White racism is not mindless, stupid, or irrational.
If we take it to be such, which is the problem of conceptual elasticity that entrapped the banal black rage, then we will then lose the grammar of what is it.
We stand the danger of making it fade without consequence, alas, this has been so in the post-1994. How many times in a year do we see the Penny and Chris phenomenon?
Has that ended racism? To me it is not this question we should be asking: What is racism? Rather, in the Cesairian, Fanonist, and Bikoist grammar, the fundamental question is: What fundamentally is the infrastructure of anti-Black racism?
This will at least unmask how it is institutionalized, naturalized, and normalized. How it is systematic, systemic, and continuous.
The black rage, which gets expressed in the tone of condemnation thinking that it will ward off this racism, or worse, engaging in the politics of counter-factualization (the nonsense of “we are human too”) against the racist utterance, vulgarizing racist deeds and blood boiling in fury, is just an empty gesture that will not put a single dent on white supremacy.
For, it is trapped in answering the question as opposed to unmasking the fundamental question. What if Penny, Chris and Co. did not express their racist fantasy in public? Will we then claim there is no racism?
I am thinking of dinner tables, tea meetings, gyms, whites family gathering etc. where whiteness is in its private realm sharing a thing or two about apartheid nostalgia and condemnation of blacks – that is Penny’s “monkeys” and Chris’ “victims.”
The DA will deal with Penny and Standard Bank will deal with Chris. Does that mean dealing with racism?
We should not be caught into the liberal trap of “fire them! ” whereas both institutions they serve cannot be divorced from the racist infrastructure that dehumanizes blacks. We should not be caught in the reactive stimulus of the symptom; but rather, the cause and its constitutive operating logic by diagnosing it, unmasking it and dismantling it.
This will mean seeing racism in cliches like “I adopted a black kid”, “I don’t see color”, “I have black friends”, “It is not about race, but class”, “I never supported apartheid”, ” let’s move forward and forget about apartheid” – the list goes on. These are the cliches of race denialism and for me, no matter how innocent they are, they smack of anti-Black racism.
I refuse to see racist individuals but, rather, the infrastructure that swells their privilege.
South Africa as a racist state is the micro-structure of the anti-Black world which is informed by genocidal impulses that dehumanise black bodies – in short, the total arc of a civilisation of death – a better world if there were no blacks and, if they are there, they must be erased.
South Africa is a colonial settler polity and it is ontologically racist. It’s history has been that of settler colonial land theft, plunder, and grand dehumanization of the black flesh.
Whiteness sees South Africa as better without blacks. That is why racism still exists – because we have allowed it to be symbolically vanished instead of it being uprooted.
Racism is allowed by the ANC and the black liberal apologists who are clutched into rainbowism, race denialism, race transcendence, nonracialism, and pseudo-futurism of nation building.
Racism has been entrenched to the extent that it has become banal and it exists in the invisible domain – but that does not mean it is not there.
I am not moved by the Chris and Penny’s et al’s racist gestures or any other deeds. They are just a tip of the racist “largesse.” I would even go to the extent of saying #HandsOffChrisAndPenny.
Both are just distracting us from the real problem – the racism of the everyday.
I see racism when I see Fanon’s Manichean reality – white privilege side-by-side with black dispossession. Does not the binary of Alexandra and Sandton ring a bell? Is it not the same space but having a parasitic ontological arrangement of Fanon’s zone of being and zone of non-being?
That is what makes me feel the black pain, not to mention the RDP pondokkies in the middle of nowhere, shacks and blacks not having a dignified place to shit.
Did we forget that black children are still falling in toilet pits and blacks are still fighting for a toilet? Yeah, a place to shit.
As long as we don’t have our land, and continue being hobos in occupied Azania, there is no way the infrastructure of anti-Black racism will not end.
Let us go for the structures that produce the Penny and Chris of this anti-Black world. Hotep!