Black Hope White Fear: Reflections on economic transformation in South Africa
By Vince Musewe and Wayne Lee
Published by Reach Publishers’ Services (2013)
THE book Black Hope White Fear explores the social, political and economic factors that impact and mould the lives and belief systems of black and white citizens in South Africa and elsewhere on the continent.
Vince Musewe from Zimbabwe and South Africa’s Wayne Lee draw from their experiences to highlight the injustices that are affecting the black man in South Africa and the blunders that neighbouring African countries have made.
Though white, Lee advocates rights of the blackman and highlights that it starts with the removal of the inferiority complex bestowed to the blackman through apartheid.
“In my view, the biggest thing apartheid did was that it robbed back people of their self-esteem. For Nelson Mandela to be concerned about a black pilot flying a plane best illustrates the point,” writes Lee.
“The reality is that racism plays a large role in our country and eliminating it from your personal life will make you much happier.”
Mandela’ attitudes on black South Africans made him fail to deal with the issue of reconciliation in favour of the blackman.
To this day, the black South African literally worships and idolises the whiteman and in SA, some whites still have the nerve of addressing black labourers as ‘kaffirs’ or ‘floppies’.
However, in Zimbabwe, the whiteman was forced to admit the wrongs that he did in the past, especially on the land issue and today, Zimbabweans believe they are masters of their destiny.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has reiterated that the land issue is irreversible and Government will continue to support the indigenous farmers.
White farmers can apply or partner black farmers who are the landowners.
In SA, Mandela sacrificed the land meant for the landless, underfed, houseless and under-employed blacks who are still badly represented in senior managerial positions.
Vestiges of apartheid and colonial economic patterns, ownership and control remain intact despite the attainment of political freedom in SA.
Mandela is blamed for failing to deliver what democracy he had promised and is responsible for South Africa’s misdirection.
His dream of political victory was a nightmare for the black majority in SA.
His policy for reconciliation meant that the black people forgave the whites for the years of dispossession, humiliation and suffering but without recourse to the resources.
On attaining independence, SA continued to perpetuate the notion that whites are superior to the blackman and to this day, according to the South African Human Rights Commission, reports of racism are still rampant at universities, schools, parking lots, restaurants, office blocks and on social media sites such as facebook and twitter.
Yet, nothing meaningful has been done to deal with the whiteman in SA.
The blacks would rather direct their anger at fellow Africans through Afrophobic attacks.
Musewe describes it as ‘shifting the burden’ and it happens when people fail to address the fundamentals of a problem that they face and that failure leads them to ‘reframe’ the problem by creating a context that justifies their failure.
“I continually seek to understand the underlying emotions that result in other blacks hating black foreigners but are quick to accept white foreigners,” writes Museve
“My contention is that this is a result if years of the racial conditioning of blacks by the white male under apartheid; where white was good and black was evil.”
Indeed, all Afrophobic attacks in SA targeted black foreigners and were never aimed at the whiteman.
Musewe believes that racism must be purged as a precursor to economic freedom for all.
He believes that people must seek a higher ground for engagement and expectantly enlist the support of the minority groups for them to contribute to achieving future goals through including their skills, ideas and imagination on how best to achieve their vision.
Musewe argues that the issues of race will be there as long as black people are not economically empowered, hence the need to educate and economically empower the blackman.
“I am an Afro-optimist. I believe that our future holds much more potential than we can imagine. That, despite the challenges and the pessimism we sometimes encounter, Africa must still rise and will do so,” writes Musewe
“I believe that things in Zimbabwe will change for the better and we ought to be ready to take our country to the next level.
“I believe that South Africa must still go through its growing pains but eventually pragmatism and common sense will prevail on what is the most appropriate economic model.”