UNITED FRONT RESPONSE TO THE RACIST, WHITE SUPREMACIST SOCIAL MEDIA MESSAGES BY CHRIS HART AND PENNY SPARROW
INTENSIFY THE STRUGGLE AGAINST WHITE SUPREMACY
In response to the unashamed self-exposure of leading neo-liberal economist Chris Hart as a white supremacist, the United Front calls on all black people in South Africa to intensify the struggle against white supremacy. The audacity of white supremacy to assert itself underlines the severe limits and failures of Nelson Mandela’s rainbow nation project.
This project failed to challenge and defeat white supremacy. This project far too easily and readily forgave and legitimated white violence and genocidal subjugation of indigenous peoples of this country. White people as a whole continue to benefit from slavery, colonialism, genocide, apartheid, capitalism and the post-1994 neo-apartheid dispensation. All these feed and sustain white supremacy.
That the likes of Hart, Penny Sparrow and others unashamedly act out their white supremacy should not be taken as isolated incidents. With the continued failure of the ANC post-apartheid government, white supremacists have become emboldened.
They occupy airtime in public and private radio, in newspaper letter columns, in online publications, in social media and in their social milieus. In all these platforms, they portray black people as undeserving beneficiaries of affirmative action, poor administrators failing to govern a country and run a modern economy, monkeys, victims claiming entitlements, and so on. They also use their inordinate social, economic and political power to perpetuate black oppression and to defend their ill-gotten gains.
It is also no coincidence that Hart as the leading theologian of anti-black, and anti-poor neo-liberal policies has exposed himself as an unashamed white supremacist. Neo-liberal economic policies entrench ill-gotten gains and property and promote profit-maximisation in a white-controlled economy.
This profit-maximisation is directly earned through the continued exploitation of cheap black labour and the maintenance of apartheid geography. Neo-liberal policies are not a mistake – they are deliberately adopted, implemented and sustained by Mandela’s ANC government. This was done through the 1996 Growth, Employment and Redistribution policy and now the National Development Plan.
The suspension of Hart by Standard Bank and Sparrow by the Democratic Alliance are simply insufficient. White supremacy, root and branch, has to be systematically removed from the fabric our society. This will require no less than a sustained and resolute mass struggle of black people to defeat it. Without such a struggle and the redistributive transformation of the economy there is no genuine and substantive basis for nation-building in which white people may have the opportunity to become African and human again.
The United Front calls on all to make 2016 the year in which such a sustained mass struggle is deepened and intensified. Importantly, the rise of the #RhodesMustFall and other university decolonisation movements underline how a growing number of black people have begun to challenge this reality. Immediately, the United Front calls for the enactment of far stronger legislation to punish racism. As the United Front, we will play our part in building a society-wide struggle against white supremacy.
Statement issued by Mazibuko K. Jara, Interim National Secretary, United Front, 5 January 2016