My colleagues and I often care for patients suffering from hallucinations, prophesying, and claiming to speak with God, among other symptoms—in mental health care, it’s sometimes very difficult to tell apart religious belief from mental illness…. Our conclusions frequently stem from the behaviors we see before us. Take an example of a man who walks into an emergency department, mumbling incoherently. He says he’s hearing voices in his head, but insists there’s nothing wrong with him. He hasn’t used any drugs or alcohol. If he were to be evaluated by mental health professionals, there’s a good chance he might be diagnosed with a psychotic disorder like schizophrenia. But what if that same man were deeply religious? What if his incomprehensible language was speaking in tongues?
In fact, as I argued last week, what they are trying to do, with some success, is to impose a counterreality in which the sins of apartheid are being erased by the sins, failures and weaknesses of the African National Congress (ANC). The intention is to erase the racism of the past and present with the corruption, lack of delivery, moral degeneration and the pursuit of narrow individual interests which, for reasons I will unpack in another article, form part of the dominant narrative in South African politics and radio talk shows. In other words, apartheid was not so bad after all. And because apartheid was not so bad after all, as evidenced by the unbridled racism of those who respond online to columns and articles that are published in this newspaper, the arrogance of some white people has itself become a significant component of this dominant narrative. – Aubrey Matshiqi in Business DayBACK TO TOP