ or ‘Black only’ issue, but it is important to tackle the issues within one’s own community so that the future may offer potential!

The EFF is a product of South African society. It was born out of poor and upsetting social and economic circumstances. It holds interesting views and upholds good ideas, but it is becoming more of a reactionary soap opera and less of a revolutionary, socio-political movement (which is what the country and all its divided people need)!

So, Julius is wrong but for reasons which cannot ignore the factual nature of his argument.

Submitted by Mohamed Riyaadh Loonat.

  AUTHOR
By Mohamed Riyaadh Loonat

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