Sat Oct 22 15:42:16 SAST 2016

Morality shouldn't be based on what opposition thinks

By unknown | Aug 17, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

I AM convinced that the Democratic Alliance has replaced the National Party as the new oppressors of black people in South Africa.

I AM convinced that the Democratic Alliance has replaced the National Party as the new oppressors of black people in South Africa.

But unlike in the case of the Nats, black people have freely chosen this oppression and the new oppressors.

I have too often met black people who chose to decide on the wisdom or otherwise of any issue affecting South Africa by first wanting to know what the DA thinks of it and then deciding to take the opposite view.

I have met people who honestly believe that cabinet ministers have spent too much money on their cars but suffered the dilemma of saying so because the DA had expressed the same view.

I often hear people strenuously wanting to use the disclaimer that they "hold no brief for the DA but ." just so that the fact that that they agree with the official opposition doesn't "taint" them.

Gauteng is embroiled a multi-million rand motor sport scandal that reeks to high heaven.

In short, the Gauteng government has admitted that it has spent more than R100 million on motor racing a year over the past few years, but it can't immediately say how this has benefitted the citizens of the province.

Ordinarily most citizens would be outraged to hear this from their government, especially at a time when thousands have taken to the streets demanding their share of the promised better life for all.

But because it is the DA that has told us this, the government all but concedes to the points made, expect that this will be a story that will have very short legs, as we say in the news business.

It is well known in ANC circles that if the DA announce its preference for a ANC candidate it is the end of that candidate's chances.

On radio the other day the discussion about whether Schabir Shaik was indeed seen driving around Durban descended into a discussion about the DA's unkind wishes for Shaik.

It is the same emotional argument that many self-styled revolutionaries hide behind.

They will support any cause - as long as they hear that the DA or whites are on the opposite side of the debate.

That is why some top lawyer who, by saying he didn't know who was paying for his son's university fees, helped perpetuate the stereotype that black men just make babies and don't care for them.

He is now something of a national hero in some black people's circles.

I think this fixation with the DA and broadly with what white people think is a form of self-imposed oppression.

Surely freedom must be the right to determine for ourselves what is right or wrong without having to justify it with anyone but our consciences?

Most people would agree that it would be silly to change one's mind simply because it turns out that someone else - whose reputation you have no regard for - happens to have arrived at the same conclusion as you did.

For as long as what black people believe is right or wrong hinges on what the DA thinks, they will remain susceptible to manipulation by that party or anyone who disagrees with it.

It's time for black people to determine what standards they want from their institutions.

And if these happen to coincide with what of the DA or " white liberal agenda" - whatever that means - then so be it.

As Tony Leon once said when confronted with agreeing with Cosatu on former president Thabo Mbeki's leadership style - there are times when it is better to be on the right side of a good argument with the wrong people.


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