National 1.9.2016 08:56 am

‘White people pleaser’ Madonsela has black self-hate issues – Ntsiki Mazwai

Thuli Madonsela. (File Photo by Gallo Images / Die Burger / Lulama Zenzile)

Thuli Madonsela. (File Photo by Gallo Images / Die Burger / Lulama Zenzile)

The poet has criticised the public protector for saying that what was happening at Pretoria Girls’ High School was ‘unintended racism’.

Following the protest at Pretoria High School for Girls over racism allegations when learners claimed they were told to straighten their “untidy” natural hair, several politicians and celebrities have come out to share their views on the matter.

One of them was Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, who on Wednesday called in from Botswana on John Robbie’s Radio 702 show, explaining what she thought was happening with the hair debate.

Madonsela says she comes across “unintended racism” every day and it’s “normal”. She further says that what we call unconscious racism and unconscious sexism are what people regard as normal.

“We do the things that we’ve always done when we were allowed to discriminate; now we’re not allowed to discriminate because we haven’t given ourselves an opportunity to reflect on what do we regard as normal … what the paradigm of a normal society is.”

ALSO READ>> Uproar as Pretoria Girls’ black pupils in ‘untidy’ hair protest

The public protector says the main problem is that rules have not been redefined to accommodate those who were “previously excluded”. Proper acceptance would mean redefining rules, including what would be regarded as normal had the previously excluded groups been the main group.

Though she agreed with Robbie that the issue at hand was about more than just hair, Madonsela says not everything that has been questioned is necessarily wrong.

She also told him that he should be happy for being a “catalyst for change”.

ALSO READ>> ‘Racist’ John Robbie slammed by former Pretoria High pupil

While some of her Twitter followers said she tackled the issue with “grace” some were angry about her use of the term “unintended racism” to describe what was happening at the school.

“Unintended racism”, what is that? Let us not now start being apologists for racism. Racism is racism,” one user said, with another adding that if there was unintended racism, there should be “unintended lies and theft” too.

Poet Ntsiki Mazwai also shared her thoughts on the matter, calling Madonsela a “white people pleaser”. She said the public protector was not an authority on black consciousness issues.




today in print