08/04/2017 03:56 SAST | Updated 08/04/2017 03:56 SAST

The Issue People Had Behind The Anti-Zuma Marches

When other social injustices occurred in the country, the majority of the people who marched today were against those movements or refused to show support

John Wessels / AFP / Getty Images
A Democratic Alliance (DA) party's supporters holds a placard reading 'Jacob Zuma must go' during a march against South African president Jacob Zuma on April 7, 2017 in Johannesburg.

On Friday the 7th April, various #AntiZumaMarches took place around the country and they were well attended by white people primarily. The movement, organised mainly by SaveSA, the DA and other civil society organisations, aimed to unite South Africans of all races in convincing President Jacob Zuma to step down and end the ongoing corruption and lack of accountability in the executive.

Despite the large turn outs and massive marches and gatherings around the country in hopes of uniting South Africans, the #AntiZumaMarches faced serious backlash and criticism from many black South Africans.

The reason why the marches have received backlash from black South Africans and others who are critical of it is because: (the majority of) white people have only come out in full force now because they are protesting against something that directly affects them which, in this case, is a bad economy that has reached junk status and will consequently affect their (white people's) financial, privileged status as a result of actions that were caused by President Jacob Zuma.

When other social injustices occurred in the country such as racists calling black people "monkeys", black people calling for better housing, black people desperately calling for discussions regarding land issues, #FeesMustFall, #RhodesMustFall etc, the majority of the people who marched today were against those movements or refused to show support because it either: 1. Did not affect them, 2. It was seen as a threat to their whiteness, 3. They're secretly capitalist loving, exploitative individuals who like to see the struggle of poor people or 4. They're racist.

Moreover, I can tell that white tears have been caused because white people are openly complaining about the fact that they don't like being mocked for having a poor struggle song choice (#AntiZumaMarchesPlaylist) and for going out in full force and this is quite amusing because white people have mocked and made fun of black people when they protest against issues facing them.

There is a massive double standard in society and once again it favors white people...the fact that black people have finally been able to criticize and realize the double standard is them trying to change the way our society is biased towards white people. White privilege is an ongoing problem in our society today and unfortunately, very few have acknowledged their privileges whether it be social, financial, political or psychological privilege.

#AntiZumaMarches' protesters and supporters - please don't think that the criticisms and actions of staying away from your cause means that black people and those critical of the #AntiZumaMarches are not anti-Zuma. Many are but they are tired of white people not showing solidarity or support to other pertinent causes that affect the most underprivileged and marginalized in our society. When you call for social cohesion and unity in South Africa, don't be hypocritical. Keep an open mind and take the time to become socially aware of the social, political and economic issues that face others in South Africa, namely the poor, underprivileged black South African.

Reach out to those who are marginalised the most in our society in order to make the biggest impact.