The anti-integration video made by several University of the Free State students is unreconstituted racism at its very worst.
It is abhorrent that these cretins believed that they were entitled to voice their opinions in such a dehumanising, degrading way. The video shows the utter contempt these young white students have for black people. It illustrates the blind, seething bigotry that has no place in the new South Africa.
The bill of rights states unequivocally that everyone has inherent dignity and the right to have their dignity respected and protected. In treating those cleaners as lower than animals, the filmmakers have violated not only the constitution, but the cleaners’ intrinsic humanity.
Integration of hostels at the UFS should have been done years ago. To separate students on the basis of race is as ridiculous as it is divisive. Race is an artificial construct – a barrier that was erected to divide us. Of course everyone is different. South Africa has a wealth of ethnic, cultural, religious and language diversity. But that should be harnessed as a strength, not as means of separating us.
The fact that there is opposition to integration now – fourteen years into the new dispensation – coupled with the method through which protest has been expressed sadly shows that the reconciliation project has failed to quash the racial intolerance and victimisation that characterised apartheid.
South Africa is – or should be – a home to all. This is lost on the protesting students. Under the constitution, we are all equal – no matter what our colour, race or creed might be. Those who disagree with this inalienable truth should find another country to inhabit. And fast.