Western Cape Premier Helen Zille has again embroiled herself in a racial twitter storm in the past 24 hours, with her hashtag #BlackPrivilege trending on South Africa’s Twitter feeds all day.
According to some, her comments were incredibly racist… but in the view of others her comments were taken out of context and she had been simply trying to highlight the racism in a comment to which she was responding.
A video was posted in which a woman appeared to blame all white people for all black people’s misfortunes:
— Dumisani Tembe (@KunjaloD) May 17, 2019
Zille said: “Why is she saying this stuff in English?”
Dumisani Tembe replied: “You clearly don’t understand white privilege. We had plenty technology here that was eroded/annihilated by colonialism. You did us zero favours by colonising us.”
Zille responded early Friday morning: “Well you clearly don’t understand black privilege. It is being able to loot a country and steal hundreds of billions and get re-elected. If ppl want permanent poverty for the masses they are going about it the right way. #BlackPrivilege”
According to Renaldo Gouws (watch below) the tweet does sound terrible out of context, but is in response to an “outlandish” comment. Zille was trying to show how idiotic racial stereotyping is, says Gouws… who also pointed out Zille’s history of working for a better South Africa for everyone in this country. She was, he says, saying “enough of this bullsh*t and double-standards” with racism. He claims that when a white person says something racist it trends for days, but when a black person does the same it’s hardly reported by social or mainstream media.
After watching Gouws’ video, Zille said: “Well done @RenaldoGouws. This hits the nail on the head. We have to have backbones of steel to tell the truth, contextually, in SA.”
Many disagreed, including South Africa’s former Public Protector, Advocate Thuli Madonsela, who requested an apology.
Madonsela said: “Dear @helenzille white privilege is universal and comes with the premium the world places on whiteness plus accumulated historical advantages. To equate it with black privilege is myopic. To brand blacks as looters and political pretenders is wrong. Please withdraw and apologize.”
Zille responded with: “Dear @ThuliMadonsela The era to which you refer, has ended. 2day “whiteness” is a swear-word used to stigmatise and marginalise. I thought our struggle was to judge each INDIVIDUAL on their merits irrespective of race. I will not replace one form of racism with another. Sorry.”
WATCH Renaldo Gouws: The Black Privilege Question, South Africa
Tumi Sole pointed out:
Here’s Mmusi explaining White Privilege!
Zille can go jump! pic.twitter.com/Odl4cDl3Ej
— Tumi Sole (@tumisole) May 17, 2019
And Loud Mouthed Chic said:
I'm sorry – looting a country is BLACK privilege?
What colour were the British who came and looted our mineral wealth, most of which is still sitting overseas? Or the Apartheid leaders who continued to do it?
You really need to do some reading. https://t.co/GxoMbZHnHN
— Tracey (@LoudMouthedChic) May 17, 2019