Civil-rights organisation, AfriForum, says that the story of post apartheid South Africa is one of double standards when it comes to racial lines.
Speaking at a round table event on Thursday (5 November), AfriForum deputy CEO, Ernst Roets said that the topic of ‘whiteness’ is misdirected in SA. ‘Whiteness’ is a social and political construct that refers to privilege, and prestige.
The round table took place in Constitution Hill, focusing on Afrikaner identity and whiteness.
“I believe that the so-called problem of ‘whiteness’ will do little to move South Africa forward, as white people are not to blame for South Africa’s contemporary crisis,” Roets said.
“I believe that we might just as well initiate a conference about ‘blackness’, and how black people need to change their way of thinking.”
“But if we discuss ‘blackness’ we are only allowed to discuss how black people have been exploited in the past and not how black people need to change their way of thinking. Because the latter would be racist.”
He said that if ‘whiteness’ is discussed “we are only allowed to discuss how white people need to change their way of thinking and not how they are currently being exploited. Because the latter would be racist”.
The Afriforum deputy said that South Africa is a story of double standards.
“A story in which the president of the country can argue in parliament that people who are in the minority should have less rights and in which he openly argues that every single thing that is wrong with this country can be laid at the feet of the white man’s ancestors.”
Meanwhile, co-operative governance and traditional affairs deputy minister Andries Nel said on Thursday that white South Africans were the victims of the very system they were fighting to preserve.
“For in becoming racialists and exploiters, they become closed off to important areas of human experience,” he said at the round-table.
“The essential thing white South Africans lose is openness to the future and to other people.”
Nel was speaking under the theme: Where are the Suzmans, Slovos, Fischers and Naudes of today?
Reporting with News24