Since the beginning of 2016, South Africa has been compelled to recognise that racism is mounting a strong comeback.
The country had long chosen to stand with citizens who sustain the cry for equality but it appears every effort to revive the spirit of equality, unity and oneness is being warded off by some rigid and stiff-necked citizens who still see themselves as ‘white’ or ‘black’.
Without a doubt, racism is alive and burning in the hearts of many individuals and societies and a continuous display of it has never done anyone good.
We never expected the rebound in racism could also emanate from pupils in High Schools, as three Rondebosch Boys’ High School pupils, Cape Town, are currently heading for disaster for writing, recording, publishing and distributing a racist song.
The song, contained in two voice notes was brought to the attention of the school principal Shaun Simpson on Monday. The parents of the boys were subsequently invited and were told the seriousness of the transgression, and that it amounted to hate speech and contravened, not only the school’s code of conduct but also the Constitution.
One of the pupils sang: “I feel pain unearthly because of my hatred of kaffirs” while the other sang in the second recording that he isn’t racist and doesn’t hate any race. “I never use the word, it’s so rude,” he said – to the amusement of the others. An embittered Simpson expressed disappointment with the boys.
An embittered Simpson condemned the racist song and expressed disappointment with the boys.
He said: “I am deeply disappointed because this is not the sort of behaviour we try to foster at the school.
“What is encouraging, though, is that it upset other boys to such an extent that they approached me with proof. There is an overwhelming feeling of anger in the school community because of the incident.”
The school has long chosen a deserving sequel; driving away the boy who wrote, sang and published the song, and the second one who was present. The father of the third boy who used an offensive word in the second recording is hell bent on seeing his son face the consequences of his action.
“It is a very serious matter and the boys must learn their lesson early in life,” the parent said.
22 years after the death of apartheid, racism still lurks around the nation, frustrating and leaving one in doubt if total freedom from the shacks of the “strong” was gainfully achieved.
A document signed in Sharpeville says “we all must be equal” but there are still few fellows who think otherwise.
Desmond Tutu, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, was the first to visualise a harmonious racial country when he first proclaimed South Africa the “rainbow nation” in 1994.
The likes of Penny Sparrow, a real estate agent, who began the year 2016 with “racist outcry”, condemning black people – whom she called “monkeys” – and accusing them of making a mess of public beaches must not be tolerated.
South Africa must learn not to put up with those who roll out racist slurs, either from a room, car window, supper tables or from their social media accounts. The time to fight racism is now.
It is pertinent to note that 80 percent of the South Africa’s population is black, 8 percent is white, 9 percent is mixed-race and 3 per cent, Asia.