You could have felled me without a traditional weapon.
Yesterday, after raging against the President Jacob Zuma and his party, African National Congress (ANC), for not taking responsibility for the violence that permeates our lives, and for the ridiculous expression of pain, Zuma admitted that the ANC is to blame. Forget that he still blamed apartheid for turning us into these pitiable and cruel men-murderers, this is a critical moment. Forget that, as he put it, we are reaping what was sown by apartheid.
Some people will jump and down and say, ‘there they go again, blaming apartheid for their cold-bloodedness; but it is simply a self-absorbed lie, besides being indicative of one’s inhumanness about others, to believe apartheid has left its horrible disfiguration on relationships, bodies, psyches.
The stigmata of apartheid, the violence deposited in the arteries and transmitted from parent to child can go very deep when you are still poor and still ugly and still black.
This thing we refer to as the legacy of colonialism, which implies having inherited trauma that kept your ancestors in the zone of the not quite human, is real when you have few prospects of socioeconomic mobility.
The remains of colonialism and apartheid run deep in South Africa, which suggests that sometimes a person still lives as a body outside one’s consciousness,
Speaking a meeting attended by politicians, businessmen, sports personalities and entertainers at the ANC’s headquarters in Johannesburg, Zuma said that “the ANC is partly blameworthy for not providing adequate leadership and failing to do things that need doing, indicating that this led to the violent xenophobic events in the country. I very much like that he mentioned changing psyches, stating that after liberation the ANC made a big mistake by not changing the people’s violent psyche and, instead, wrongly believing the constitution would solve all the problems. He said we created a wonderful constitution and had the wrong belief that the constitution would solve the problems. That, he said, was a big mistake: to believe liberation will suddenly make us think we are equal, we are the same, we are a nation.
There is much that is promising in these words. Above all, that Zuma admitted that the ANC has failed to restore our humanity. What we should call him to do is put our tax money where they will eject violence out of bodies, homes, relationships, structures, and identities.