Apart from dredging up the past when discussing current issues we also find that there is now an entrenched tactic to characterize an unwelcome view as either “not thinking like a Black” or “White thinking”. The phenomenon is well represented on social networks and comments on news items.
Since not all human beings are black the stance is inherently racist. At the very start of the discourse ethnically different participants are challenged to accept that their thinking is flawed and that they are incapable of understanding on the basis of their ethnicity. Since the dominant group in South Africa is Black, it is a bully boy tactic, designed to intimidate.
The motive for this tactic is obvious, crude and rather bemusing. However, it is effective in achieving the objectives of the adherents of this approach. Simply put, it is a classic example of “playing the man, and not the ball”. By labeling your opponent you immediately distract everyone from the real issue and start a process of discrediting your opponent instead. Once the “dog has a bad name, no one will listen to its bark”. Because the attack is racialised it is particularly appealing to so many who, understandably, have unresolved issues on this score.
There is also a far more sinister purpose behind this type of insistence. Requiring people to be constrained to "conformist" thinking (that of the dominant majority) is a tool of tyrants and despots. A situation is created where people are not allowed to question, to ask, to query, to have their own opinions and think for themselves. The "great leader" or the governing party does "all the thinking for all the people". Anybody who dares think for themselves is labeled "anti-revolutionary"; "reactionary"; "traitor"; "sellout" ... etc and liable for victimization. This was the culture of the 3rd Reich. It is the culture of North Korea.
So everyone needs to take a step back, take a deep breath, and examine the proposition that is routinely peddled without challenge. What exactly is it to “think like a Black”? Do Black folk think in binary code? Is the cognitive process ensconced in a skull covered by a black skin different from the rest of humanity? As you pose these questions, and so many suggest themselves, you are struck as to how absurd the thing is.
You quickly realize that you either think or you don’t. That is exactly why the great philosophers had little difficulty with the proposition by René Descartes that cogito, ergo sum, i.e. “I think therefore I am”. In short, it is the ability to think that just about completely defines us human beings and distinguishes us from other animals.
What is particularly nauseating is that you do not find other ethnic groups indulging in this nonsense. Even racist Whites do not advocate that anybody should “think like a White”. You will find no such rubbish in Indian, Chinese, Malaysian, Japanese, French …. etc… discourse. It is only some of our Black brothers that are imbued with the notion that there is such a thing as “thinking like a Black” or “thinking like a White”.
So we have an obscene pantomime of a certain Professor Jonathan Moyo, architect of anti-media laws in Zimbabwe, telling the World that he is a "Pan Africanist" (our biggest conformist camp) on Africa 360, dressed in shoes, suit and tie of completely European vintage. You really have to be a sheep on Animal Farm, and one of the more stupid ones at that, not to see how nonsensical this is.
I have little doubt that members of this camp will immediately seek to counter my stance by advancing a rather silly, but otherwise pernicious, ancillary label – “coconut”. A “coconut” is a label attaching to any member of mixed race pedigree who declines to “think like a Black” and is therefore brown on the outside but “white” inside, like a coconut.
You don’t know whether to laugh or cry … really! Anthropologically all human beings are classified as homo sapiens, i.e., possessed of intellect. Intellect is obviously “colourless”. Oprah Winfrey has achieved spectacular success in using her mind efficiently and effectively. So has Barrack Obama and millions of other persons of colour. There was nothing “black” or “white” in their cognitive processes as they made their successful journeys of life.
Albert Einstein, Madame Curie, Edison, Pasteur …. and so many others that have advanced the course of humanity, did this by thinking ... using their cognitive processes to see things for what they are ... un-coloured and un-cluttered by racial thinking!
Abraham Lincoln was not black. However, he was able to reason that slavery was simply wrong. What type of thinking was the "white" electorate indulging in when they elected Barrack Obama? It is, of course pertinent to point out that the culture of the "thinking like a Black" camp is the very antithesis of what Martin Luther King Jnr advocated in his immortal "I have a Dream" speech. It is also the antithesis of what Nelson Rholihlala Mandela advocated in his “Never Again” speech.
So let us all see this propensity of labeling other human beings and putting their minds in “racial camps” for the cowardly, nonsensical, smelly thing that it is. When you cannot deal with the substance of your opponent’s point of view, you dredge up a discrediting label. It is extremely demeaning of humanity that this type of thinking is tolerated, acquiesced in, connived and colluded at.
Ask yourself what is going to be the position if the proponents of this insistence were to govern. The answer is self suggestive - you will not be allowed to think for yourself. Alternatively you will be condemned, persecuted and victimized for thinking differently. There will be "Thought Police" as envisaged by George Orwell in his classic work "1984".
So let us just dump and/or reject this ethnic thinking. It does not mean that we are insensitive to the terrible history of black oppression when this is relevant. It means that, in resolving issues, we do not use the label in order to try to win on a bad argument.