Establish A ‘No Barriers People’s Pride In Cape Town By Cheryl Roberts

6 May

IMG_8534IMG_8227IMG_8596Its fierce activism when we call out white privilege and control and black marginalization and disconnection. But really now! How far do you want to go, still working with and being involved with organisations which openly re-inforce white privilege and do organisational events keeping their white privileged protection intact?

I’m asking this in relation to the ownership and power of ‘Pride’, the gay movement’s annual celebration of gay power, love, identity, association and everything positive with being LGBTI, including gender non-conforming.

I’m writing this with thoughts about the relevance in society and in people’s lives of the existence of Cape Town Pride. For some years now, this LGBTI organisation has been criticised for its management, and internal power dynamics and has been called out for representing whiteness, white power and white privilege.

Wholly justified, this criticism has been initiated and given power by authentic queer activists and fierce critics of Cape Town Pride, led largely by conscious black LGBTI/queer people and supported by conscious white minds.

Pride In Cape Town

I’m not going into the history of Cape Town Pride in this blog. As an intro to the existence of this vibrant structure representing LGBTI community, I’m pointing out that its earliest formation was spearheaded by oppressed black queer people to be an organisation representing and protecting LGBTI interests, being against all oppression and challenging for a society acknowledging LGBTI people with rights. Nowhere was maintenance and sustenance of male control and white privilege ever part of the movement’s aims or ideals.

Over the years, Cape Town Pride has undergone changes in officials and management. It has also favourably increased its white control of Cape Town Pride.

This year, conscious black thought said it had had enough of this organization. Again, this was justified. This in turn gave rise to ‘The Alternative Inclusive Pride’. This forum tried to explain their voice via social media and dialogue. People remained confused, and some like me, wondered, where do you fit in with Cape Town Pride if you are ‘alternative and inclusive’.

As I’m not writing a chapter for a book giving my writing much more space, I’m asking directly, in this blog why are conscious black people still bothering to be associated with ‘Cape Town Pride’? All the faults, criticism, conversation, seminal discussion about this organisation has been done and the consensus is that this organisation represents white privilege and control.

Why Associate With White Privilege?

I’m now asking why are people and forums still being associated with this organisation? It does not work for you; it represents the interests of white businesses, white people, especially white men and social spaces which marginalise mostly black and working class people. These are the differences and antagonism which have been exposed about Cape Town Pride. There are other critical evaluations and opinions about its management and finances.

Contesting and eliminating white privilege and control is a must; activism that must be done. But why put energy, time and activism into challenging Cape Town Pride? How about you consider taking control of Cape Town Pride with representation of conscious minds at the helm? If this is going to be a tough, hard battle over the years, then go it alone. The formation and strong existence of a community structure like Freegender Khayalitsha, by volunteers with no funding and resources, shows the power of alternate voices and minds when organisations lose their way and don’t represent the people.

People’s Voices Have Power

I understand the power in the conscious thought and activism of ‘The Alternate Inclusive Pride’ but why should you go on associating with white privilege and Cape Town Pride.

That brings me to Khumbalani Pride which was born out of and supported by Cape Town Pride and Freegender Khayalitsha. The very same organisation that is Cape Town Pride refused to acknowledge its representation being white control and privileged. Now they are out there, in the very people’s communities whom they marginalise and disconnect from Cape Town Pride, to come in and stage Khumbalani Pride.

I’ve never been and am not associated with the workings and goings on of CT Pride but I do know that they are a beacon for white businesses and white domination of Pride in CT. There is no acknowledgement on their part to undergo a washing out of their white privilege mindset.

But why should conscious people, those who understand how white domination works to keep control in white hands, maintain relationships with such people in such organisations?

Is it not time for a ‘No Barriers People’s Pride’ to grow from the seeds which have been planted? The voices are powerful, the outcry against white privilege is resonating throughout South Africa. Why give time and valuable activism to calling out, when gains can be achieved from collaborating with voices and minds determined to be different.

Down with Cape Town pride, and all that it represents, for white control, domination and privilege. Set Cape town alight with conscious thought and activism. You have the power!

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