Helen Zille has just cemented her reputation for diplomacy on Twitter.
So the whole thread started with a poet complaining about white privilege. Some guy called Baas figured it sounded like the poet wasn’t keen on white people, and Zille chimed in to ask why the poet was speaking in English.
Which is a bit like asking why American atheists spend money that says “In God we Trust” on it. Current day Americans are leery about Spanish, I don’t think non-English poetry is much of an option there.
Literate Lion eventually responded that Zille didn’t understand white privilege, which resulted in this comment.
Well you clearly don't understand black privilege. It is being able to loot a country and steal hundreds of billions and get re-elected. If ppl want permanent poverty for the masses they are going about it the right way. #BlackPrivilege
— Helen Zille (@helenzille) May 17, 2019
This is part of why I hate identity politics.
So, The ANC just won the national elections despite two decades of failures. Their biggest success in the last ten years was partially undoing their biggest failure from the ten years prior to that, namely dealing with the AIDS crisis.
During the elections one of the controversies that arose was that their parliamentary list included figures who we had good reason to believe were corrupt.
They lost 19 seats, and straight after the elections we find out that the cuts this entailed did not include Malusi Gigaba, Bathabile Dlamini and Nomvula Mokonyane according to 702.
Gigaba, the Bejeweled man who wants you to put 15% in your mouth, has been accused of lying to Parliament over SAA’s financial statements according to Engineering News.
Bathabile Dlamini caused the whole SASSA crisis by not doing her job for years, despite multiple court orders telling her to do her job. She was eventually found liable for 20% of the court costs incurred by that debacle according to News24, and if her previous record for honouring court findings is anything to go by, well we’re going to be waiting a long time for the money.
Nomvula Mokonyane meanwhile was implicated by Angelo Agrizzi in his testimony over Bosasa, and according to City Press she pretty much destroyed the water department.
We’ve also had problems at the SABC, EWN reports that Radio Park is still not safe to operate after a diesel spill. We’ve managed to successfully elect a government that can’t run a generator.
And we’re talking about how some poet with an American accent doesn’t like white people.
That is identity politics in a nutshell; we’ve got real problems and we’re talking about “privilege” – a concept which was mostly created by marketers in order to make us think we were siding with the little guy when defending giant blockbuster movies that both cost and earn more money than any of us could realistically spend in a lifetime.
And in what possible way does what Zille said here help us tackle the issue? Now corruption is all a tribal fight, rather than a problem we need to tackle. Not blacks, not whites, we need to tackle this because at the end of the day everyone is suffering under the status quo.
Privilege is having that little bit more fat before a famine, at the end of the day we all end up starving anyway because we’re busy arguing about that rather than doing anything about the food supply.
Hat Tip to the Citizen.
- Picture courtesy of the DA via Flickr.