Wednesday, 20 February 2019 14:53

Emphasising the Genetic Links Between Whites and Coloureds Around Election Time Raises Questions Featured

Written by Kelly-Eve Koopman
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I am compelled to question the political purpose of the recent Netwerk24 article 'Wit Afrikaner dra gene van slawe en Khoisan - studie' (White Afrikaners carry genes of slaves and Khoisan - study).
Ethno-nationalism between South Africa's black and coloured people, in fact ethno-nationalism between all people is growing, along with it discrimination and anti blackness that detracts from the common experience of a shared struggle.

It is close to the heart of a white liberal agenda to create links between colouredness and whiteness, particularly now around election time.
Furthermore raclaimation and nationalist movements of all kinds are irreverently and a-historically using various forms of firstism to rejustify the kind of thinking that reified the empty land myth as well as claim sole original status.


What does it mean if someone like De Klerk can claim Heritage to someone like Krotoa without ever having a smidgen of the lived experience of a brown woman and in addition to this committing his life to oppressing people like her?
Also what concerns me is the erasure of rape and violence from these narratives entrenching our relationship as "family".


Click here to read the Netwerk24 article.


Ethnic understanding is valuable to understanding who you are, but I really question the intention of studies and articles like this. What will this data be used to 'prove'/conclude?

A key example is US politician Elizabeth Warren who used the finding of her apparent "indigenous heritage" to claim a link to Native American culture, for the purpose of political campaigning.
What does shared genealogy mean in the face of the absence of lived experience, empathy, restoration and shared struggle?


I'm not trying to be disagreeable, or cause a fight I just think it's important to question and talk about this kind of information as POC, particularly it's source and purpose, especially in a moment where there are so many ethnically centred conversation and when we are aware of the racial and ethnic impositions, hierarchies and divides enacted by whites in this country and how they continue to inform political campaigning especially in our Province (Westernh Cape) where claiming slave and "Khoi" heritage might just be incredibly convenient...

Kelly-Eve Koopman is one half of the duo that brought us the Coloured Mentality video series of which you can watch episodes via the BruinouTV Kullid Affairs channel.