News / Opinion

Andile Mngxitama
5 minute read
20 Dec 2018
12:30 pm

‘Black speech is always censored’

Andile Mngxitama

BLF leader Andile Mngxitama has written a column about why he believes he's been banned on social media.

Andile Mngxitama at a BLF press conference. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

Mngxitama is the president of the BLF. This column is published as a right of reply to him.

I’m currently banned across social media platforms. There are also a dozen criminal and hate speech cases against me, laid with the police and the South African Human Rights Commission. In addition, there has been massive pressure to have Black First Land First (BLF) banned from the 2019 elections.

Why this much animus?

The answer is because “Black speech is always censored” and “political organisation is anti-black”. These two insights were developed by the US-based leading black radical scholar Professor Frank Wilderson, who was also an Umkhonto weSizwe operative in South Africa. It’s my contention that it’s through the prism of what Professor Wilderson calls “Afropessimism” that we can better understand the visceral response to my call for self-defence.

The caveat to my call has been muted and the perceived threat to white life upon which the caveat was based has been amplified. Where white life is concerned, there can be no rational engagement. Any threat to white life, whether real or imagined, invites swift and brutal retribution. This is how whiteness buttresses itself as life and blackness as death.

My Twitter handle with more than 80,000 followers has been permanently banned from Twitter. My handle was first suspended for seven days, after which Twitter said I could appeal the suspension. How do white people think? So I appealed the suspension I had already served. They came back and said I’m now permanently suspended. Whites, the supposed upholders of justice and the rule of law, “inventors” of the doctrine of double jeopardy, do not apply their own creed if they feel threatened. I lost access to more than 80,000 followers and the broader social media community because I dared to say “Don’t kill black people.”

I was also slapped with a 30-day ban by Facebook. As if that’s not enough, now YouTube has removed the historic speech I gave in Ikageng on the eighth of December. I’m not interested to explain the context and reasons for my call for what has become known as the one-to-five ratio. Basically, for one black life taken, we blacks shall take five white lives.

It won’t matter for me to try explain that the call is based on another white invention called the “pre-emptive strike”; in fact it’s not even pre-emptive because retribution will only follow after a life has been taken. However; the inner logic of the call is indeed preventative. I don’t expect this to be heard or understood by white people and brainwashed blacks. I won’t even bother to say the call was a direct response to the threat of unleashing black-on-black violence through the taxi industry by Johann Rupert.

I’m not surprised that I have been declared insane by whites and enlightened blacks for having the chutzpah to call for white lives to avenge black lives. The mind refuses to accept that black lives matter too. Such a bold statement was always going to cause cognitive dissonance from both whites and blacks because it shutters the sanctity of whiteness and thereby brings disorder to our coordinates that give coherence to life.

The anti-blackness of the organisation of justice and ethics that foregrounds whiteness was shown in all its nastiness when Micah Xavier Johnson took down five white cops in the USA as part of advancing black self-defence. He died fighting. A martyr, you would have thought. He was denounced by the very movement called Black Lives Matter. Why? Because taking white life in defence of black lives threatens Armageddon.

The multiple banning orders against my name signify the fiction of rights where blacks are concerned. Black people have no rights. For instance, there is freedom of expression so long as that speech is not considered a threat to white interests. Blacks from early in life train themselves to censor their speech. Speaking out of turn has real consequences for black people. It’s for this reason the racist, extreme right-wing, such as Freedom Front Plus, can threaten civil war and there is no outcry. The same licence which is permitted to whites and denied to blacks sees Johann Rupert declaring ownership of a private army and is met with approving laughter. Black speech is censored speech, and therefore when blacks speak in the presence of whiteness, it must be assumed that it’s a mere movement of lips but not speech. We tell the world what it wants to hear to avoid trouble.

Another notion which explains the kind of trouble my statement has elicited is “political organisation is anti-black”. The space of politics is rigged against blacks. Every rule is predetermined against blacks. It is for this reason that the spokespersons of whiteness have hastened to call for the BLF to be disqualified from the 2019 elections. This is so because the BLF doesn’t acquiesce to the anti-black political party rules. The BLF is pro-black and ipso facto illegal, according to white logic and fears. It’s important to remember that white fears have legislative powers.

The presence of the BLF in the political life of South Africa is testing the limits of the anti-black constitutional dispensation reached in 1994. Furthermore, the BLF, by virtue of its uncompromising existence, is exposing the hypocrisy of the 1994 consensus. Is it not telling that South African law allows for the existence of known anti-black terrorist organisations such as the AWB but is threatened by the BLF?

The BLF represents the fundamental grievance of black people that was not addressed in 1994. We speak out of turn and refuse to be disciplined by anti-black threats covered as concern for civility and rule of law. Our job in the final analysis is to make the impossible possible. That’s how crazy we are! We shall attain black liberation. If not now, the next generation. True black liberation is a business of the mad. I’m happy to say I’m one of the mad ones.

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