The look of the future?

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Currently there is much outrage at the above racist video. I post it so that you can see it if you wish (blurred to protect the identity of those involved). However, I will warn you right now that it is about white Afrikaaner students feeding urine-soaked food to older black workers. So you probably won’t want to see it, right?

Four white students persuaded a group of low-paid black workers (one man and three women, who all worked at the university as cleaners) to join in what they apparently told them was a mock-up of the TV show “Fear Factor”, a competition where the prize was a bottle of whisky. These people knew and were fond of the students – perhaps they were cleaners who serviced the students’ rooms – and one of them has said she looked on them “like sons”. So it probably all seemed like a great hoot when their young friends suggested a fun afternoon in friendly competition. Umph. So, using this pretext, the white boys persuaded these people who trusted them to eat food which looked pretty disgusting even before one of the students urinated on it. (NB there is some doubt about whether it was actual urine or whether he was just pouring water on it and pretending to urinate – frankly I’m not sure that in the general scheme of things it makes much difference but, for what it’s worth, from looking at the video the “competitors” do seem to gag pretty quickly.)

The video was made as a protest against integration of their college dorm. Currently, the dorms are largely still segregated, even so many years after the official end of apartheid. The university is, belatedly, trying to do something about this. The white boys don’t like it. The end of this video, in which white boys made black women eat piss, says (in Afrikaans) “That, basically, is what we think of integration.”

(See also here, here, here, and here.)

That this is disgusting, that this merits the outrage expressed – no doubt.

(Although it is worth noting that plenty of things happen every day which don’t get such outrage. Poor black people starve or die of *easily* preventable diseases, they go missing or are assaulted, even killed, every day in South Africa. Who even finds out about those cases, let alone reports them internationally? Remember that, as well.)

But what worries me is that (notwithstanding the hot denials of Afrikaans organisation “Freedom Front Plus”, who exist to further the interests of white Afrikaners in Africa by opposing such things as affirmative action, the reclamation by black people of their right to name their own land, and generally anything that seeks to redress the balance by reducing Afrikaner privileges) this is not a one-off freak atrocity that nobody could have predicted. It is absolutely the sort of thing that happens when privilege is taken away from people. It is absolutely the sort of thing that happens when “entitlement” is denied to spoiled white people who do not even understand what they have as a privilege. And it is absolutely the sort of thing that will happen again and again as we struggle against white supremacist patriarchy, as we force people to give up the fruits of their forefather’s thefts. Not just in South Africa. All over the world.

People, the fight is going to get worse. When we “win” by taking back what white men have appropriated to themselves, what they have appropriated for so long that they no longer even remember the theft, they will get angry. They will get mean. They will piss on our food, on our bodies, on our children. It’s only when we are being pissed on that we will know we are making inroads, that they are running scared, that they know they have lost the long fight and are left only with the petty reprisals.

When we fight white supremacist patriarchy, this is what we have to look forward to.