Protesting #feesmust fall and #rhodesmustfall black students at South Africa’s University of Cape Town (UCT) have demanded that the discipline of science be completely scrapped because it is a product of white people.
“Science as a whole is a product of Western modernity and the whole thing should be scratched off. Especially in Africa‚” a black “student” was recorded as saying.
The meeting, held on the UCT campus, was captured on video and uploaded to YouTube.
A report in the Business Times said that the incident happened during a panel discussion this week in which the “student” responded to a question about the decolonization of science.
“Science as a whole is a product of Western modernity and the whole thing should be scratched off. Especially in Africa‚” she said.
“I have a question for all the science people. There is a place in KwaZulu-Natal called Umhlab’uyalingana. They believe that through the magic‚ you call it black magic‚ they call it witchcraft‚ you are able to send lightning to strike someone. Can you explain that scientifically because it’s something that happens?”
Someone in the audience—sounding like a white student—shouted out “it’s not true,” and the majority black meeting then erupted into chaos.
The meeting chairman, a dreadlocked black woman, eventually restored order and forced the heckler to apologize to the speaker and agree to “abide by the terms of the meeting” or be thrown out.
The heckler apologized, and the original speaker then continued to explain why even Newton’s Law of Gravity is nonsense because it was invented by a white person:
“Western knowledge is totalizing,” the “student” said. “It is saying that it was Newton and only Newton who knew and saw an apple falling and out of nowhere decided gravity existed and created an equation and that is it.
“Whether people knew Newton or not‚ or whatever happens in West Africa‚ Northern Africa‚ the thing is the only way to explain gravity is through Newton, who sat under a tree and saw an apple fall.
“So Western modernity is the problem that decolonization directly deals with.
“It’s to say that we are going to decolonize by having knowledge that is produced by us‚ that speaks to us and that is able to accommodate knowledge from our perspective.
“So if you are saying that you disagree with her approach [sic], it means that you are vested in the Western and Eurocentric way of understanding, which means you yourself still need to go back and internally decolonize your mind, come back and say how can I relook at what I have been studying all these years, because Western knowledge is very pathetic to say the least.
“I from a decolonized perspective that we can do more as new knowledge producers as people who are given the benefits to reason, whatever, people say we do or thing when we rationalize, [sic] so decolonizing the science would mean doing away with it entirely and starting all over again to deal with how we respond to the environment and how we understand it.”
The comments on the Business Times article passed sufficient comment on this thesis:
“No more BSc degree … now BMj (Bachelor of Mumbojumbo).”
“She speaks from her decolonized mind while wearing jeans, a fluffy jersey, Chinese hair extensions and speaking English. She probably has a colonized mobile phone in her bag as well.”
“Absolutely agree. I recently did my washing. On completion I found that one of my socks was gone!! Then I discovered two coins in the washing machine after the water was drained. This is not science but it proves that all those missing socks are changed into money by the washing machine. This is a much better discovery than Newton’s, and can be the start of South African science. What is more, the amount the socks were changed into, proves that we are overpaying for socks so it can also be used in the economic sector to set prices.”
“I challenge this sweet little thing to try de-westernized dentistry.”
“We just found the Missing Link.”
And possibly the best comment:
As amusing as this African idiocy might be, the reality is that the ongoing “student” violence in South Africa is having serious results, as shown in the video below of “students” looting a shop near the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg during “protests” against fees on October 10.