- Peter Howe is an unapologetic pro-black activist
- He says he supports the EFF because it’s where you should be if you want to be pro-black
- Howe says he wants to atone for his ignorance by pushing the pro-black agenda
Peter Howe is a proud pro-black activist and he says he is a member of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF). Howe says he joined the EFF because it’s where you should be if you want to be pro-black.
Howe says he wants to atone for his racial ignorance by pushing the pro-black agenda. He says growing up, he never thought of himself as racist and the old cliché about having a black best friend was actually true in his case.
Howe began to realise, to his horror, that some of his reactions to political events in South Africa were guided by deeply ingrained racial divisions. He said: “I never thought I could be racist in any way, but it turns out I was.”
Briefly.co.za gathered that Howe said the realisation dawned on him around the time of the #RhodesMustFall protest actions.
“I was asking, why are they so affected by a statue, it can’t hurt you, and it’s got political history. Then with #feesmustfall I asked things like: ‘Why must they block the entire road? It is such an inconvenience’.
“I’ve never overtly in my head thought people of colour are inherently different. Of course, I understood the definite differences in socio-economics and history, the lingering effects of apartheid. But some of my friends were calling me out on it. They cared about me enough to say you need to evaluate the way you are speaking and what you are saying as a public voice, it is problematic,” says Howes.
Howe says the advice led him to close all of his social media accounts and to start reading critical race theory by the likes of Biko, Fanon and Sobukwe.
“Something in me shifted. The power dynamics with my interactions with black people changed. I used to voice myself too much. I had to change my attitude and listen, stop responding. It was a massive, massive change that happened within me.”
Howe says he has experienced a lot of pushback from right-wing groups, racist internet trolls and even close family members, but he says this did not deter him. Howe says he started challenging other white people on a variety of topics and realised they were reluctant to investigate and research.
Howe has launched a website which he hopes will educate people and explain his way of thinking.
His views have drawn comments from all quarters and he has been called everything from a bigot to an apologist, but he remains undeterred.
“I always say to people, I don’t complain about the abuse because people of colour have been doing this all their lives. I feel it’s an insult to make myself a victim. It is now part of the job of whiteness,” he said.
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