Freedom in the wrong places!

Here I begin where I ended with the last piece (see below):

The trouble with a constitutional culture is that it is a problematizing culture. A kind of problematizing that is couched in the pretense of debate. Where constitutionality may be troubling is that it can sometimes be insensitive, without even seeing that it is doing so; forgetting that true debate itself cannot be manufactured neither can it be provoked. It arises out of specific conditions of people finding themselves in reconciling ways.

Constitutional culture has created a false moral equation: between those who uphold the contents of its precepts and those who do not. “It is an equation that has given our white compatriots a right they previously and still do not have: the right to judge our struggle”[1]. What is lost here is the violence upon which the liberation-struggle demands were tamed. We may have indeed believed that such a constitutional position would bring about the possibility of a new moral basis, but we were wrong. We did not get what we want. Instead, we were called to the dinner table by our very perpetrator.

You see, constitutional arguments insists on their legitimacy! by drawing not on the specifics of the situation, but based on an agreement that was established prior—at times even under entirely different conditions. Failing to consider that the agreement itself may have taken place under duress.

Indeed, it is the spirit of compromise that characterizes the South African constitution. It emerged at a time when political tension was high and hearts were eager to move-on. It emerges as a result of a society that does not know the things that make for peace. (They have become hidden from its eyes.)

As a result, the South African spirit is severely under attack and cannot rest until its promised fulfillment. After all, these lands were the place where colonial exploitation found itself in its own making, and formed its blueprint for the rest of Africa. Why then do we simply sit and watch as our demands are trivialized by a selfish and unapologetic private sector—that takes the very essence of our toil and blood, such as our mining resources, and reinvests them in the British Empire, as Anglo American has done? If persecution persists why does it seem that our hearts have settled-in?

It is because we have allowed ourselves to be robbed of our agency. We no longer believe in our own God-given strength to overcome. We sit and wait, hoping things will work out, without us undergoing the sacrifice ourselves. Just like you can’t expect to lose weight without skipping a few meals, you can’t expect to gain freedom without skipping some comforts.

The black middle-class, in its own quest for recognition, has mired itself into a flawed environment. They have come to pursue freedom in all the wrong places and are unable to see the thing in front of them that has caused the problem and say ‘Bring back!’, Restore!

[1] Njabulo Ndebele (1994: 155). Rediscovery of the Ordinary.