Mandela Day Thoughts

A lot of South Africans still have hope for our country. Unfortunately most people are looking for a messiah. Haibo, we need a wake up call. There is no Azor Ahai to save us and lead us through the long night(GoT reference). We need to realise that the power for real change lies in our hands and not the government’s. Placing a new president is not going to bring about the change we need. No policy is going to change our attitudes. We, the people, have to take matters into our own hands. I have said this time and time again, voting once every couple of years does not make you an active citizen. I mean, don’t get me wrong, voter turnout is crucial for the running of a successful democracy but it is not the only thing we can do to bring about change.

What is an active citizen? Someone with a positive attitude, hope and the willingness to change their way of thinking first before taking it to the streets. I would say that everything begins at home and in our small communities. We need to start having real conversations with our kids, siblings, parents, grandparents, cousins, etc. Facebook should not be the be all and end all of your activism when you can’t even talk to your siblings about patriarchy. We need to somehow get out of this Rainbow Nation hangover we are currently in. It’s not enough to call ourselves a Rainbow Nation if we are only willing to tolerate the other colours on a superficial basis.

We need to talk with purpose and listen with understanding. We need to be able to empathise with other people’s feelings. We need to understand why the past is so important and why people keep referring back to colonialism and apartheid as the root of our current problems.

Black people feel cheated in this democracy– and it should be evident why this is the case. Since apartheid ended, how did black people’s lives change? Is the vote enough to call yourself free? I think not. Black people still live in terrible conditions. Townships can be likened to concentration camps, minus the gas chambers.

Yes, we can blame the ANC for the conditions getting worse instead of improving but prior to 1994, conditions weren’t ideal either. So we ought to examine the inception of all these current problems we face. Black people don’t own their ancestral lands. We can blame the government for why the land was never redistributed but as to the start of the issue ie land dispossession, we can look to the Glen Gray Act (1894), Natives Land Act (1913)Population Registration Act (1950), Group Areas Act (1950), and the Natives Resettlement Act (1954).

It is important to understand why black people are, in general, in a worse off position than…let’s say white people. Why? Why should we keep bringing up the past? The answer is simple really…

If we do not consider the context then imagine how this might appear to children? The world around us confirms white supremacy. People with decent jobs, big houses and cars are white. The people who clean up after the rich are black. To a child or someone else who does not know the history, white people simply work harder than the rest. Black people simply belong in those positions or they are too lazy to study and work to get themselves out of their situations. We hopefully know this is not the truth and that black people have been (historically and continue to be) prevented from doing better.

White people in South African live in fear. They used to live very safe and comfortable lives in a police state that protected them politically, economically and socially. Now things are starting to change. (Some) white people feel that black people are targeting them. This is not a completely unreasonable thought because usually when you wrong someone they seek revenge. Fortunately most black people are oblivious to this so called white genocide (because it’s not a thing). White people also feel threatened in the work place because of affirmative action and quotas– even though statistics still show that white people earn more than black people on average and also unemployment rates for white people are super low.

We can’t dismiss people’s anger or people’s fears. All we can do is try to get to the root of it all so we can attempt to understand it and be able to empathise with people, no matter how irrational their fears are. Being a better citizen starts with being better to those around you. Your colleagues, employees, employers, etc. Take 67 minutes to chat to them, ask them questions. Ask them about their hopes and dreams. Ask them about their fears and concerns. I think you will find that most of us just want to be able to provide for our families and live in a better country.

#Zwe

Intersectionality

Black men: White people have oppressed black people for long enough. This needs to end now! We are willing to die for our freedom.

Black womxn: Agreed, but we also want to simultaneously tackle issues that womxn face such as gender inequality, sexism, patriarchy, misogyny, rape culture…

Black men: Shhh my sister, daughter of the soil! Don’t derail this movement. Don’t let white people influence you with these modern things that go against our culture. Let’s focus on the real enemy, which is whiteness.

Black womxn: 😩🙄

White womxn: Come over here! Together let’s fight against gender based violence. Patriarchy must fall! Come on girls!

Black womxn: Yes, finally! Let’s also keep in mind that there are many issues that we face not only as womxn but as black people too. Like systemic racism, police brutality and the war on “drugs” which is actually the new Jim Crow.

White womxn: **silence for 5 minutes**

Let’s talk about cutting tampon tax! Whooo! Let’s rally girls!

Black Trans womxn: Can we talk about the struggles trans womxn face? Can we talk about the on going killings, rapes and ostracism that we face and other queer folks?

(Black/white) Cishet womxn: But you don’t face all the struggles real womxn face, you might have penis privilege.

Black Trans womxn: 😱😭😡

****

The importance of intersectionality 💯

#ZumaMustFall / #PeoplesMarch / #AntiZumaMarch playlist

 

1. Kumbaya
2. I said a boom-a-chicka-boom
3. G-R-O-another O-V-Y give me a Groovy
4. The more we are together, together, together (cause your friends are my friends)
5. Our team’s dynamite (don’t mess with dynamite)
6. In-Khosi Sick-a-lay-lah i-Afrika (die Stem)
7. The wheels on the bus
8. We’ve got the power (yes we do, we’ve got the power how about you?)
9. We will rock you!
10. If you’re happy and you know it (clap your hands)

Fasiha Hassan – Kathrada memorial

I was captured by that leader, Fasiha Hassan, when she said, “Those members of society who are marching on the Union Buildings tomorrow and on other days: I urge you to be more consistent. Where was the outrage when we were shot? Where was the outrage at Marikana? Where was the outrage at Esidimeni? Because one march is not going to save South Africa. One march is not going to save us from the current difficulty that we are in. So, please remember every single day that this fight to save our country begins with us in our everyday lives”

#Junk

If you never spoke in defense of the poor before the #junkstatus, please spare us now.

Don’t act like the landless Azanians, who are being deprived of their dignity on the daily, are your key concern. If that was the case you would have put your money and mouth behind the future of the country instead of vilifying them.

You’re only speaking out now because you’re starting to feel the effects of an economy you thought was yours to control.

 

**side note**

I do not support what is going on. I do not think #junkstatus is good for anyone. I just think that it is ridiculous to ignore people’s real motivations behind their newly found protests passion.

Protest 101 for white people

Source: Protest 101 for white people

It was bound to happen. Over the last year or five, white people have been grumbling into their gin ‘n tonics about Mr Zoomah and his kabal of petty thieves. Becky has complained about it to Patience when she vacuums her office. Even Todd, after performing and awkward hand shake has asked “Bongs from the office” what his view was. Naturally, neither of them listened particularly hard to the responses, if indeed any were forthcoming. Whiteness is a little hard of hearing that way.
But shit just got real. White people will be going to an ACTUAL protest on Friday. All you hear about at Fego is fervent chatter about whether it’s best to “march with Moosey in Joburg” or to “join Save SA” in Pretoria. Decisions, decisions.

This will be a first for many, so I thought I’d give some advice:
Friday’s protest is going to be horribly middle class, so let me give you a lecture in Protest 101.
1. Wear Sneakers and socks. You’ll need to move fast when the Nyalas arrive.
2. Dont wear mascara. It doesn’t mix well with tear gas or pepper spray.
3. One among your number needs to mix up Rennie’s and water in a bottle – for the aforesaid pepper spray and tear gas. A quick squirt into each eye and you’ll be ready to toyi toyi to another rousing rendition of Shosholoza.
4. Wear a bandana – it will hide your face from SAPS spies who will be among the marchers. It also helps against tear gas.
5 do NOT wear any outfit which looks military.  It’s like catnip for the TRT and you’ll be whipped off in a van faster than you can say “but it’s Gucci”.
6 Do NOT sing kumbaya. Go onto You tube and do searches for Fees Must Fall or other struggle songs. Shosholoza is not a struggle song. And we don’t hold up lighters for Senzeni Na.

7 If you’re going to drink bottled water, it should be decanted into other bottles. No woolies, Evian or Perrier, darling.
8 No, you don’t get extra creds for bringing your helper or gardener. You will get extra Creds for giving them the day off. How they choose to spend it is up to them.

9  Carry proof of residence and ID with you. Without it, you won’t get bail.  Yes, the police are required to RICA you.
10 Go onto the Right to Protest website and save their phone number in case you’re arrested. Have it on speed dial.
11 Berets aren’t a fashion statement. Unless you share the politics of the party, don’t wear one.
13 Please, no Madiba shirts. If you must wear a politician’s face on your chest, try Biko, Hani, Sankara, Guevara. Go, now, and learn who they are.
15. By the same token, quote them and not Madiba.

16. If you see anyone in an EFF beret or PAC regalia run, get out of there. Those guys are tough AF, if they’re running, shit is about to go down.

17 Please don’t tell your children to “listen to the nice officer”. The correct advice is “don’t upset the lapdog of the ruling hegemony”.
18. protest speeches start with shouts of “Amandla” and fists flung skyward. Go with it. The louder the better. Just not kumbaya! Listen to the shouts around you. Do not ask anyone what they mean.
19 attending this protest should be the start of your journey towards enlightenment. Not the pinnacle of it. For the love of glop, don’t brag about it to the black people at the gym!
20 The people in the crowd taking videos and pics are probably NOT uploading them to IG, they’re going in a nice file which will be kept at SAPS and titled “naughty white people who dont like uBaba”.

If you do go to this protest, don’t stop there. Don’t make it about your declining standard of living. If you’re going to protest, make it about more than white discomfort. Listen to the voices of black people. Don’t speak over them. Don’t question.

Source: Protest 101 for white people

 

I think it’s easier to allow injustice to continue because we don’t see each other as human beings. We strip ourselves of the very fundamental teachings of Ubuntu. Umuntu ungumuntu ngabantu. If you don’t see other human beings how can you truly be human? It is only through others that we find our humanity.

People are suffering and we rationalise why it is that they have to endure this and it’s bullshit. We use religion to rationalise this suffering. We use work ethic to justify poverty.
We allow people to go to bed hungry even though we always throw out food. We allow people to be deprived of their human rights because we think there’s nothing we can do, “they should have worked harder.” We allow womxn to be raped because “they should not have worn such a short skirt.”

We use all these excuses to justify why the world is the way it is and at some point we need to stop.

When will we realise that the world is the way it is because we allow it to be so. We are the society we always complain about. We are all complicit.