Home Opinion and Features Hold your nose until racism smells better, Helen

Hold your nose until racism smells better, Helen

464
SHARE

Perhaps if we forget about racism, soon enough children will think of it as a fiction - until it hits them square on the jaw

Helen Zille . Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

HELEN Zille has become such a divisive figure in the DA that, despite the successes of the Western Cape with her at the helm for the past decade, you’re unlikely to spot her in any of her party’s campaign materials for the upcoming general elections.

In January, while the whole of South Africa was sitting on the edge of their seats listening to Bosasa’s former chief operations officer Angelo Agrizzi spill the beans at the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, Zille tweeted a novel idea: if those implicated at the commission were not prosecuted in time, she would start a tax revolt.

We can only surmise that National Director of Public Prosecutions ­Shamila Batohi, who had barely taken office, must have pondered Zille’s threats for a second before dismissing them as ­politicking.

As she hardly makes any public statements outside of her position as Western Cape premier, Zille’s Twitter feed is a glimpse into her thoughts. Usually tweeting at odd hours, those thoughts are often repudiated by the DA’s leadership, like her calling for a tax revolt.

But her latest tweet storm, in which she attacked singer Danny K for him daring to call out the apathy of his fellow whites to racism, was probably met with rolling eyes from DA leader Mmusi Maimane.

Last Friday, Danny K tweeted: “I’m totally bewildered with the lack of empathy shown by many white South Africans. You don’t need to be woke to get that, for the most part, we have benefited from the marginalisation and exclusion of people of colour. Own your priveldge (sic), appreciate it and pay it forward.”

Zille’s response to this tweet was sarcastic, pointing out that the singer needed some spelling lessons for incorrectly spelling privilege.

Her next response to Danny K was that she “called out racism of all kinds, from all quarters”, never mind the fact that even the DA acknowledges that race remains a proxy for disadvantage; Zille steadfastly believes that racism can come from “all quarters”.

That sums up the problem with Zille and the DA’s post-racial utopia: for them the Danny Ks of this world should close their eyes and hold their noses to the stench that is racism.

Perhaps if we forget about racism, soon enough children will think of it as a fiction – until it hits them square on the jaw.