Saturday 4 November 2023

For those who care to know

Many of us here in South Africa are strongly against the xenophobia (Afrophobia in fact) gripping the country. We are well aware of the destructive effects it's having both on our brothers and sisters from further North, as well as on our own relatives here in the country. We are working on various ways of combating it. 

Xenophobia is essentially racism turned inward, against other Africans, South Africa being one of the most racist places on earth. Xenophobes behave unto other Africans in a manner similar to how white racists behave unto blacks. It is so intense that even us, blacker-skinned South Africans, sometimes get profiled by these xenophobes; it is almost as if they are saying dark-skinned people are not from South Africa. 

Xenophobia is partly the outcome of the persisting inequality, 30 years after the end of formal apartheid, where blacks are still concentrated in slums and townships, still begging for jobs from whites. This inequality creates economic desperation amongst the poor which leads to an endless competition for basic jobs, houses and social services. This competition of the poor plays out into open clashes of identity - racial, national and tribal. South Africa is in fact a neo-apartheid society, where the old racial inequality persists; where stolen native lands are still firmly in white hands, as are the major sources of wealth creation - e.g. mines, factories, shipping companies. The racial hierarchy created following the formation of the Union of South Africa in 1910 is still firmly in place - whites on top, blacks at the bottom. In wealthy parts of the country it feels like you are a foreigner if you are black. There are even places which have old apartheid restrictions against black people.

Xenophobia is also the outcome of the conscious divide-and-rule strategy employed by bosses in industry; where they will dismiss local workers and hire those from far away, knowing that those ones are less likely to demand decent wages. With this preferential hiring strategy, the impression created is that "foreigners are stealing jobs" when the reality is that the capitalists are firing one group of workers and hiring another, at lower wages - they are decreasing the minimum wage. This divide-and-exploit strategy has long been used by capitalists, even in Europe and America, to the same political effect - dividing the working class and exploiting them all. 

Xenophobia is also the outcome of the dominance of nationalist propaganda on television and school curricula, which endlessly promotes the idea of South African nationhood, but not African unity; it creates the ridiculous idea that English and Dutch speaking whites are the same nationality as the blacks whose land they stole; and that those blacks are nationally different to other blacks from across the artificial borders. With this strategy the impression given is that white settlers have equal claim to South Africa as the native populace, and that their foreign languages and cultures are in fact also African. 

South African television and education is essentially white propaganda which depicts other Africans as "foreigners", and white settlers as "Africans" in the continent which was divided by them. This is why the xenophobes will call other Africans to "leave South Africa", but never call on the European settlers to leave Africa, even those who arrived here a few years back. This anti-immigrant, anti-African bigotry has turned many black South Africans into the same monsters as racist whites, and is working to the benefit of the colonizers. It has made them into incredibly myopic, shortsighted, selfish buffoons. You will never hear the xenophobes call for "Afrika Mayibuye" for instance; instead they call "for strengthening of the [artificial] borders". They are completely brainwashed by decades of colonial propaganda. 


No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...