switching race and other pessimisms

The Chinese in South Africa have won their case to be designated “Black” showing us how arbitrary racial categories are. Lucky them, under apartheid they were able to take advantage of not being “Black” (they were coloured” – slightly up in the racial chain) and now they can take advantage of being “Black” and go for BEE programmes having been unfairly (in their opinion) left out of the “disadvantaged groups”.

In another depressing (racial switching is depressing) story, supporters of Jacob Zuma vow to “kill” in his name.

“We are prepared to die for Zuma,” Malema told a Free State rally. “We are prepared to take up arms and kill for Zuma,” Malema added at the end of his speech, while the crowd clapped hands and laughed.

Why does supporting someone have to be so absolute and end up vowing to commit acts of violence. Cant you support someone 100% without killing and maiming others? One of the comments trys to defend the words of violence by saying that in Xhosa vowing to kill for someone does not literally mean you will go out and kill for them – maybe someone can explain this to me. In English saying “I will kill you” doesn’t necessarily mean I will take a gun and shoot you but it’s not the sort of thing I would go around saying in public speeches in any context.

Staying with the “violence” theme, I had a message from a friend in Zimbabwe saying things are really terrible (I don’t feel able to quote for the sake of their personal safety). Then I read this piece in the Guardian and despite my wariness at the Western especially UK media reports on Zimbabwe, it is damn horrific.

Thanks to Truista Africana for the SA stories

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