The abuse of one on the basis of the pigmentation of their skin colour anywhere, and at any time is unacceptable. It deserves all forms of condemnation irrespective of place and time it is committed. We are and should all be blind to the colour if one skin. We are one human race; and that is it! Nothing more; nothing less. Yet too often the dark skinned of our lot have often found themselves on the receiving end of abuse just because they were born as they are. The abuse is often from the light skinned among us. The result is that the blacks are often called to justify their worth. For years they bore the chains in Apartheid South Africa. The same was the case in the USA. The whites simply could not accept as equal the black man. It took years of struggle and bloodshed for our brethren to be liberated and considered as equals with whites.
Apartheid officially ended in South Africa after the release of political prisoners such as Nelson Mandela and the setting up of new democratic Government in 1994. In the USA segregation has equally long been ended and that was ultimately crowned with the election of the first black president in 2008. USA President Barack Obama is a living example of equality among races. Yet as the world celebrates being a better place for all, there are still isolated incidences and practices of discrimination in these countries and elsewhere. Even in Botswana it has come to pass racism is rife in the tourism hub of the country where operators are mostly whites. We hear they have no shame in calling their black employees ‘kaffirs’. Some of these culprits are suspected to have been originally from the neighbouring South Africa. Seemingly it will imply that when South Africa democratised, they jumped ship to the swamps where they continue with their discrimination tendencies. Botswana Government should send out a clear message – our people will not be insulted and abused in their own country. Any abuse and discrimination tendencies must earn the ultimate punishment of expulsion from the country for good. We cannot have people who abuse our hospitality.
To us all people have always been equal irrespective of colour or place of birth. This cannot be left to change now. Our fore fathers – the three chiefs that went to the UK to secure our independence – would be cringing where-ever they are at these developments. They fought to protect us and their achievements cannot be reversed at this stage. We call on all locals to safeguard, protect and value the independence we have as we celebrate our 50 years of independence. People’s rights must be upheld and no one person should discriminate against the other for whatever reason. All those who have racism tendencies should henceforth change their habits. Otherwise the full wrath of the law should be unleashed upon them. One of the key pillars of our Vision 2016 was to be A Moral and Tolerant Nation. Another requires that we be A United and Proud Nation. These required a Botswana that did not have people looking down upon each other on the basis of colour or any difference. These must be upheld even as we open another chapter, setting off a new vision. Any abuse of people should not be tolerated at all. Government should not pay lip service to this but act with full might to teach perpetrators a lesson and deter would-be racists.