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Bruin-ou, Where In The World Would You Find One? ‘Everywhere’

20 January 2004 No Comment

Searching for the genetic anomaly of the pure bred, the so-called Aryan, is not beyond the conception of modern times. With the intervening hand of science the pure bred can be fabricated at the expense of religious ethics and morals. A pure bred occurring naturally or unnaturally require a masterful and meticulous plan of trial and error over several decades.

At this stage in human development the pure bred is truly a rarity that not even science can defy. A rarity indeed as nature is a developing entity founded upon principles of diversity and natural selection. ‘May the fittest survive.’ And if a pure bred were desired, upon which grounds and merit would it be sought. History as a master teacher reveals that a quest for a pure bred is shackled to the marrow and bone of exclusivity and gross human violations stretching back to the beginning of recorded history. The pure bred should not only read genetic purity but also a quest for religious, economic, political, cultural and social homogeneity, in other words exclusivity in all spheres of life.

Show me a pure bred and surely a human would be depicted, a bastard to be more precise. In South Africa this bastard is called colored, a true misconception. If my skin were not white then it would be colored for I am born of the fusion of many (white) nations. If my skin were not black then it would be colored for I am born of the fusion of many (black) nations. If my skin were not white, black or colored then it would be human for I am born of the fusion of many nations. The bastard, the colored, the mix-breed, the mulatto or by any name exist as the human pure bred. Their blood is richly mixed, the genes are bountiful and blessed, and the breeding follows a good strong line of a mixed culture. A culture, bountiful and blessed with the breeding of a richly mixed blood, genes, religion, tradition and social conventions following the sacred path of nature and the invisible hand of man’s genius or folly. 

In Africa the indigenous people divided into tribes and developed naturally with varying and different cultural, political, religious and social norms. Inter-tribal marriages took place and the women would be obliged to take residence in the husband’s culture, clan or tribe. A bastard race shattered and littered across the length and breath of Africa. The bastard race took on a live of its own. The story does not end here it is merely the beginning as this bastard race exits the world over, occurring within the white and black landscape of humanity aside from the cases where white and black blood has been mixed forging more unique individuals. In certain cultures and times these half-breeds were not tolerated, invariable outlawed, discriminated and ineptly labelled. 

Throughout the colorful history of South Africa, various concepts and ideologies has been used to label, enforce, enslave and segregate. One such label, word is ‘coloured’, being of sound birth in the days of Jan van Riebeeck and his cronies, when they were unable to resist the alluring appeal of a fine ‘pure bred’ native ass under an inviting African sky. And magically, as if some African voodoo played a part, the first coloured being of European and Khoisan (Khoi-khoi and San) decent sprung forth from the Cape shores around the fortress. With the growing defiance towards the British Empire and the discovery of gold in Transvaal and the Orange Free State, some European colonialists trekked through the length and breadth of South Africa, coming into close contact with the native blacks. Once again the African voodoo sang an enchanting lullaby under an African sky, yet again, another mix-breed being of European and native Black (Xhosa, Zulu, etc) decent – sprung forth from the Highveld and Lowveld. As South Africa became an important vestige and half-way house of trade between Europe and Asia, Africa also suffered the grunt of the slave trade. Firstly, with the exporting of Africans as slaves to the America’s and secondly, the importing of Malayans as cheap and forced labor – as the natives were seen as lazy, untrustworthy and ignorant (to the ways of the European colonialists). And among the chanting of some foreign religious mantra the African voodoo was strummed all over, and again another masala-mix of European and Malayan decent saw the light of day. Uniquely to South Africa, these mix-breeds were afforded a political and social classification and standing known as coloureds, mix-breeds or capies. 

This inter-pollination of genes was not only confined between the sheets of European colonialists with the natives or the Malayans, but between all people of different ethnicity and cultures visiting South African shores, fuelling the growing numbers of an ethnical hybridization. Alas the number of coloured offspring rose steadily; as these mix-breeds procreated among themselves, and as fornication between different ethnic groups still took place either by consent or force. Through the times and forces of urbanization and the declining imperialism of the British Empire, the Boer war, the First and Second World Wars, the establishment of Boer Nationalism in South Africa resulted in a significant growth in numbers of this mixed-race. This mix-race (coloureds) gravitated to one another, grouped together in a new dispensation or order. This indigenous blend was not readily accepted in either white or black community and society. This grouping as a social construct and as a people was and still is very tenuous today.

Tenuous in the sense that the heritage of coloureds is shrouded in the veil of different languages, beliefs, culture, religion, social affiliation, follicle development and pigment orientation. This roughly relates to the (in)visible hierarchy of imposed social class distinction between coloured people based on feature discrimination, economy, misplaced sense of class (inherited from the British colonialist), religion/beliefs and ignorance. A social and people bigotry illuminated in the form of demeaning slurs as ‘hot-not’, ‘bushie’, ‘gam’ and ‘baster’ imposing a humanistic heresy that people are inferior to others. (Even though white people would use some of these phrases too, coloured people would take offence more readily when other coloureds used the phrases. Sadly, in same cases white people would be excused from using these terms.) However, a shared culture between coloureds have been forged through the Union Years, the PACT years, the Apartheid years, the Equality years in the guise of a shared rejection, oppression, discrimination, poverty and escalating social issues like gangsterism, alcoholism, abuse and affirmative action. The coloured culture is based on uncertainties rather than along the lines of a shared heritage, tradition, socially entrenched customs, belief, language, and vision.

Apart from having a coloured culture that is inept, the stereotype of coloureds projected to our white and black brother’s only stain the sunset with tears. A stereotype that coloured people are untrustworthy, lazy, drunkards, thieves, gangsters, murderers, drug peddlers, abusers, con artist, etc… still ring through the corridors of society. The nature of life as a coloured is based on stereotypical assertions; political, social and economic exclusion; lack of cohesion in vision and discontent with the elected leaders, which underpins the coloured commandments by which their lives are lived. 

A major factor in the fickleness of a coloured race and the stereotypes thereof lies entrenched in the dogma of Apartheid (separate development of the races). Race as a social construct is based on a premise of homogeneity, discernible features and traits, where racial distinction is seen as a biological fact, that can be used to label an entire community or group of people. This practice is a farce upon the human race when confronted with the simultaneous racial duality that is the hallmark of coloured people. The impact and repercussions of race fascism should not be underestimated on the psyche of people. An aftermath can be seen in the struggle some people have with the notion that coloureds are seen as black under a new dispensation, as a matter of political convenience or a quick-fix to a community afflicted with an social and cultural identity crises. 

Having black blood pumping through your veins and living with the struggle does not colour you black. Having white blood pumping through your arteries and sharing white culinary habits does not taint you white. Even though the people of mixed racial decent are labeled as being black by the international community. The nature and history of South African society dictates that people of mixed racial decent were always categorically separated from blacks and whites since before the days of the group areas act. 

Succumbing to the popular MTV-type opinion that decrees that if you are not white, then you are automatically black is not an option. Whether this is some covert ploy to maintain the integrity of institutionalized binary race thought of there being only two sides to the race coin or possibly, an effort to avoid addressing the connecting fiber of a seemingly white and black world – people of colour can only stake their tenure of the future by accepting their diverse cultural and genetic imprints. Coloured people are neither black nor white. If coloured people are white or black, then the apartheid government has certainly succeeded in robbing us of our identity. If black and white is the only two sides of the coin, then surely the mix-breed is the coin.

In South Africa, the coloured identity is much more established and insular than in any other part of the world. This semblance of a coloured identity is just enough for the way forward. Bruin-ou, a concept of racial deconstruction with the aim to dissect the precepts and borders of racial thought that continues to artificially divide. This patronizing concept of colouredness, a vestige of white supremist creation, only serves to alienate people of mixed heritage in terms of unity, self-respect, self-worth and vision. 

Attempting to transcend the shackles and burdens of a coloured mentality and the repressive racial thought prevalent in South Africa, the concept of bruin-ou fosters values of uniformity between people that finds discourse and dissent against any form of exclusion. An ethos never to racially exclude and discriminate on the grounds of ethnicity, nationality, language, religion, philosophy and heritage – promoting the human race. People of pure mixed-blood can serve to appease and act as facilitators against the growing uneasiness between traditional ethnic groupings. The ideals of Bruin-ou are compounded by the following:

1. Colored people are black and white rolled into one. 
2. Bruin-ou, a product of multiple inter-racial heritages, aims to address any issue of ignorance with regards to people in a social and political context.
3. The identification and promotion of a bruin-ou identity and culture. It is not necessary to have mix-blood pumping in your veins to be part of bruin-ou culture, but a soul that bleeds to the tune of the human race.
4. Being of mix-blood is not a guarantee to be part of a bruin-ou community, as being a bruin-ou is a way of living in peace with a heterogeneous brother.
5. In the creation of a bruin-ou Voice of their own that networks and connects, locally and internationally, a people united by means of a forum that promotes a dialogue and discourse on social issues.
6. The promotion of a naissance, the birth of a new way of looking at life, truly accepting everything as part of a bigger whole. Finally embracing the history as a teacher instead of history teaching nothing, circumventing the abuse and misuse of knowledge(power). 
“Knowledge is power” – Frances Bacon.
7. The promotion of any form of intolerance, is not allowed. An idea of intolerance is bred in vacuum of ignorance. Our objective here is of acceptance, living together as one.
8. I am a part of you, as you are a part of me.
9. I pledge allegiance to the flag of South Africa (to the human race), to the interesting people, places and idiosyncrasies for which it stands, one nation under several religions, languages and cultures, yet indivisible with freedom, basic needs and progress for all. (Courtesy Guy Lundy).

Being exclusive and supremist is the way of the past, the future holds that we meet each half-way at all cost to prevent further undue bloodshed. Any form of militant and radical belief in a dogma is proof enough of the rape and pillage of freedom. Freedom at the hands of bloodshed is the way of the past, freedom of the future lies with me and you, saying ‘no more segregation of any sort’.

No more segregation forged in the trenches of a currency. The bartering of the human race at any cost is not permitted. The trade in humans led to slavery, to fuel ancient and modern economies, which ultimately is cornerstone of many human rights violations. These human rights include ……. For every human right there is a corresponding discrimination that is either legitimized or practiced somewhere in the world. An ism that divides either along racial, economic, social, religious or political lines which directly impacts in the way people respect and treat each other. Racism, for the lack of a better word, is 99% in the mind and 1% reality. The fallacy of racism is that it is confined to colour only. An ism is discrimination of some sort. Racism either understood as white and black discrimination or discrimination of the human race is based mainly on economics. Economics attached to a deviant trait of man wanting to control others are responsible for the poor relations between man. No suggestion that the economic system should be abolished or abandoned, on the contrary it should be revisited by a truth and reconciliation council investigating the misappropriation of money and how the economics lead to division between man. A desired result would be that the laws that protect the rich from the poor, and the poor from the rich would be re-written to protect mankind. A classless society I hear you shout in dismay. Yes and No! Yes, as man has allowed economics to destroy and decay the moral fiber upon which his existence depends. And no, as your conception of a classless society is based on a prior knowledge of class. If class did not exist in the first place, you would not have known about class. The evil of wanting to be better than the next on a material plain has corroded the essence and spirit of man. 

The gulf between the rich and poor, materializing in a number of guises, should be redresses immediately.

Obliviously this near scientific genealogy of a colored people could be a valid account but it is irrelevant. The stigma of being colored and colouredness has tainted the development of a people trying to find himself or herself. Tainted once but now the colorful collage are no more the derelicts of society but the ilk of a new and better tomorrow. A people that can and will cement the future of South Africa with success and prosperity.

Reprinted with kind permission from Cornel Rayners

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