Activist and filmmaker Sipho Singiswa took to his Facebook page to express his views on the issue of the Fees Must Fall movement, and on who he feels can actually participate in its marches. He has made quite a number of remarks on how different races should play their part in the struggle against racism.
His comments, as usual, have divided opinion.
Here’s what he had to say on Facebook:
When a coloured person tells a handful of white comrades who are in solidarity with the FMF movement and Black worker struggles as committed socialists, that they must “leave black struggles alone and go and work on the Ruperts and Oppenheimers instead” – then we as Black struggleists have to ask him why he does not go and work on his racist coloured community, which mostly does not want to embrace a Black identity, as well. Where were the coloured community in this struggle or even at this march? If they are still willing to be the buffer zone between Black people and white privilege then they need working on too.
Can everyone who is talking on behalf of Black people, as in those Blacks who have remained at the bottom of the social ladder well into a 22-year racist democracy, cease from talking on our behalf. It is not as if they have learned our indigenous languages and then they want to speak on our behalf in English or fanakalo too. If there are committed white, Indian and coloured comrades willing to support black struggles while not trying to take over the leadership but in solidarity with Black people who are working towards egalitarianism, then we accept this support. A handful of white people cannot get rid of white monopoly capital on their own – it is up to us Blacks to do this because we are the majority.
Biko warned about those whites and other minorities who sought to lead Black struggles as if we are not capable of leading our own struggles. He spoke of this type of white liberal and non-whites (both of whom were problematised by him) but accepted those who were willing to lay down their privilege to join us in solidarity.
Let the Coloured and Indian Fallists challenge their own communities as well as the Habibs, Jansens and Rensbergs and Manuels on their continuation of the apartheid race hierarchy as well as those who try to turn black struggles into self-serving financial industries. Let the whites challenge white supremacy and keep the liberals in check with their self-serving good white industry. But let us all, who are committed socialists, work in solidarity to bring down capitalism and elitism and work towards an equal society. There is no space for any self-serving hypocrisy in this struggle, which is first and foremost a struggle for Black agency and resides on Black power. It is up to us who we fight alongside with and who we collectively mark as askaris.