Thursday, 17 September 2015 02:22

Is Carvin Goldstone right about Coloured Bravado?

Written by Ryan Swano
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After teenager Montreal "Monty" King was killed at the Durban Day Music festival, comedian Carvin Goldstone expressed his utter disgust at "Why Coloured people in South Africa and Durban find themselves in a never-endingcycle of killing each other."

In a recent Facebook post which has had more than 885 shares, Durban comedian Carvin Goldstone highlighted something he calls "Coloured bravado" inferring that Coloured people never back down from a fight, resulting in countless deaths.
Do his observations reflect a definite reality or is he placing this very tragic incident in a completely overblown context?

I haven't said anything about the tragic killing of the teenager Montreal "Monty" King from Newlands East. And no one...

We have to admit that there definitely is a problem amongst a portion of Coloured youth (and adults) with regards to conflict resolution and yes, this is manifested through violent "Coloured-on-Coloured" crime.
Carvin certainly makes a few good points and his advice to parents cannot be faulted but there is a flaw in his dissertation. I cannot speak for most of Durban Coloureds, because I only know a few, but when Carvin includes Coloureds in the rest of South Africa, he gives a generalised impression that the majority of Coloureds across the country have a propensity to resolve differences with violence.

Living in the gang-infested town of Elsies River, I have seen and experienced many a violent incident in my lifetime and though I and the majority of the people I know are not walk-overs, the idea that we are all a bunch of knife-wielding, gun-toting and fist-fighting maniacs always ready to rumble, actually reinforces the specious negative stereotypes other population groups perceive of us and which we perceive of ourselves.
The idea that most Coloureds consciously or sub-consciously walk around with an attitude of "you can't mess with me because I'm Coloured" is absurd.

I'm not from Durban but I can presume to speak for most of the Coloureds I personally know and  interact with all around the country and even a few from Durban when I say that those people who walk around with an attitude of "You can't mess with me" do not hold their 'Colouredness' as their main reason for their disposition.

I am not saying that there are not serious issues that need to be addressed and in fact Carvin's post has the effect that it at the very least makes us all sit up and take note that we do have a problem.
What we need to make crystal clear is that as for the two extremes Carvin sites as examples of where Coloureds find themselves in life, the stereotyped tough life of the Coloured kid growing up in blocks of council flats and knows no other way of life except one of violence and the other extreme of the Coloureds who can afford to live in the posh suburbs safely shrouded from conflict, both are in the minority.
The majority of Coloureds find themselves somewhere in the middle trying to make a decent living, resolving their conflicts peacefully and trying to teach their kids to do the same.

No individual, no matter which population group they are from, can afford to allow others to simply walk all over them and I will even venture to say that there are situations in which one could be called upon to physically defend yourself or your loved ones.
At the same time violently responding to each and every potential conflict situation should never be the norm. That counts for everyone, not just Coloureds.
Of course we proportionately have the highest level of gangsterism and we have a huge drug problem and that is accompanied with high levels of violent crime. We cannot deny these problems.
We should however be wary of painting the majority of Coloureds with the same brush.

Saying that the majority of Coloureds have a predisposition to resort to violence and then claiming that they consciously or sub-consciously have some sort of warped and misplaced "Coloured Pride" as a driving force spurring them on is an insult to the majority of Coloureds who try to get by living their lives honestly and peacefully.