The Fanon(-ization) of #SouthAfrican politics by opposition parties and pressure movements is retrogressive methinks. But I want to focus on the decolonization pressure groups in this instance.
Let me hasten to say, before I elaborate on the Fanonization, the problem in South Africa in particular and Africa in general is that any sort of violent protest movement is most likely to be hijacked by (1) criminals who thrive on the violence and commit their criminality under the guise of protest, (2) infiltration by propagandists and other third party movements and in my entirely personal opinion these (revolutionary) movements are not that independent at all.Fanon’s philosophies must be applied with care in modern day Africa because he encourages, to quote him loosely, ‘using violence against violence’. This philosophy cannot be applied literally in its entirety in today’s struggle for racial equality and dignity because modern day peaceful protest can yield results much more than in Fanon’s era.
When Fanon wrote, in the 20th century, the world was not yet as tech savvy as it is today, we didn’t have globally powerful public driven organisations such as Facebook, there was no Twitter or Amazon. During Fanon era, an investor would not have been sitting at his desk in Milan watching a live Facebook feed of art and books being burnt in the street.
So when young people go on the rampage committing intellectual vandalism by burning books and destroying infrastructure, in the age of Facebook, they are only curtailing their own opportunities because if they scare investors away then when they graduate from their university with their degree and pan Afrikanism they will go back to ekasi and start reading Fanon again but this time they will be on their own to face the harsh realities of life. To put it aptly and simply, they will need a job.
I am using these examples to show that the struggle for equality has evolved with time just as the factors which influence racial equality have evolved too. We need to move with the times. The advent – and rise – of the Internet has revolutionised the way the world works and Africa does not exist in isolation…
The point that I am painstakingly trying to make is that the solution to the racially inspired divide between the poor and the rich (in South Africa this must be interpreted as between black and white people respectively) lies with governance.
These crooked governments that we elect in Africa do not care about people (whose Presidents you see laughing at parliamentarians and sleeping at the podium in the presence foreign dignitaries). These corrupt, thieving regimes need to be dislodged. Because they have the power to effect change but due to their own greed, once elected, they forget the electorate and focus on fattening their pockets and indulging in polygamous marriages.
My people, let us not boo ‘white (professors) people’ (I put that in quotes because I think we have white Africans and black Africans)
Especially in South Africa, I think that electoral power can be utilised to install into place a government that is interested in dislodging the toxic Mandela legacy and begin the long but necessary process to correct the disenfranchisement of black South Africans, albeit peacefully.