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I was left with an egg on my face! Tafi Mhaka 'stop it'

01 Apr 2018 at 17:36hrs | Views
Just the title "Donald Trump is black and ugly man" sent my blood pressure so high; in a split second, I had a 5000-word essay in my mind to tell Tafi off. Before reading his article I was in the fighting mode to attack him and rightly so, I thought. I had already an essay on my fingertips to give my opinion about the Black colour and Black race. Insulting a person I admire so much. Tafi Mhaka's articles generally are an inspiration to me. He has taught me Ubuntu. I scaled down my ethnic inclination and learnt to be objective in my analysis because of his articles in Zimbabwe online social media houses. I thank him greatly for that. In fact, I admire people from the east part of our great country ( Mashonaland) who defy all norms of tribal hate and hate speeches and those limited confines of tribal inclination to remain objective all the time. Tafi Mhaka is one of the few who wants tribal conflicts in our societies eliminated and we build this great country devoid of any ethnic and racial tensions. Tribalism in our country impedes all development. We want to build communities that are inclusive, inviting all ethnic groups to participate objectively in our political discourses social development.  

What upset me in Tafi Mhaka's article could have been the heading "Donald Trump is black and ugly."  That to me, without reading his article was a reaction that asked many questions: "is being black ugly" considering the fact that Trump is white. Is blackness considered ugly in his opinion and narrative? Tafi please "stop it" for causing unnecessary blood-pressure effects. Can you please choose "readable" topics that are politically acceptable in your articles?

Just two days ago I was reading an article from the Feminist Party Poland. The heading of this article was: "We have a black-week in Poland." The feminist letter was actually implying that because the law in Poland was closing all avenues for women's right to abortion, therefore they have a black-week. The heading of the article together with the content of this article is "black" linked with negativity. It also goes without saying that the author of Feminist Party Poland sees the colour-black as a colour known to represent opposing ideas, always known for its negative connotations.  

According to Elle Smith, the name black in western culture is the colour related to death and mourning. It is for this reason people wear black garments at funerals. It is a grim colour that reflects the severity of a loss and pain people are feeling at that time, it is a very serious colour that represents grief and is to be used with great caution. Black is a name-colour associated with evil and is often used in films and shows to depict evil and great uncertainties, mournful and rebelliousness, a colour known for its negative connotations most of the time.

Further on, Elle Smith in her work says the name colour-black is a negative imaginary image typically associated with negative language: black sheep, black mark, black propaganda, black guard, black-hearted, and the black market. She says all these images are pulled by memory-bank implanted in one's mind from childhood. She says words are generally processed by the human-short-term memory while images directly go into long-term-memory and remain permanently etched there. According to the Sage journals; Time immemorial colour-name has always had a black as negative and therefore "bad" evaluative connotations and white as positive "good" evaluative connotations. Racial groups are therefore stereotypically defined by colour-names: African race is black and Caucasian race is white.

Wow, wow. Black, Black!!!! But black is my colour! The black colour is my shining armour: said Hugh Masekela the late South African icon and musician. The question is: Is my colour a description of negative, wrong, unacceptable: is the narrative black-colour negative? Why can't they use another colour to describe their negative evaluative connotations to condemn the Polish law that affects them as feminists?

I will exonerate and at the same apologize to Tafi Mhaka for wrongly pre-empting the content of his today's article because I reacted without reading his article at all. After reading his article it did not in any way disregard Blackness per se; he had a different twist of substance and content in his work from the title of his article, a very good, objective, well-written work. I can hardly say more than his objective and eloquent input.  

On the other hand, I am deeply concerned about the article written by the Feminist Party Poland that implies that anything negative, bad and unacceptable must be black in colour. If one has this black colour in him/her, was born with and is subjected to read such articles whose negative value of black is evil and wrong, it sinks deep in one's own identity as a black person. It reduces what is already reduced: name-colour black is negative! I may have over-reacted perhaps.     


Source - Nomazulu Thata
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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