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The accusation levelled at Coloureds, also since the events at the primary school in Davidsonville, Gauteng, as being racist, has prompted me to briefly reflect on this. The subjectivity of opinions on this matter will not assist us that much. What may rather assist us to form a more objective verification of whether Coloureds are indeed racist or not, are the historical facts that underlie the existence of Coloureds in relation to Blacks, Whites and Indians in South Africa.



If Coloureds were indeed racist, why would

their progenitors (the Khoi, the San, and Slaves) have accepted all who came to South Africa, White and Black and why would such same groups from which Coloureds originate have integrated with White and Black wherever such occasion allowed itself? Why would our forefathers have allowed inter marriages with Blacks if Coloureds were indeed racist at heart? The very nature of Coloureds as being a mixed race with an accumulated culture from many groups, points to the fact that inherently Coloureds cannot be ascribed as inherently racist.

Who has been the first to have opposed segregation and the apartheid mentality brought to this country by colonists? One of the very first political movements to have fought for equality, to oppose segregation and racial superiority was the African Political Organization (APO), founded in 1902. Under the leadership of Dr. Abdullah Abdurahman, a Coloured, the APO sought to unite Africans. Was the APO racist and sought not to work in unison with Blacks when later some Black entities also wanted to fight oppression and racism? No, Coloureds chose to work with anyone, as “when Dr W. Rubusana, the editor of Izwi Labantu, convened a South African Native Convention to formulate an African response to the draft Act, Dr. Abdullah Abdurahman encouraged all APO branches to send delegates to the Convention. He also informed Rubusana through the newspaper of his cooperation and intended alliance. Consequently the APO was co-responsible for the reaction of the Convention to the draft Act. This included appealing to Britain to reject the draft Act in its present form and to guarantee "equal rights for all civilised men". (http://www.sahistory.org.za/organisations/african-peoples-organisation-apo)

While the APO worked towards inclusivity we however find that Coloureds were not readily welcomed to be members of some Black organisations, in particular the ANC. Only 67 years after the establishment of the APO did the ANC’s Morogoro Conference of 1969 in Tanzania started opening up the ANC membership to ‘non-Blacks’ and the acceptance of Indians and Coloureds. So, prior to 1969, which organisations of those among Coloureds and Blacks were actually racially biased?   (http://www.ajol.info/index.php/asr/article/viewFile/23160/30778)

The Apartheid Museum shows many pictures as evidence that when the  Soweto Uprising of 1976 occurred, despite the fact that Afrikaans was actually the language of Coloureds, Coloureds understood the principle to oppose oppressive measures of the Apartheid regime and joined their Black brothers and sisters. A case in illustration is how the predominant Coloured township of Noordgesig’s was involved in this struggle. We should even some day interrogate whether Hector Peterson was Coloured or Black, as Black Nationalists recently seeks to portray a distorted history where Coloureds were not involved in the struggle as though they were racist. We should interrogate how Coloured families even provided hiding places for their Black counterparts during those and other days of strife. The amnesia that Coloureds did not oppose racism and that they are now so easily branded as racists, when they oppose a Black Nationalism that seeks to exclude the Coloured experience, is malice and a shame against not only the Coloured people but also against so much what Coloureds have done in contributing towards a non-racial society.

The United Democratic Front’s (UDF) defiance of Apartheid saw so many Coloureds involvement and the UDF’s strongest arm was the Western Cape, the very province where Coloureds were the larger part of the population. How could Coloureds and their influence, sacrifice and hard labour towards non-racism then have been possible if they were racist as people now wish to content?

If Coloureds are indeed so racist, why did a leader from them worked so tirelessly, locally and internationally, to oppose racism and Apartheid - Dr Allan Boesak? When many had forgotten Winnie Mandela being banished to Brandfort, was it racism that prompted Dr Boesak to lead an international press delegation to Mrs Mandela in Brandfort to show solidarity with the course to fight segregation? 

At the dawn of our democracy and our non-racial society, Lucas Mangope of Bophuthatswana resisted it and called in the Afrikaner Weerstand Beweging (AWB).   Oupa Gqozo’s from the Ciskei went further in his resistance to it and caused the Bisho Massacre.
Did the Coloured Western Cape have such same attitude to resist non-racialism?
No! Rather, Nelson Mandela’s first speech after his release was delivered in the Cape, the most Coloured populated province. Why then does history not show Coloured even at that occasion to have publicly opposed Mandela and to have caused uproars similar to Mangope or Gqozo.
There was not a single occasion where Coloureds or predominantly Coloured organisations have opposed the so-called torch bearers of non-racialism. Rather we find that history makes it pretty clear that there was more fighting and resistance to the ANC by the Inkhata Freedom Party. Yet, Black Nationalist today wishes to claim that Coloureds are racist...

Coloureds do not take their vows lightly as Black Nationalist have now come to show how little they value the equality of Coloureds and the agreed norms we’ve set for our country in 1955. In that year Black, White, Coloured and Indian patriots took a stance against White Nationalism and the Freedom Charter was adopted on 26 June 1955 at a Congress of the People which consisted of the African National Congress, the South African Indian Congress, the South African Congress of Democrats and the Coloured People's Congress in Kliptown (incidentally, by then a predominant Coloured but also multiracial township). There we have agreed to oppose any racial nationalism and we affirmed that all will be treated equally, including Coloureds:
     “We, the People of South Africa, declare for all our country and the world to know:
     that South Africa belongs to all who live in it...
     that our country will never be prosperous or free until all our people live in brotherhood, 
     enjoying equal rights and opportunities ...”

In that same spirit many are now rising to oppose the colonialisation and marginalisation of Coloured by Black Nationalism and primarily because of that are these Coloureds who stand up being branded as racist.

Black Nationalism is driven by the same apartheid type reason of “it’s our time” which fundamentally seeks to exclude others and built a new racist superiority of adherers to such detrimental philosophical vantage point. Coloureds have decided once more, as much as they had previously decided to oppose Apartheid’s racism, to now oppose the racism bred by Black Nationalism that seeks to exclude Coloureds in so many areas and which wishes to render Coloureds as inferior in order to ultimately marginalise Coloureds in totality.

Coloured will once again start the new struggle against racist Black Nationalism, those very ones who now wish to call Coloureds racist without having had looked in their own mirror that so glaringly expose their racism of Black Nationalist. One thing we know as Kullids is that “die spieel lieg nooitie” (mirrors don’t lie).

Ronald Dyers, 30 March 2015

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