Helen Zille remains unapologetic after the massive backlash she received on social media after saying that some black South Africans, like some white South Africans, enjoy what she called “black privilege” because of the corrupt politicians who looted billions and still got re-elected.
Here’s how it all started:
Twitter user ‘twatterbass’ shared a video in which an American woman addresses white privilege in a poem, to which Zille responded by asking “Why is she saying this stuff in English?” A question that many responded to by attributing the poet’s speaking the language to slavery and being forced to learn it.
This outburst sounds more like ‘I hate whites’pic.twitter.com/4No7Iwru2S
— BAAS 🦒🦏🐂🐑🦓 (@twatterbaas) May 15, 2019
Zille’s question saw her receive scores of responses about the effects of colonialism and white privilege, to which she responded by saying “if people want permanent poverty for the masses they are going about it the right way”.
She was saying this in reference to the ANC winning the elections. Some of the party’s leaders are facing allegations of corruption and looting the state.
You clearly don’t understand white privilege. We had plenty technology here that was eroded/annihilated by colonialism. You did us zero favours by colonising us.
— Literate Lion (@HlomlaDandala) May 16, 2019
Responses flocked in as people challenged Zille’s point of view. Former public protector Thuli Madonsela asked Zille to withdraw her statements. But Zille would not budge as she said South Africans need to stop stigmatising “whiteness”.
Well you clearly don't understand black privilege. It is being able to loot a country and steal hundreds of billions and get re-elected. If ppl want permanent poverty for the masses they are going about it the right way. #BlackPrivilege
— Helen Zille (@helenzille) May 17, 2019
Dear @helenzille white privilege is universal and comes with the premium the world places on whiteness plus accumulated historical advantages. To equate it with black privilege is myopic. To brand blacks as looters and political pretenders is wrong. Please withdraw and apologize https://t.co/vTwbyn7aDI
— Prof Thuli Madonsela (@ThuliMadonsela3) May 17, 2019
Dear @ThuliMadonsela The era to which you refer, has ended. 2day “whiteness” is a swear-word used to stigmatise and marginalise. I thought our struggle was to judge each INDIVIDUAL on their merits irrespective of race. I will not replace one form of racism with another. Sorry.
Amazing. People can run around all day making the most outrageous racial generalisations about a tiny minority in this country by stigmatising “whiteness”, and the sky fall in when you give them a taste of their own medicine. I am not doing double standards anymore.