#BlackMonday was the reboot of the white right

31 October 2017 - 11:38 By ranjeni munusamy
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Pictures of the Black Monday protest near Harrismith.
Pictures of the Black Monday protest near Harrismith.
Image: Nerissa Card

What happens now that the #BlackMonday protest marches are over and two-toned khaki resumes being the colour of choice for white farmers?

Do they go back to being ordinary members of society‚ with a new-found solidarity established across the country between people who believe their community is under threat of a white genocide?

“Black Monday” was the active reboot of the white right in South Africa.

Under the pretext of protesting against farm murders‚ those who preserved the apartheid flag for 23 years‚ and taught their children to sing Die Stem as the proud anthem of white-only rule‚ have found each other.

We are in a time of confronting hard truths.

President Jacob Zuma has turned the presidency into a criminal corporation in which various mobs have shares and compete for control.

The ANC has lost sight of its raison d'etre and has little interest in leading our country‚ which it was elected to do. It is completely immersed in its factional warfare‚ now playing out through a fight-to-the-death leadership race.

Our country‚ meanwhile‚ has to navigate an escalating economic crisis for which there are no easy answers. This at a time when poverty and unemployment levels are mounting and social demands on the fiscus are intensifying. So‚ what better time for a white nationalist revival?

Nothing fuels racism and white supremacy more than black failure. Add to the cocktail the belief of false victimisation and voila: #BlackMonday!

The regrouping of the right wing in South Africa is‚ in fact‚ long overdue.

The alt-right in the United States achieved a stunning triumph through the election of Donald Trump and has allowed white nationalism to make a comeback – replete with Nazi symbols and tiki torches.

Nothing fuels racism and white supremacy more than black failure.

The right-wing resurgence is also evident in Europe‚ with the refugee crisis providing platforms for racists to campaign for the preservation of culture‚ identity‚ religion and security.

But South Africa was always the jewel in the crown of white supremacy.

From 1948 to 1994‚ racial segregation and discrimination were institutionalised by a whites-only government‚ elevating the oppression of the colonial rulers against the indigenous peoples to dizzying heights.

Apartheid planning‚ education and economic disparities will continue to haunt generations to come in this country. Deeply ingrained convictions of white supremacy and black inferiority were somewhat cloaked during the era of democratic governance.

The killing of 50 farmers among the 19‚016 people who were murdered in South Africa in a year sparked the “Black Monday” protests.

The other 18‚966 victims‚ most of whom are likely black‚ are seemingly nameless statistics in a country where pain and suffering are graded according to race and class.

The fact that such a high murder rate is not a national crisis is perhaps an indictment on the values of our society‚ where black life is allowed not to matter.

The message of Black Monday was that white life does matter and should maintain its place of privilege even in death.

But the Black Monday protests were not just a rally against farm murders. This was a launch pad for a new movement that gives legitimacy to apartheid nostalgia and racist sentiment.

This should never be underestimated – as was the case with what Hillary Clinton referred to as “The Deplorables” in United States.

There is now momentum behind a right-wing resurgence in parts of the world. In South Africa this can no longer be written off as a fringe group yearning for the privileges of apartheid.

In the absence of strong and visionary leadership in our country‚ people seek alternatives. And when people feel unheard‚ and frustrated with the decline‚ irrationality‚ and their belief in a false utopia‚ can take root.

From rhetoric about radical economic transformation to melancholy over “die vaderland”‚ South Africa is in a dangerous and confused space.

White nationalism‚ however‚ should never be allowed space to flourish in our already besieged nation.

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