UP students started the Colourblind campaign after violent racially motivated clashes at the University of Pretoria (UP) and Tuks captured headlines.
To encourage unity, white students have been taking pictures with their black friends or other black students to show that colour is irrelevant to them.
Many students have taken to social media to talk about whether or not the campaign is appropriate.
Tuks Social Science Honours in Development Studies Student Milisa Mbete says the the campaign has missed the point:
“I think the campaign is misinformed and completely misguided. This is not a racial conflict, but an issue about language. There is so much desperation to show that we are a rainbow nation. We can’t be a rainbow nation if there is still so much inequality – when there are people who think that their language supercedes other languages.”
LLB, BCom and Business Management student Dee Qolohle says: “In a nutshell the campaign is admirable and I’m glad that someone thought about this idea. But I don’t think that being colourblind is the solution. I personally think that it’s a bunch of white students who are saying: look at me I have a lot of black friends. I don’t think you should close your eyes to the real issue and pretend that you don’t see colour. Pretending that you don’t see colour, that is the problem.”
She adds that acting as though colour doesn’t exist is a lazy attempt at reconciliation. “We must be able to see colour. If I’m sitting in a class with a bunch of black students and there’s only one white student, that is when I know and understand that I have to speak English and not Xhosa.”
While many of her fellow students are critical of the campaign, Ngetheni Nkomo believes it’s valid.
“I think it’s a good campaign, it shows that not everyone is racist. It shows that we can unite and we can see and embrace our differences. It’s a positive campaign.”