By Lunga Tlou
The topic makes you wonder what is this Ace that R-aci-sm supposedly has? Allow me to break it down for you, here goes: ”Amongst the many card games we played growing up “5 cards” was probably the simplest it is not like the well-known “five card draw” poker game. . As it has simple rules, each player will be dealt 5 cards and for the duration of the game, each player will strive to have 3 cards of the same number + 2 cards of the same number. Practically, this can translate to 3 cards of the number 2 and then maybe 2 cards of the number 10. See below example:
Image source: http://c7.alamy.com/comp/BKC6PJ/a-full-house-poker-hand-treys-and-tens-a-good-poker-hand-in-five-card-BKC6PJ.jpg
It is in such a case that a player is considered to have won. So the last player to match their cards in this fashion loses the round and is eliminated. Now the game has many other rules but there’s one in particular that is specific to our discussion. If you ask many township kids what the Ace card is, as if a choir in sync, they will all shout “Ace is any card”. In terms of the game, this means that a player, instead of having 3 cards of the number 2 and then two cards of the number 10, they only need 2 cards of each with an Ace card to win. Why? Because the Ace card is “any card” therefore, it can act as the number 2 or the number 10.
Now how does this analogy connect with our topic? You are in for a ride. To begin, allow me to give you a truth you haven’t really thought about. “not all Muslims are terrorists but almost all terrorists are Muslims”? Well here’s one that holds true, “Not every white person is privileged but all white people stand to benefit from White Privilege”. This is the Ace card of R-aci-sm. It is here that Whiteness becomes “any card” that allows the non-white races to be left behind. It’s important you realize that Racism is not a person. Racism is not the hate speech that people utter about black in their outbursts. Racism is a structural system. Racism is a deliberate means to advance only one race due to the colour of their skin in all circumstances. Racism is when a white cop shoots a black bystander and the Media applies its vast resources to discredit the victim. Racism is when a white boy shoots up a school, killing many pupils and gets labeled as mentally challenged, instead of being a terrorist. Racism is when a student in a South African university gets to answer a test question paper with both Afrikaans and English. Racism is when a news correspondent gets an insert they make, cut just because she appears in one of the scenes wearing a Doek, on Africa day noghal. Racism is when Black professionals have to assimilate in corporate in order to climb the ladder. Racism is when cops raid a bar in SA and the white people go scot free. Racism is when black miners protesting against a big White mining company, get killed whist on their way home. Racism is when a white athlete gets 6 years for murdering another human being. Racism is when…….you can feel in the blanks for I can take the whole year.
Structural Racism under the presence of white privilege, manifests itself through: Inequality, lack of transformation, education, access to resources, the media, movies, through the stock exchange, the ownership of the economy, through housing distributions, corporate culture, incarceration trends etc. That is why even if you have a black government like in South Africa, without a deliberate effort to dismantle structural racism, it continues to thrive.
In “Words I never said”, Lupe Fiasco mentions that “Walk with me into the ghetto, this where all the Kush went”. Liquor joints in the Suburbs close earlier than those in the ghetto. It’s quite odd that the most unlikely places for white people to be born in, is where all new age drugs find prominence. Think Nyaope, think whoonga. None of these are manufactured in the “ghetto” but are consumed and retailed there, there are no chemists in the “ghetto” hence they are not made there. For us not to take the whole day, I believe you get the point.
Was this article written for the purposes of giving you, a manual on how to spot racism? Not really. The aim of me writing this article is because I need you to be awakened. I need for you to be aware of your surroundings. This article exists to help you know which fights to invest your energies on. Many white people, in South Africa, have made many racial outbursts before, many still do today, and sadly, many will do so even in the future to come without much really being down except for the hoohaa black twitter is known for. These unfortunately are not where our fight is. Racism is structural and institutionalized. This is why even if we can sentence someone who utters a racial outburst to life imprisonment, as soon as the court adjourns; black people will still be faced with the full wrath of structural racism.
So what then shall we do? Are we to wait for government or are we to realize that “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for”? Are we to wait for White South Africa to Atone or are we as woke individuals to realize that the power is in our hands? The latter sounds more logical. This realization is important because it will allow us to deliberately dismantle the institutions of structural racism. This will allow us to change the rules and ensure the “Ace card” becomes just that, an Ace card and not to act as any card. Think of white privilege as the feathers that are inside a pillow, with structural racism being the fabric that holds the feathers intact. An inseparable unit, only usefulness if one has the other.
Let’s engage in part 2 and dissect the necessary solutions that will allow us in our capacity as general citizens to dismantle Racism with its Ace card “white privilege”. For now see this ad below by SABC1 that was banned, if you understand the whole above discussion, you will understand why it was banned.
About the Contributor
Lunga Tlou is an Honours Graduate who is driven by the great potential that Africa and her people have. He is a firm believer in a “Woke” generation of African pupils. A Co founder of Awakened Minds, who is a Pan African in thought and a Revolutionary in deed.