South Africa’s slow death…on our watch.

download

I wasn’t there during apartheid but I feel like it was an easier fight than that faced by South Africans today. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying apartheid was “easy”, I’m just trying to highlight how today’s struggle seems easier yet it’s actually the harder because so many don’t even know there is a struggle.

 

When South Africa was under the wicked rule of apartheid, everyone knew apartheid was evil, immoral, and depraved. There was no middle ground and nothing subtle about its wickedness. It was gruesome, demeaning, and fatal for black people. As a result, every black person knew were they stood; every black person knew they had to fight the system. The frog knew it had to jump out the pan. This is not so obvious today. The frog is slowly burning to death in the pan.

 

For instance, last night protesting black students at the University of the Free State (the same university where white students made black workers drink urine) were beaten up by fellow white students (and their parents) and not one word has been uttered on the matter by the government, a black government for that matter. What’s worse is you have some black people apologising to white people for “other blacks’ behavior”. Furthermore, you have more black people who are blaming the protesting black students for not “promoting a racially inclusive South Africa”….are you fucking kidding me?

 

Black students are fighting for equality…like blacks have done since forever. Unlike white people who fight for superiority, all black people have ever wanted is equality. These students are fighting against abuse, white privilege, a curriculum and language policy that is skewed in favour of a white minority, and for that they are accused (by other black people too) of essentially promoting racism? This is exactly what I mean by “apartheid was the easier struggle”.

 

For me it’s like depression versus a broken arm. If you break your arm, everyone says you need to get to the hospital ASAP. It’s not life threatening but everyone is in agreement that it needs urgent attention by medical professionals. However, if you are depressed, people miss the urgency. You have people telling you to “cheer up”, some telling you to “just pray”, and some even telling you “it’s all in your mind”…and no, that wasn’t a pun. But we are talking about the human brain here. The command center of your whole anatomy. If it has problems, surely that calls for urgent attention right? Just because you cannot physically see that my brain is broken, doesn’t mean it’s not.

 

And this is the problem South Africa is faced with now. Unlike back when all black people could clearly see the ‘broken arm’ that was apartheid, so many cannot see the ‘depression’ that is white privilege; brutality of the police particularly towards black bodies; the need for decolonization; the historical advantages white people garnered during apartheid and continue to hold today;….the list is endless really.

 

And you know what the saddest part is? You may not be able to see it, but depression will kill you.

 

**** Just scribbling my thoughts ****

10 Ways to Justify Attacking Foreigners

There has been a spike in the number of attacks on foreigners in South Africa of late. As with any social event nowadays, social media is where all the discourse (and not much action) is taking place. I followed the trending hashtags this morning (#Xenophobia, #XenophobicSA, #XenophobicAttacks) and compiled what appear to be the ten most common justifications for these attacks on foreigners. So, without further ado, here are 10 ways to justify attacking foreigners:

  1. Illegal immigrants bring crime to South Africa
  1. Immigrants cause unemployment because they take jobs from South Africans, lower their salaries, and hurt the economy
  1. Black immigrants scrounge off the state, whilst white immigrants pump money into the economy
  1. Immigrants who have legal papers do not commit crimes
  1. Immigrants come to South Africa to get grants and other free State services
  1. Immigrants don’t spend any money in South Africa. They send all their money back to their home countries and leave South Africans with no money
  1. Illegal immigrants are the source of many communicable diseases
  1. Immigrants don’t integrate; they just dilute the values of South Africans
  1. Illegal immigrants do not pay any taxes and they cost more than they contribute
  1. It’s easy to be a legal immigrant…just go to Home Affairs

So next time someone asks you why you’re attacking a foreigner, pick a reason above. It might just save your blushes….shame it won’t save the foreigner’s life.

*just scribbling my thoughts*

My response to “WHAT EXACTLY DID WE STEAL FROM YOU” on Shane’s blog

This is my brief-ish response to the post “WHAT EXACTLY DID WE STEAL FROM YOU” on Shane’s blog. I actually reblogged this article a short while ago for context, so feel free to check it out on my blog. Alternatively, here’s the link: http://goo.gl/lt3qTj

Every time I see a demagoguery laden post such as this, I always tell myself I am not going to respond to it but I always end up getting sucked in. Ah well, I can’t help it….

My response:

Shane,

Firstly, well done on the profanities. I find that’s the best way to progress discourse on the racial issues that are affecting South Africa.

With regards to bringing “civilisation” to Africa; this argument is fast becoming mundane and borderline banal. Let me use a very basic analogy that you will hopefully understand:

You get to someone’s house and find them and their family sat on the floor eating their dinner using their hands. They’re sat around a fire which they are using for warmth and light, a fire they used to cook their dinner. You arrive with a shiny fork and tell them to use that instead of their hands; you give them chairs and tell them to sit on those rather than the floor; instead of sitting around a fire, you give them a dinning room table to sit around, lamps for light, heaters for warmth, and a stove for cooking.

I ask you then: Have you introduced civilisation?

To what extent was this family uncivilised prior to your arrival? They were eating cooked food, conversing, were warm, and had light. Where exactly is this lack of civilisation you speak of? It is a fallacy to assume that Africans were living a life of, to use your words, “savagery” prior to the arrival of white settlers. Their needs were met, they ate, they reproduced, they adapted to the changes brought by Mother Nature. How is this savagery? How is it uncivilised? Settlers merely came with different methods of doing things. If you do your household budget with a pen and note pad and I bring you an iPad with a budgeting app, have I brought civilisation?

As for the “what exactly did we steal” argument, I can only describe it as denial, which as you know is the probably the most common defence mechanism at our disposal as humans, especially in the face of atrocities. From the holocaust to slavery, from colonisation and numerous genocides to apartheid, there is always some form of denial associated with these acts. I kind of understand it. It’s not easy to face such realities especially if you have an association with the perpetrators. It’s much easier to refuse to admit or even recognise that something has occurred and, in this case, is currently occurring. Would you want to teach your kids that one of the reasons they have a much better chance at life than a black child is because of past injustices? I wouldn’t either if I was you. It’s much easier to call black people lazy savages waiting for handouts. Why do you think the British government for a long time conveniently skipped Colonisation from its school curriculums?

The problem with denial is that it requires a sizeable investment of energy. Look at the hate being spewed by yourself and the numerous comments in response to your post. There is hardly a single intellectual response. Only numerous paranoid white people calling black people monkeys and savages. I wonder if one day any of you will realise that it’s much easier to face the truth and play your part in rectifying it than to carry all this hate and denial.

One of the comments on your post talks about how “white people are suffering in South Africa” because of the “black government” and “reverse apartheid in the form of Black Economic Empowerment”. To this commentator I ask, “Where are these suffering white people?” In fact, I think those that ran away to countries like Australia post 94 are probably closer to “suffering” than those that stayed. As the recent census showed, over 82% of white people still live in the upper class of South Africa’s society. Furthermore, it showed that, if white people stopped amassing wealth, it would take black people almost 52 years to catch up. And all of this in a country that still allows “white Afrikaner only” apartheid-esque communities like Orania and Kleinfontein to exist freely. I wouldn’t mind that kind of suffering for black people.

South Africa is predominantly made up of two groups of people:

1) the black majority who were battered into a severe inferiority complex through years of abuse

2) the white minority who were battered into a severe superiority complex through years of preferential treatment.

People forget that apartheid messed white people up too. The only difference was you were living comfortably and continue to do so today. Otherwise, you’re just as messed up. That’s why there are so many white people who get upset when they see successful black people; it’s because they can’t comprehend how it is that a black person is better than they are. Truth is, that black person has always been smarter and better than you. The only advantage you had was the protection afforded to you by apartheid. That protection gave you the aforementioned superiority complex which is what makes you SO mad at any black success story.

Intelligence and success is not race based. There genetically exists nothing in the racial make up of an individual that makes him greater than another. So to think you are better than another human being purely based on your race is like concluding that one car is faster than another purely based on their colours; it’s ignorant, nescient, retarded, and just plain silly.

One just has to look at society (or the responses to your post) to see that South Africa still has some way to go before realising racial harmony, if that is at all possible. But while racialism continues, so does the ticking on this time bomb we are all sat on; and one day the ticking will come to an abrupt end…and you know what happens then…(((BOOM)))…everybody dies.

***just scribbling my response***

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

South Africa – Two sides of two different coins: Commuting

There’s almost no end to the impressive list of awards the Gautrain has won. It is, after all, Africa’s first world-class, modern rapid rail and bus service for Gauteng, a province regarded by many as the economic heartland of Africa. 

One commuter said it best when he put it this way: “I don’t know how I survived without the Gautrain”.

 
I don’t know how anyone does either.

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

Three images that describe 1994 in Africa

The year 1994 was one of severities on the continent of Africa. But that’s Africa for you. Everything is intense here. From how we live to how we die; how we love to how we fight; from how we celebrate to how we grieve. This is Africa.

There were numerous events on the continent that made 1994 what it was for us here on the continent. However, today I want to share three images that captured three events that, for me, shaped 1994 for Africa. These were three different events that left Africans feeling so many diverse emotions. From sadness, to shock, to euphoria, to a sense of hopelessness.

 

 

Image

 

This first image was captured by photographer Kevin Carter who, at the time, was covering the Sudan famine. This is the one photo that has ever made me cry. It depicts a starving child crawling towards a United Nations food camp which was said to be located a kilometre away. The vulture in the background of the image says so much about the situation. That a vulture would circle a human habitat is a deeply distressing indication of the amount of death in the air.

Not long after capturing this image, Kevin Carter (also the first journalist to photograph a public execution by “necklacing” in apartheid South Africa) committed suicide. Part of his suicide note read: “I am haunted by the vivid memories of killings and corpses and anger and pain…of starving or wounded children, of trigger-happy madmen, often police, of killer executioners”.

No one knows what happened to the little girl in the pictures. I hope she survived this ordeal and is living life full of a million different types of happiness.

May our Sudanese brothers and sisters who experienced and survived that famine live today and the next peacefully and lovingly.

 

Image

 

 

This next photo is extremely disturbing. It depicts a tiny but horrific fraction of the Rwandan genocide that took place between April and June of 1994. This was without a doubt one of Africa’s darkest moments. During this three month period, over 800,000 Africans were slaughtered by other Africans in cold blood.

Most of those killed were of the Tutsi tribe whilst most of those who perpetrated the violence were Hutus. The genocide was sparked by the death of the Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana, a Hutu, when his plane was shot down above Kigali airport on 6 April 1994. However, this was never the only cause of this atrocity. Much can be said to try and explain the causes of this evil act or to lay blame on those that were behind it. But regardless of the reasons, there will never be any way to justify the murder of almost a million people.

May our 800,000 brothers and sisters rest in eternal peace.

 

Image

 

There is something about this image that depicts such pure unadulterated joy on the face of this gogo (granny). It’s like she’s at peace, finally. Like her life’s struggle was worth it. This 3rd image is one that was captured by the Cape Times as she and millions of other South Africans participated in their first free and fair general elections held with universal adult suffrage.

Apartheid was the racial segregation enforced through legislation by the National Party governments, who were the ruling party from 1948 to 1994, of South Africa. Under apartheid, the rights of the majority black inhabitants of South Africa were curtailed and white supremacy and Afrikaaner minority rule was maintained. This election marked the end of apartheid.

Of the almost 20 million South Africans that voted in this landmark election, almost 4 million still voted for the National Party…it’s almost like some people were still hoping to hold onto apartheid. No marks for guessing which people.

May our brothers and sisters in South Africa always remember their freedom was not free

I’ll stand up against racism any day, any time…or at least that’s what I thought

I’ve always thought myself to be one that’s prepared to stand up for myself and my people as and when called. upon. Particularly on issues of racism. And I have. I’ll give you an example of something that happened just last week.

Those who know me know I’ve been. uncharacteristically sick for some months now and they also know I’ve characteristically read up on my illness inside out. Why? ‘Cause that’s just the kind of person I am. So when I was at the doctors’ last week, I was having quite a medical conversation with the doctor and his colleague and needless to say, they were impressed.

The problem arose when one of the doctors said “I’m very impressed. Most people who come here can’t even sign their names”. Now we all know who the “most people” being referred to here are. So I say to him: “it’s not their fault though, most of them probably are a product of Bantu education, thanks to apartheid. And kak education continues for most black people today”. I didn’t even think twice about saying it, ’cause I’ll stand against racism any day, any time. Or at least that’s what I thought.

Last weekend I was in a KFC in Centurion. I was the only black customer in at the time, the only other black folk were the employees behind the counter. Centurion can be quite white…I guess it’s no wonder it was once officially named Verwoerdburg. One customer was waiting for a meal he’d ordered. I think he’d been waiting a little while, when one of the young ladies behind the counter told him the gravy would be another 5 minutes because they’d forgot to make it.

Honest mistake I thought but no, not this burly mountain of an Afrikaaner man and his equally gigantic pal. He flipped. Started screaming in a mixture of English and Afrikaans about how long he’d been waiting and how he wanted his money back. As expected, his rant soon turned to how the “government is useless”, how us “black people want to run the country but can’t even run a KFC”. I just stood there and watched.

I mean these guys could definitely take me down in a fight. Sick or not, they’d MOER me. But does that justify my silence? Should I have said something? I always have stood up against racism, but never in a volatile situation. Only in calm, “civilised”, settings where logic, more often than not, prevails.

But this young woman at KFC is the real heroine of this story. She is being showered by a barrage of Anglo-Afrikaaner insults and she is standing up for herself and screaming back in Sesotho. She’s not insulting him, only telling him to stop screaming at her, that it’s not her fault, and that he can take his money back if that’s what he wants. She stood up to these bullies and wasn’t prepared to be abused by pernickety racist thugs for a plausible mistake. And where was I? Cowardly absent from the struggle, that’s were I was. Smh.