Monday, April 16, 2007

On being coloured

Recently in a few letters and articles the issue of coloured identity are discussed. There seem to be the argument on the one hand that coloured-ness or bruin identity is simply a matter of going back to some primordial ethnic, genetic race. The debate on our African-ness also tries to root it in the notion that we were here since whenever (at least before everyone else). So now the question is what are we suppose to be called: Khoisan or Khoesan, or Out... or Bushmen... and so on and so on....
The question of identity and the construction of identity, bruin identity in this case, is much more than this- it is socially constructed and whether we like it or not .... all of us.. white, black, african, afrikaner are mixed and genetically come from the same genepool. In the context of slavery and colonialism and late colonialism ( industrial capitalism -towards globalisation) identity contruction relates to class, language, location etc. ( many other factors- I only refer to these to make the point that it is socially constructed) For now, coloureds or bruin mense need to look at our concrete location and in my view, start to deal with it where we are now- take our history and start to appreciate the creolization that happened and is still happening and be part of the reconstruction of our broader... national identities...

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