carla-1jpg

Opinion: What makes us revolutionary?

What makes us revolutionary?

It's a question that has plagued me for some time now, particularly with the rise of the Fallists. What makes a revolutionary? What makes one person radical and another unprogressive?

The question came up again on Wednesday night when I attended a leftist discussion in Cape Town, "Zanufication or Renewal: Whither the ANC?".

Hosted by the Alternative Information and Development Centre through its media arm, Amandla! Media, I was surrounded by socialists, well-known activists, and Fallists. People I consider to be revolutionary were there: one of the last great journalists, Zubeida Jaffer; Tony Ehrenreich; and Jeremy Cronin, to name a few.

It was Cronin's presence on the panel that seemed to prove problematic to at least one young, black female.

According to her brief statement (I want to emphasise "brief" because I had not taken the time to discuss the point with her afterwards as I rushed out), Cronin was a white, middle-class man who had no place discussing economic transformation.

Forget his commitment to socialism. Forget his vocal stance against both Zuma and corrupt white capitalists. Forget his contribution to the liberation struggle and his arrest under the Terrorism Act in ’76.

In one sentence, this man was reduced to a "white, middle-class man". I clapped for her statement on the lack of female representation on the panel. But for this, I felt deflated. Deflated because if race and income – despite the class with which one identifies and a stellar record of activism - disqualifies one from contributing, then how do we ever mobilise?

What boxes need to be checked in order to render us suitable for truly transformative work?

Is it enough to be female? Is it enough to proudly be part of the LGBTIQA community? Is it enough to support BDS-led boycotts? And, is it enough to be black?

Because if so, then I am Vilma Espin by simply being.

Fortunately, another panellist at the AIDC discussion, EFF national spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, seemed to have the answer for me. No, it is not enough to be any singular thing and call yourself revolutionary or even, conscious and progressive.

More must be done. You must - at least in my opinion and through a socialist-leaning lens - work for the rightful rise of all the oppressed groups which includes females / the feminine, the LGBTIQA community, Palestine, the working class, blacks, Arabs, indigenous people, the trans community, those with disabilities, the homeless, refugees, and so on.

It is, in my belief, in this that we find true revolution; in the acknowledgement that all beings must be treated equally. That is the necessity, the non-negotiable.

It is in an egalitarian framework that we find true revolution and true revolutionaries. It is the same place we'd find Castro, Gool, Biko, Fanon, and Kriel. It is herein - should he act on his criticism of Zuma and his ilk - that Cronin resides.

And hopefully, it’s the framework in which we will find the revolutionaries of our own generation, committed to equality for all.

Read: Dololo #BlackMonday, dololo mass mobilisation

Carla Bernardo is a student of African Politics proudly from a predominantly working class family. She's moved from journalism to communications, allowing her to publicly support Reclaim the City and declare her love for Fidel Castro.

Read More
Opinion: Helping change lives no better motivation for London Marathon

Opinion: Helping change lives no better motivation for London Marathon

Xolani Gwala says he is privileged to run the London Marathon to help better lives of those who are less fortunate.

Opinion: No point of 'political correctness' in anti-Zuma campaign

Opinion: No point of 'political correctness' in anti-Zuma campaign

Those involved in the campaign to have President Jacob Zuma removed need to say what they mean, advises host Redi Tlhabi.

Opinion: Motsoeneng's media briefing shows battle for public opinion

Opinion: Motsoeneng's media briefing shows battle for public opinion

Former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng addressed the media on many issues, including the 90% local content rule he implemented in 2016.

Opinion: Cracks may be showing in multi-party opposition front after DA march

Opinion: Cracks may be showing in multi-party opposition front after DA march

Presenter Aubrey Masango suggests that divisions may be surfacing in the alliance between SA's opposition parties.

Opinion:  Bishop Lekganyane is right

Opinion: Bishop Lekganyane is right

Stephen Grootes weighs in on comments made by the Zion Christian Church Bishop at the weekend.

Opinion: It takes one trigger for the country to be up in flames

Opinion: It takes one trigger for the country to be up in flames

Xolani Gwala weighs in on the alleged assassination attempt of SACP second deputy secretary general, Solly Mapaila.

Helen Zille's DA membership could be terminated if found guilty - columnist

Helen Zille's DA membership could be terminated if found guilty - columnist

The DA has formally charged the Western Cape premier for bringing the DA into disrepute and damaging the party.

Opinion: Zapiro needs new tools

Opinion: Zapiro needs new tools

702's NightTalk host Gugulethu Mhlungu says Zapiro reduces sexual violence to a trope and social commentators should do better.

On using rape as an analogy: Caller asks what's so offensive?

On using rape as an analogy: Caller asks what's so offensive?

Cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro has once gain drawn controversy over his latest cartoon. Eusebius McKaiser explains why it's wrong.

Opinion: What whites can learn from Anti-Zuma protests

Opinion: What whites can learn from Anti-Zuma protests

Zuma's racist rhetoric about the recent mass protests is diverting from the real issue of a corrupt and morally defunct state.

Opinion: It's time Zapiro rethinks his role as commentator

Opinion: It's time Zapiro rethinks his role as commentator

Xolani Gwala says he is disappointed by Zapiro's rape cartoon published in the Daily Maverick.

Remembering #EllisPark43

Remembering #EllisPark43

Opinion: 16-years ago viewers, including myself, watched helplessly as the tragic events of the Ellis Park stampede unfold.

'I'm just going to be a child for a few days, which is always exciting!'

'I'm just going to be a child for a few days, which is always exciting!'

When asked to sum up 2015, Night Talk co-host Gugu Mhlungu quotes Kanye West when he said "Listen to the kids!"

Popular articles
Last chance for Spur's 2-for-1 burger special this Monday

Last chance for Spur's 2-for-1 burger special this Monday

Monday (March 27) is your last chance to sink your teeth into the popular burger special which Spur will discontinue from April.

Budget 2017: DA hoped for spending cuts, not tax increases

Budget 2017: DA hoped for spending cuts, not tax increases

The DA believes that raising taxes is not the answer to South Africa's economic woes and propose more cost-cutting for government.

Meet self-made millionaire (net worth – R400m!) property mogul Sisa Ngebulana

Meet self-made millionaire (net worth – R400m!) property mogul Sisa Ngebulana

How did Ngebulana build his empire? The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviewed him for his weekly “ShapeShifter” feature.

How Naspers paid peanuts for Tencent (China’s most valuable company)

How Naspers paid peanuts for Tencent (China’s most valuable company)

In 2001 Naspers invested $32 million in (then tiny) Tencent. Learn more about the wildly profitable Chinese behemoth...

Who is Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi?

Who is Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi?

The EFF lawyer stole the show during the state capture report court battle.

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

WIN R2000! But only if you can prove you're a whiz of the MTN Biz Quiz by answering the following three questions...

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Is social trend Blesserfinder, where girls are allegedly matching up with rich 'benefactors' in exchange for sex, a real thing?

5 reasons why the tourism industry is sceptical about the latest numbers

5 reasons why the tourism industry is sceptical about the latest numbers

The tourism industry is questioning the veracity of the surprisingly upbeat tourism figures and the timing of their release.