South Africans have started to dismiss the vision of a Rainbow Nation, a phrase coined by our national treasure: Desmond Tutu.
Not only are we dismissing heroes like Nobel prize winners Tutu and Mandela, we are dismissing the idea of the Rainbow Nation. I’ve explained elsewhere how the rainbow was a rallying cry and metaphor supposed to pull us forward, inspired to learn and sacrifice. Black elites and white ‘ethnic realists’ have different reasons for their rainbow aversions.
Those who dismiss the rainbow seem to say: I don’t believe in the Rainbow because it does not exist. I won’t fight or work for it because I don’t see it.
What I’m observing, in a week of cabinet reshuffles, made me think of the rainbow again: South Africans searched for the rainbow, but at the end (or start) of the rainbow we discovered the pot of gold, and ever since the discovery of the pot of gold, we became blind to the miracle of the rainbow. And I’m not just talking about elite politicians who forsake the dream for gold dust; common citizens have given up on their civil duty and our national project in exchange for financial security and exaggerated consumerism that embody a show-off culture built on image and branded projections.
So al die tyd, kruip die klein kak Mammon toe weg binne ‘n potjie goud, langs ons kosbare reënboog. Nou vreet almal hulle dik aan goudpap, en het dan nog die arrogansie van fake intelektualisme om die Reënboog te verkleineer en die Reënboogmaker te bedroef.