Youth against race

Tyss Azna

Let us, for a brief moment, embark on a journey. Let us, comrades, discuss the ever so touchy subject of race (rather cringe now). I would like to begin with the Oxford English Dictionary’s definition of race: [Race is defined as] each of the major divisions of humankind, having distinct physical characteristics.

The above definition in itself is extremely flawed. Comrades, let us break down this definition starting with ‘major divisions of humankind’. What does that even mean? How do you qualify and quantify a ‘major division of humankind’? Then there's the ‘distinct physical characteristics’. Is the aforementioned ‘distinct’ an absolute term? As you can see, I have weakened the argument for the use of race as a psychosocial construct with four simple questions.

The biggest weakness in the race construct is the fact very few people are genetically pure when it comes to race. How many ‘Africans’ have 100% ‘African’ genes? How does one describe an ‘African” who has two ‘African’ parents but one ‘European’ grandmother? Genetically speaking, that individual would be a maximum of 75% ‘African’. Does it make that person less ‘African’?

To take my argument one step further, let us discuss this South African concept of ‘Coloured’. This concept is amongst the most flawed - it's used to primarily describe the child of an ‘African’ and ‘European’, secondarily people of Cape Malayan dissent, and lastly to describe a group of people who are ‘mixed race’. It is beyond flippant, in my (not so) humble opinion, to describe such a complex grouping of people in one simple term. This flippancy borders on idiocy. Using simple logic: ‘African’ + ‘European’ = Coloured, ‘European’ + ‘Indian’ = Coloured, ‘African’ + ‘Indian’ = Coloured etc. That's just stupid.

Now onto the South African's pet peeve - inter-racial relationships. I really enjoy being in an inter-racial relationship. My girlfriend and I will get ‘side eyes’ in black areas and ‘side eyes’ in white areas. This is beyond hilarity; and the best part is that most of these ‘side eyes’ are from your generation - the so-called ‘liberators’. You, mother and father, have absolutely failed to create the non-racial nation that you claimed you would. You, father, are in the mass media using race in the most blasé of manners (the subject matter being dogs at that. Ha!). You, father, are far too callous with a construct that is holding us back. Alas, I digress.

It is quite clear that racism and the race construct itself is fundamentally flawed. Plenty of us black people share more commonalities with our white brothers and sisters than the black ones. You, father, need to get off your high horse and pull that stick out your backside and see that your kids have been playing together for decades now.

Comrades, to hell with race!

Tyss Azna is a musician with an opinion on everything South African.