Change your heart and mind regarding the way you feel about people in general, and people from race groups other than your own in particular. You first need to walk the talk! Make friends across “ the racial divide” and reach out to the other. Then, stop referring to yourself as a Coloured, Black, Indian or White person. Change the way you talk about people and try, most of the time, not to refer to them in terms of a particular race, but use references such as: “that person”, or their name, or place they come from. Describe a person as light of complexion, or dark of complexion, where such a distinction is unavoidable.
Look at people with new eyes. Stop viewing them racistically, as extensions of an inaccessible, undifferentiated, alien human mass, or group. That mass is a mental construct – the sum total of your impressions of the group, both good and bad. Racism has many faces; race classification being one of the ugliest!! Do your part that South Africa may make a uniquely creative contribution to the current global narrative. Let us show the world how to march the demons of racism forever off the stage of history!
Assume an “attitude” when people call you a “Coloured”; "Kleurling"; "Bruin mens"; “White”; “Indian” or “Black” person. Tell them it is degrading to be referred to in these terms! Be serious about your approach. If people want to be respected, then they should reciprocate, respect you as well.
No one whatever has the right to speak on behalf of their self-categorised “race group”, whether it be the “white” group; “coloured” group; “Indian” group; or “black” group. If you pronounce upon whatever issue, the opinion expressed is purely your own opinion, not that of any particular group. You have no mandate from any group whatever that entitles you to talk on their behalf. Do not think because a “white” person expresses an opinion that that opinion is necessarily held by all whites. Similarly for a “black”, “coloured” or “Indian” person. No individual has the right to confer an arbitrary classificatory reference ON ANY ther person. This was, of course, the execrable practice in the past!
Do you know the recent history of the word COLOURED? It was used by the apartheid government to describe people who could not be accommodated within their divisive pigmentary definitions. The so-called “Coloured” must not accept this labelling, must not think that it is right to be identified as such. Where in any case does the name “Bruinmense” come from? Is it an ethnic allusion? Nowhere in the world (apart from South Africa) are people alluded to as “brown people”.Why are these people not referred to in English as “The Brown People”? Why only in Afrikaans, “Bruinmense”? The answer is: it was a politically divisive strategy (divisive today still!) to facilitate the dominance of a white, nationalist ideology.
Anyone within the South African social context, anyone at all with an holistic vision of what this country must become, will regard any racial designation whatsoever as a destructive, and divisive, characterization!
Soon, we will approach the government, and the Constitutional Court of South Africa, to plead with them to change the Employment Equity laws that support race-based classification, and to do away with the relevant forms that require race classification details. All of this is unconstitutional and does not belong in a new South Africa. The plea to the Constitutional Court of South Africa will require substantial financial support. We will keep you posted.
Tell your friends and colleagues about us. Download our pamphlet. Make copies of it and spread it around. The more people know about us, the more influence we will wield!
Here you need to use your discretion. When applying for a state job (using the Z83 application forms) you MUST fill in the race classification blocks. If you do not fill them in your application will be rejected. Do not fill in the OTHER block if your identity document says you are a South African citizen. The “other” option is only applicable to non-South Africans!
The above paragraph (and heading) might sound contradictory. In case it is, let’s spell out the whole thing more clearly. Where one has a personal and material interest in the “proper” processing of a form(s), data will be provided in accordance with present government requirements. In all other cases, as indicated above, data required within the government’s race classification format will be withheld, will be wilfully falsified, in accordance with our policy of "creative deception”!
All of us, from today, will tick the BLACK AFRICAN block.
If all of us tick the BLACK AFRICAN blocks, the government will not be able to directly discern who is who. This is not being dishonest. Remember, currently, there is no law to classify the population of South Africa into race groups. All these laws were scrapped in 1991! The only factors that keep these classifications alive are: (1) WE , as thepeople, who continue to refer to ourselves as belonging to a particular race group, and (2) YOUR giving the administration the right to classify you by race.
When it comes to interviews, recruitment officers will use their discretion when indicating to which race group you belong. This will actually be an “illegal” act on their part. It will result in a lot of irregularities, because there are coloured people who look like black people; black people who look like coloured people; white people who look like coloured people and coloured people who look like white people. Whereas we are ALL actually mixed (coloured) people. So where do you draw the line? And what about Chinese people, who are once again benefitting from our discriminatory laws?
South African children should have respect for others. They should be taught respect for all persons, whether of their own age group or older. Often children are only willing to show proper respect to persons of their own racial lineage but show disrespect to people whom they perceive to be of “other race groups”. Let us educate our children to show respect, empathy and sensitivity towards all persons, irrespective of their appearance or social station.
Usually, when someone calls you a racist, it’s because such a person can’t contribute to meaningful, constructively debated, solutions!! Do not hastily react to such people that call others racists. They are weak people who cannot win arguments or do not get their own way, and find this the easiest way out. Obviously, their taunts are an affront against logic and should be totally ignored as such! Maintain your composure whatever the taunts against you.
Also, do not hesitate (out of fear of possible accusations of “racism”) to courteously CORRECT, or REPRIMAND, a fellow citizen, no matter what the context. Do the RIGHT THING!
We are not all perfect. We sometimes forget to compliment people and to encourage their constructive efforts. It is through ongoing positive words, and efforts, that we will stay motivated, and focused, on our end goal - at the end of the day to live in a South Africa of equanimity and progress.
Please e-mail us regarding whatever you think or feel about this issue. E-mail useful information you think we should be aware of.