Sadist Zille loves poking gaping racial wounds. It’s time to ignore her
We’ll never convince a racist of our humanity, yet we keep descending into the porcine mud fight she loves
This column should be about the dismal economy and the long winter of discontent we face as a country. This column should be about the horrendous unemployment rate and the plight of the poor. This column should be about whether Tito Mboweni is fit and energetic enough for his office as minister of finance.
This column is not about any of that. Instead, it’s about Democratic Alliance federal chairperson Helen Zille, her incessant race-baiting and her apartheid denialism. It is about how exhausting, how debilitating, how distracting it is to read about her enraging tweets that deny apartheid and its impact.
Many of us do not want to spend our lives dissecting apartheid and its impact. We suffered through it. We triumphed over it. Even with its legacy, we have “moved on” from it. Yet for the likes of Zille it is not enough that so many of us want to build a new country. For her and her ilk it is far more enjoyable to excavate pain that we do not wish to revisit. They are sadists. They enjoy watching us suffer for the sake of their “debates”.
Last week, Zille tweeted that the ANC-led democratic government had passed more racial laws in the period since 1994 than the apartheid government had done in its 46 years in power. Madeleine Fullard, head of SA’s Missing Persons Task Team (they try to trace some of the thousands of people that the apartheid government “disappeared” or murdered), then tried to find a list of all the apartheid legislation passed by the National Party government. She came up with 27 pages of laws. She wrote: “For the sake of ‘brevity’, the additional 18 pages of homelands laws are not included here. They can be found on pages 478-496 of Volume 1.”
So you have the extremely busy head of the Missing Persons Task Team going through volumes of archives just to disprove a hurtful lie that is uttered by Zille. In the meantime what was Zille doing? She was chortling away in her home, enjoying it all. She had “got” them. Just as she had “got” them when she tweeted: “For those claiming legacy of colonialism was ONLY negative, think of our independent judiciary, transport infrastructure, piped water.”
To wrestle with Zille and people of her ilk is to wrestle with a pig. She likes the mud, she likes the biting and the farting and the burping.
Thousands of people have responded to Zille over the years. She continues to do what she does best: stick her grubby fingers into our gaping wounds and scratch and squeeze and cause as much pain as possible.
Those who are in pain then trawl through the archives to try and sensitise and educate her. Zille and her ilk do not care. It’s not about any of us. It’s about her. She is enjoying herself, you see. Nothing that Madeleine Fullard or any other person who tries to respond to her says will ever be convincing enough for her to change her views. It’s like trying to tell a Eugene Terre’blanche that a black person is human. They don’t care. They just enjoy your response as you try, and try, and fail to prove your humanity.
To wrestle with Zille and people of her ilk is to wrestle with a pig. She likes the mud, she likes the biting and the farting and the burping. When you stop wrestling with her she stands outside your window, taunting you to get back in the mud.
Stupidly, you descend down to the mud fight. She loves it. You can never win. You will never win if you try to convince a racist of your humanity. That is what is happening here. These are the same people who, when African-Americans die at pandemic levels at the hands of the police, and you try to raise consciousness about the fact that black lives matter, they are the first to chirp that “all lives matter”. Of course they do, but there isn’t a white man dying with a cop’s knee on his neck right now.
Zille reminds us of the eloquence of Toni Morrison, who wrote: “The function, the very serious function of racism is distraction. It keeps you from doing your work. It keeps you explaining, over and over again, your reason for being. Somebody says you have no language and you spend 20 years proving that you do. Somebody says your head isn’t shaped properly so you have scientists working on the fact that it is. Somebody says you have no art, so you dredge that up. Somebody says you have no kingdoms, so you dredge that up. None of this is necessary. There will always be one more thing.”
It is time to ignore the Helen Zilles and continue to try and build the united, non-racial, non-sexist, prosperous and democratic country of our dreams. Zille and the Democratic Alliance that continues to feed her racism are holding us back. We can find an opposition party elsewhere. You cannot reform a racist. You cannot even have the conversation, and shouldn’t even try. They will exhaust you.