THE KOLOUR(ED) ISSUE

Awe,

Ma se Kinders. Yellow bones. So called “coloureds” of the Cape. This is directed to those of us who operate within the bougie realm, those of us reading this zine in the comfort of our suburban home. We need to talk. We need to get together and have a moerse chat about this kak that we’re avoiding.

It was a warm Sunday evening in the leafy burbs. I had organized to play a game of soccer in Keurboom Park with a few of my older brother’s friends. Trading stories of the premier league it happened all too quickly

    “Naai but you see those D A R K I E S”.

My brain was doing somersaults. The non-chalant use of this word left me speechless. Time had forgotten to stand still and I did nothing about it. With all my woke politicking, I was useless in this situation. Who was I to wys this homie about power structures and whiteness when everything about me symbolised a privileged white boy? The truth is, I had been so coddled by the rainbow nation bougie life I’d been living in, that I was out of touch with the coloured community. I was out of touch with my identity.

This moment stuck with me, pinned by mixed emotions of guilt and anger, challenging every aspect of my reclamation of blackness. I remember all the times I felt slighted by darker skin black people calling me yellow-bone, telling me I had light skin privilege. I remember wanting to tell them I was black too. Mulling that memory over, I realised in those moments of defensiveness, all I was doing was to claim blackness when it suited me.

The fact is, it’s our responsibility to confront our privilege and how it stems from oppression by whiteness and segregation from blackness. We need to talk about the fact that to some degree we’ve all wished for whiteness while at the same time turning our back on black. Catholic Coloureds – when are we going to talk about how our connection to the Dutch-Reformed Church is a part of this anti-black attitude? We need to talk about the fact that we’re still connected to family members more racist than the AWB. What is it about blackness that “Coloureds” are so afraid of embracing ?

Why are we pretending as if we aren’t wys of the bra’s that use the word “Darkie” ? Why do we act as if we’re any better than where we come from ? Who are we to claim (Biko) Blackness if we are not prepared to confront the anti-black, and quite frankly, racist remnants of Apartheid perpetuated by our counterparts and most importantly – the anti-blackness that is within us?

When are we going to talk about the fact that our parents need to be confronted and we are the ones who have to do it?  To the cis-het men, when are we going to talk about the specific ways in which patriarchy has manifested itself in the “coloured” communities?

Why is the term Ableism absent from our dialogue? Why have we accepted that we have separate communities to other people of colour ? What steps are we taking to dismantle the segregation Apartheid enforced upon us? What is brown in black?

Why is the term “coloured” problematic? When are we going to talk about this perpetual identity crisis we’re drowning in? We need to talk. ‘Cos right now we’re senselessly suffering in silence. You might disagree with me, and that’s fine, but lets begin the conversation. Our inability to communicate is killing us. We have work to do and it starts at home.

Yours sincerely, Your fellow Busheiosie.

By LxHndrcksa self proclaimed keyboard warrior, recovering liberal on the path to decolonisation

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