‘Live together as brothers or perish like fools’

Tension among races in SA is at an all-time high since the dawn of our democracy
Tension among races in SA is at an all-time high since the dawn of our democracy
Image: 123RF / rawpixel

SA is regressing backwards to the ugly period of naked racism. The current form of racism is fuelled by an incapable, incompetent and failing national leadership.

It is the norm for such a leadership to resort to inciting tension, division and hatred among  members of society to camouflage its shortcomings. 

Polarising society always buys such leadership time.

Tension among races in SA  is at an all-time high since the dawn of our democracy.

So-called leaders are popping up everywhere, claiming that their race is being discriminated against, and therefore they resort to organising on the grounds of pure ethnicity.

This kind of toxic message is appealing to people who are paranoid and wrongly believe that their difficulties are as a consequence of them being excluded on the grounds of their race or ethnicity.

If truth be told, all of the problems emanate from a government unable to deliver services to the people.

 As people face hardships, a consequence of a collapsing political administration and economic systems, and a general lack of direction, they are easily persuaded by social media to activate the worst in them.

This, coupled with a national leadership that is almost totally compromised, has meant that the task of uniting our nation is abandoned.

The lack of credible and capable leadership has led to a new class of unrepentant racist, tribalist, chauvinist, taking centre stage in SA.

This class of leadership is the one that is in the forefront of xenophobia, homophobia  and many other human-rights-restricting tendencies.

 In difficult times, people tend to erroneously lean on bad practices hoping in this way to extricate themselves from their hardships.

 Such people become the victims of unprincipled leaders who exploit their vulnerability.

In hard times, it is easy to amplify people’s differences for ulterior motives, by playing on their latent prejudice, fear and hatred.

In such circumstances racism, ethnicism, religion, homophobia and xenophobia are the most convenient tools in the hands of an unethical and unprincipled leadership.

A failing leadership, for its survival, resorts to exploiting all human traits to divert attention from its failures.

The leaders also use these tools to play on the fears of the population, creating more fear, paranoia and extremism.

Grand apartheid was born out of post-war hardships.

Instead of analysing the consequences of numerous wars, such as wars of dispossession, the Anglo-Boer War, World War 1 and 2, leaders at the time resorted to racist discrimination laws as a way of solving the problem of poor whites.

Racial segregation was seen as a viable solution. However, it was not going to be so.

To solve the hardships endured by Afrikaner women and children in the British concentration camps, they thought of degrading black people, since they believed that black people were intrinsically inferior to white people.

Many of their followers wrongly believed that their misfortune was as a consequence of black people, as they were told this by their leaders.

 Our country has to be put on the right track.

That task is not going to be fulfilled by a spiteful leadership, no matter how eloquent they are.

Such a task will reside with an honest leadership.

A leadership of  integrity would never tire of telling us how great a nation we could be if we stick to the fundamental principles of the founding fathers of our democratic state.

Leaders have a huge burden of uniting our nation, in hardship and in prosperity.

Our long-term survival depends on us working towards cementing the horrendous divisions of the past.

We need leaders in spheres of our society who will work for national harmony and cohesion.  

We cannot call ourselves a smart nation when we work hard to polarise ourselves.

 Public representatives have a duty to work for the welfare of every citizen in our county.

They have to see to it that the envisaged united, democratic, non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous nation is realised.

It is the duty of all of citizens to hold our public representatives accountable to the values and principles enshrined in our constitution.  

We need to remind one another that there is no  better place for us on earth other than our beautiful land.

We should never allow the destruction of our country and hope that we will find a  better land.

The land of milk and honey, for all those who pledge their allegiance and loyalty to our state, constitution, flag and national anthem, is SA.

Our country is huge enough for all of us.

Our economy is rich and well-endowed with mineral wealth.

Let us all work for the common good and purpose of all.

We should remind ourselves of Dr Martin Luther King Jr’s words, that “we must live together as brothers or perish like fools”.  



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