Signs point to a nation struggling with denial, anger

Image: 123RF

The veneer of the rainbow nation has slowly been peeling off for well over two decades now. Take, for example, the video clip of one Adam Catzavelos, which started doing the rounds earlier this week.

If you have been privileged enough to not lay eyes on this unsolicited attack on black people – where our “compatriot”, while holidaying at a beachside resort, boasts to his friends that he is living his best life, enjoying great weather, “and not one k@$#r in sight” – consider yourself blessed.

While many have believed that racism would slowly die out with the older generation, and that the youth of today would then freely and happily skip off into the sunset, instances like we have seen with Catzavelos are a stark reminder that racism is well-entrenched.

You see, I grew up during a time of transition, where there was more integration in schools and socially and the belief was that, come adulthood, we would all be on par in terms of opportunities, respect afforded and standing in society.

But constant disparities in the way people are treated in the workplace and society in general have done nothing but unravel the pretty little multicoloured ribbon we have desperately tried to wrap our landmine with.

This is why instances like the video currently trending are more dangerous and harmful than the legislated racism of the past.

Suddenly, the generation that is supposed to be leading the charge in reconciliation appears to be more fragmented than ever. And perhaps we should not be surprised. As a country we never underwent a formal period of grieving, (And please don’t come at me with the TRC), where we addressed the end of one of the most vile and cruel eras in world history, apartheid.

Though in some manner it’s as if our country has been grieving for a while now, because if you have heard of the five stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression and then acceptance), in many ways we have been in some kind of denial of the injustices of apartheid, and maybe now we are moving into the stage of anger.

Or perhaps we are still only in the denial stage as we continue to propagate the little white lie we have told ourselves: that as a country, we have moved on.

Either way, anger is next.

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