* I cannot make a link to Malaika’s actual post on Facebook so I have copied it onto my blog.
“It is sad that Dr Badat is leaving us. We had one person in this institution who was committed to fighting against the White racism that Black students are subjected to; racism that White students pretend does not exist and which the management treats as a non-issue. Rhodes is an exclusive, anti-Black institution that caters largely for the needs of White students and the Black upper middle-class. It is characterised by the most brutal White arrogance that has permeated to a point that it has now been institutionalised. And they will deny it and call me a racist, as they always have. They will portray themselves as victims of this “racist” Black student that is me, because it is typical for the racist White student population of Rhodes to downplay the impacts of racism, and to treat anyone who raises the subject like some lunatic. I ran for SRC in 2012, and was daily accused of being a racist with regressive politics. My only crime was to be honest about a reality which only Black students know. I was attacked on a daily basis, all because I had dared to make people feel uncomfortable by rattling their insulated ivory tower of White supremacy.
I went to Dr Badat’s office in tears, telling him about my frustrations. He did not agree with my sentiments, but he at least listened to me, he at least allowed me to state my case. I was left confident that at least someone in the management was committed to championing the cause of genuine racial transformation, because any person who allows Black people to define their own struggles is authentically progressive. So many of these White people want to define our conditions, and even have the audacity to suggest to us that they have a remedy for us. At worst, we are dismissed for being alarmists. Today, I cannot help but think that a new era has dawned upon us: the victory of White right-wing elements. Weep, Black working class child, you’re about to drown into a pool of ostracisation, and to become a student of a Verwoerdian university. And in the poignant words of Steve Biko, from many years ago, and ironically, a title of one of Dr Badat’s books: “Black man, you are on your own!”” – Malaika Wa Azania, second year student