‘Indian racism’: Open letter to Malema

Dear Mr Malema, your statement that 75% of Indians are racists,warrants a response. I will readily concede that some Indians are racists.We are all collectively guilty of overt and covert racism. Our rainbow nation is swamped with rainbow racists of every colour and hue. I have fought against every form of racism, for the past 55 years, a painful struggle which continues to this very day.

My battle with racism began long before you were born. Many of us paid a hefty price for fearlessly opposing any form of racism across the racial divide. Civility demands that we respect our fellow citizens with the dignity that they deserve.

In my long years in journalism, I have completely rejected any notion of prejudice. We must understand that racist thought, like any all other forms of hatred and prejudice, is essentially a corruption of the human spirit, that no law can completely eradicate. We cannot rely on the instruments of the law to codify every thought and idea. We as patriotic South Africans must strenghten our social fabric. This will emerge as the most powerful and enduring antidote to racial prejudice. Stealthy racism rears it’s ugly head every day under various disguises such as tribalism, divisions within religious factions, promotions and demotions at the work place, indoctrination at the dinner table, exploitation in industry, deceptive humiliation in our homes, the constant use of foul language, the list is endless. Unless we display humility, we will either sink together, unaware that the approaching tide will surely overwhelm and engulf us all.

The majority of Indian heritage fought every vestige of racism, risking life and limb for our non-racial democracy. During the brutal liberation struggle, Indians fought alongside their ANC, SACP and PAC brothers to free us from tyranny. The liberty that you enjoy today Mr.Malema,was paid for in blood by comrades whose names you are probably unaware of. We must isolate those who continue to use the “K” and “C” word.

Inflammatoryand uncorroborated claims have the potential to create unnecessary division and confrontation between sectors of our community. We must resist inflaming tensions that give rise to a grieveance culture.

Racism is the most vexing issue confronting South Africa. It operates in stealth mode, across the racial spectrum. Our ancestory includes people from all parts of the world whose ideals of freedom under law has inspired millions throughout the world. We cannot continue to harbour prejudice against any racial group without betraying ourselves. Racism is an affront to humanity, a cause of hatred and division, a disease that devastates society. Let us not be selective in our condemnation of racial discrimination. Selective morality is sheer hypocrisy. Let us not delude ourselves, racism is contagious, cancerous, a crime against humanity. If left unchecked, it could devour our hard won democracy, and in the process decimating stability in our country. Racism is an act of treason and it must be dealt with accordingly.It is a plague that must be eradicated from our shores.

FAROUK ARAIE
BENONI

Mettle Administrative Services

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