This is a book of desire denied, of what the pain of that impotence drives people to do, and how it makes them unwilling contortionists and even co-conspirators in their oppression. From ‘The Transformation of Harry’: “And there we all were; in an uncertain country, ourselves uncertain. A land with a sly heart; and ourselves ready to be deceived.” For if colonialism was any one thing it was denial: denial of land, denial of African culture, denial of any form of psychic nourishment—including hope—denial of black existence itself. And neocolonialism is the denial that any of that is still happening. First published in 1978, The House of Hunger speaks, or rather shouts, forward from its own time to 2017. Perhaps the most painful parts of the book to read are those that show how little has changed in thirty-nine years. For if colonialism was any one thing it was denial: denial of land, denial of African culture, denial of any form of psychic nourishment—including hope—denial of black existence itself. And neocolonialism is the denial that any of that is still happening.
DA MP, Annelie Lotriet, seems to be a brave woman, risking alienating some of those who voted for her party “merely” to take a principled but necessary stand. I see she issued the following statement. As someone who as goaded the DA for not taking a stand on issues of racism, I have to give credit where it is due. So here is the statement in full.
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Hofmeyr comments: DA deplores prejudiced views
The Democratic Alliance (DA) deplores the deeply racialist comments published by musician Steve Hofmeyr.
Hofmeyr’s statement that black South Africans “suck up the propaganda of entitlement” in order to “justify their brutality” is profoundly repugnant. It demonstrates deep-seated prejudiced views that are completely inconsistent with the values that inform our constitutional state, it lowers the standard of constructive political and social debate, and it sets back efforts to build a truly nonracial, compassionate South African society.
Regrettably, this statement shows there are still South Africans who are severely detached from the values of modern South African society, and who hold prejudicial views about their fellow citizens.
Every South African who is committed to building a compassionate society should reject Hofmeyr’s comments. They are more reminiscent of a bygone era of racial domination under Apartheid than the kind of conversation one expects to hear in a multiracial democracy in 2010.
Statement issued by Annelie Lotriet, MP, Democratic Alliance Shadow Minister of Arts and Culture, December 7 2010