It would seem that for the black person it is no longer the questioning of the meaning of life that is important, but rather “Why did god make me black?” South Africa continues to be confronted by the stubborn arrogance of racism. Racism has even forgotten how to hide. ’94 is long gone, and white people have so deeply been forgiven that justice around the land, is far from the focal point for justice for the people, the black people. Hence we are caught up in asking “Why did god make me black?”
Stellenbosch University is a structure for white supremacy. It is a cornerstone for racism. A space where the normalisation of an anti-black society plays out with the same ease that sweeps across the greater Stellenbosch racist community and throughout South Africa, 21 years after the sell-out election. The election when the ANC decided white people can revel in forgiveness while black bodies become the burden in an anti-black society, and so our being seeking to become, asks, “Why did god make me black?”
Universities all around South Africa are being shown to be incubators for a thriving racist society. Education spaces that are meant to be at the forefront of teaching a new way of being. A black way of being, teaching black cultural, education and social experiences. Entrenching the memory of our ancestors, and building a society reimagined through the legacy of those who gave us universities, long before white oppressors stole the land. Yet as blacks we remain last, forgotten. We have to beg, even, apologise for being black.
Black First Land First (BLF) recognises the work done by Open Stellies, demanding more, we remind all black students and all our black sisters and brothers, the words of Steve Bantu Biko “Black man you are on your own.” No person will give you a more human face, this anti-black society is created and sustained to cast us as commodities that pass through institutions like Stellenbosch University, only to leave us defeated projects of a racist, white supremacist society.
There will be no rest, no space will belong to us, and we will never be first; until we position ourselves as Black First. We will never belong, until we take back the land that was stolen.
Walking into the university, being confronted by whiteness in all its arrogance, which seeks to brutalise the black being, even subjugating that body to an education that is white in all its guises. It’s therefore no wonder, the question reverberates, defeating the arduous student over and over…“Why did god make me black?” Today the question of belonging and the question of the land, continues to thunder just as loudly as when students were forced to learn in a language that was not their own, Afrikaans. History reminds us that, on that faithful day in 1976, the children of Biko, got up and remembered Black First!
Black First Land First calls upon all black students to position themselves as Black First. BLF calls for a revolutionary change of all institutions of learning, to become spaces that are Black First, carrying the cultural, educative and social practices informed by the black legacy and implemented in todays’ anti-black experience to deliver a future that is Black First!
Issued by the National Coordinating Committee of the Black First Land First Movement (BLF NCC)
2 September 2015