How the EFF used racial rhetoric to defend VBS bank

I think it is instructive to go back and look at the EFF’s defense of VBS bank, particularly after the revelations around Floyd Shivambu and his brother Brian.

In March of this year the EFF claimed that VBS was being victimised according to News24.

“Opting for curatorship as the first measure undermines the bank and undermines black people’s participation in the ownership and control of financial services institutions,” the party’s spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said.

“The EFF is aware that VBS is being victimized due to a loan it gave to Mr Jacob Zuma for a house in Nkandla. Had it been a white-owned bank that had offered Zuma a loan, they would not be subject to victimization today.”

According to the Daily Maverick the driving force behind the investigation into the bank was Deputy Director General at National Treasury. Momoniat.

In June, Floyd Shivambu said the following of Momoniatm, according to New24:

“Our issue that is of genuine political concern is that National Treasury is led by a director general who is an African. But there it looks like there are deliberate attempts to undermine African leadership in National Treasury. And it was raised openly, in public.”

He was taken to task over this as Momoniat  served in the struggle, and was actually born here. Shivambu during the exchange seemingly refused to acknowledge him as an African.

Later that month, Julius Malema said the majority of Indians were racist.

“We were not all oppressed the same. Indians had all sorts of resources Africans didn’t have, Coloureds as well. The majority of Indians are racist. I’m not saying all, I’m saying majority,” Malema told a gathering according to eNCA.

Here is the thing to understand about racism – racism is a form of affinity.

What I mean by that is that the important part of racism isn’t so much the groups you hate, and the groups you claim to love, because the whole point to racism is to claim some sort of affinity with that group.

That other groups are then prejudiced against is not the aim, so much as a necessary corollary to building this affinity.

In the context between hate and apathy, apathy is in a lot of ways of worse, because there are things you wouldn’t do to your worst enemy, that you would ignore happening to those you simply don’t care about.

In 2011, Time Magazine reported that a study had found racists actually had more oxycotin, the “love hormone”, than non-racists.

And the thing about affinity, is all fraud is affinity fraud. It is all based upon getting you to think this person is on your side and therefore won’t crook you.

If you look at how the Gupta family funded Bell Pottinger’s campaign accusing their accusers of being driven by “White monopoly capital”, or you look at how racialised the defense of Zuma always was, it was all about claiming that affinity.

This is part of why I reject the redefinition of racism as “prejudice+power” – racism isn’t “prejudice+power” but a means of attaining power.

And the people who use it to attain power are invariably not good people. This is because it is a route to power that seeks to circumvent rational and evidence-based thinking.

Instead of the media reporting negative things, we hear that the media is biased because it is white owned, or if you went back in time to when Apartheid was the law of the land, British.

This is the operation of affinity – I am one of you, these people are attacking me, therefore they are our enemies.

Recently I saw a Twitter exchange where one person said another was stupid, and that other person immediately claimed he said black people were stupid. This was just a very transparent version of that trick.

And it is the calling card of the EFF. I do not think Julius Malema or any of the rest of them particularly care about white people one way or the other, I think that party is dedicated to building this affinity, and that is how they aim to get away with their own shenanigans.


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