Whilst there are clearly personal, vindictive agendas within the DA motivating punitive action against Helen Zille, the implications of her indictment for making objective remarks about the legacies of colonialism are manifold
Central to these is the claim that her remarks were “racist.” If that is the case, then it amounts to prescription within the DA of all and any objective attempts to discuss the history and heritage of colonialism on pain of being labelled “racist.”
The first aspect of that implication concerns its compatibility with the creed of non-racialism. Why should a white person within the DA run the risk of being labelled “racist” for venturing remarks about his colonial heritage while a black member would be free to discuss any aspect of his historical past? Where is the non-racialism in that? The answer: sacrificed on the altar of political correctness and expediency
Carrying that further, it becomes obvious that the slant of a school syllabus towards everything that occurred before 1994 would be jaundiced in the extreme. After all, history without context degenerates into propaganda. Obviously, this gives rise to an Orwellian situation: “who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past.” Freedom of expression and objectivity become the hostages of an intimidated mindset.
In that, the majority of the DA’s federal executive has endorsed Mmusi Maimane’s declaration that “colonialism can never be justified” and are committed to abandoning what appears to be regarded now as the liberal baggage of the past, wittingly or unwittingly, the DA has re-branded itself. Terms and conditions now apply to its slogan “Freedom, fairness and opportunity.”
The galling aspect about this impulsive and politically immature conduct by the DA is that it runs counter to the preamble of the constitution which exhorts all to respect those who have worked to build and develop the country.
Consequently, my future vote will go only to a party which tolerates free discussion of history and heritage.
Sent into The Mercury and published, 9 June 2017.