Communities, Us vs Them … where do you draw the line?

We have all been part of this “phenomena”, and we continue to do so on a daily basis without realizing what our position is within the bigger organisim; and picture.

South Africa is a very diverse country, different folks and they all have their different strokes, and we can all recognise this regardless of our own position in life which forms part of a bigger picture.

I call it a phenomena because it just happens, with or without your concent when you as an individual or you as part of a family unit decide to take up habitation with other people in an established group or community.

This is also true for Valhalla

No, not the Nordic dwelling of the gods, but the Valhalla much closer to the heart of “Die Republiek van Suid Afrika”

The issue at hand is regarding the construction of a mosque in a very Afrikaans-Christian orientated neighborhood.

On the one side, you have 3000 residents of Valhalla saying that a mosque should not be errected because of various issues.  Some of the issues one might descibe as issues with a racist undertone.

Other issues are issues which clearly show the ignorance of people when it comes to other people, their culture and their believes.

On the other side you have 250 Muslim families who make up part of the Valhalla community as they are staying there who want a place for worship.

Clearly, if one works on the motto of Commander Spock which some of you might know is truly a logical approach, then one should accept the fact that “The needs of the many outweight the needs of the few, or the one

As much as I cherish the logic of Spock one has to make exceptions, and this has been true in many of the Star Trek episodes and movies where the Prime Directive was overlooked to ensure the well being of all, and for me, this is where we should meet each other as a group inside of a bigger group.

So, the question needs to be asked, when does it become an “Us vs Them” issue when both parties are staying within the same community?

As for me person opinion on the matter.

For me there is only an “us”, smaller communities which make up little bigger communities, which eventually falls under the community of mankind.

The Straw that broke the Camel’s back

The Straw that broke the Camel’s back

A lot can be said about South Africa, her history and her people, some of it good, some of it bad, depending on how you want to view life.

But what can be said about her people is the amount of patience they have and ability to pull together when times are rough.

In a sense, one has to explain the backdrop of what I am speaking about, and one must stare the realities of the past in the face, confront it, work around it, as not to be haunted by it in the future.

For years South Africa has suffered the biggest failure of Imperialism, and that is to build your empire on top of the ashes of bones of a broken communities of people.

Imperialism, driven by the human “Greed Gene” has been the cause of great conflicts, but also great advancement, and one should already remember it in such a way.  The problem lies in the fact that someone need to do the work, and not all is really willing to work for it.

This Empire wanted the minerals in the soil of South Africa, and this also brought about a South African Genocide which few really remember these days, home and abroad.

This Empire also imparted the gift of Segregation Laws on us through a man called Sir Milner, and he and fellow imperialistic figures like Rhodes made sure that they would have “slave labour” to do their bidding.

This brought about the Apartheid State of South Africa which should also not be forgotten, because forgetting about your past is a sure way to repeat the mistakes you suffered in the past.

It brought great advancements in technology, healthcare, civil order and structure, but, it was broken.

Because all of these advancements were achieved on the backs of millions who didn’t benefit from these advancements or the money they generated.

These Segregation Laws revamped into the form we called Apartheid created the gap, a rift, which made terms like “middle class” and “lower class” acceptable.  It also created the situation where we are now sitting in, even after a Government change.

Now this is not the blame game, this is realty, and we need to confront it and move on.

There are two simple facts that one should face and that is

  • Government is dividing the people successfully by polarizing the groups in opposition with each other.  Fueling racial tension causing rifts with good policies which got badly implemented like AA and BEE. Creating strive between the different income groups, as well as racial groups.

    This in turn left  them up to their own devices and extra time to line their own pockets while we were busy fighting each other.

  • That even though everyone has said it a million times before, and even though most might be tired of hearing it, but that Apartheid had a massive role to play in this tragedy, because of the legacy of “Greed” it left behind in Corporate companies like Lonmin, and crafty State sponsored entrepreneurs in Government like Zuma who enriched themselves at the cost of the many.

The reason one must face this, it to understand how patient the people of South Africa really are.  After all of these years, nobody is really free.  We are all still slaves on a tax making machine for Government, but just divided along “class” lines more than racial lines.

Taxes which are supposed to be used to uplift the people, but are now siphoned off into the pockets of Corporate elite, dirty politicians who pay lip service and Government “Officials” (at some stage they manged to change the title from Public Servant” to Government Official without us even noticing)

These taxes do not only affect the middle income group, they also affect the low income group, and the unemployed.  Taxes like E-Tolls, which is one of but many such little surprise packages we found out about.  Who knows what we are yet to learn?

The problem is, that Government dealings are not transparent and nobody is accountable,  and the political parties who make up Government are also not really transparent, as they don’t reveal their party funding so that one can sniff out the rot of corruption even before it starts.

But now, the patience of the people of South Africa is wearing thin, and the emergence of a Civil Social Movement is on the grow, small communities are linking up and standing in solidarity with each other, united against a common threat to national security like the blatant corruption of Government “Officials” and asking questions about where all the money has gone.

Dodgy dealings which have surfaced in the last couple of years have created a platforms for people of all different groups in South African where they can pull together.  Pressing issues like unemployment, poverty, inflation, service delivery protests (Andries Tatane), wage related issues like Marikana (with Government ties),  Nkandla, WC2010, Armsgate and other scandals like GuptaGate and their kickbacks to Government and failures like Eskom has for once done something amazing, it has created an environment for Civil Movement Groups to grow, because people have seen that Politics is just about that, politicking and not really doing something about the problems.

Groups now have a chance to stand together, against a common enemy, The Corruption and Decay in Government.  People like Steve, Vavi and Rob can sit around the table and talk the same language, but first, for that to happen, we must start caring about each other again.  We must find our humanity and our empathy for each other and each others plight.

The Struggle is far from over, it has only yet begun.  Because we need to struggle against our Greed gene, which would allow for situations like this to come about, we need to struggle against putting ourselves ahead of those around us, because if the community is prosperous, the individual is prosperous.

A luta continua

Red October 2014

It has been a while since I have been on here, and I really know that I should put more effort into voicing my concerns about certain topics and be more active in spreading the word and the information, but life (and the system) happens, and I get caught into meaningless social endeavors along with other distractions designed to keep us from liberating our minds and setting each other free from the delusion that our Governments really care for our needs.

With that being said I actually did decide on Monday to start posting again, and it just so happen that a tragic avoidable “accident” happened today which caught my eye and I knew I had the obligation to set the record straight here, because if I kept my silence then I would be part and parcel of the problem.

This brings me to the topic “Red October

According to Red October they are a movement which is dedicated to, and I quote:

“Raising awareness about the inhumane slaughter and oppression of the White Ethnic Minority in South Africa. We are dedicated to exposing the current South African government for Crimes Against Humanity. We will not be silent until the World takes notice and the Violation of our Human Rights is put to an end.”

The irony of it all, this group who want to raise awareness about the inhumane slaughter and oppression of the White Ethnic Minority in South Africa, quoting Martin Luther King, a man who fought against injustice as part of the Black Ethic Minority in America.

It dawned on me, as the cogs started to slowly turn in my head, trying to fathom why this group would exist in the first place, that the White Minority in South Africa is under a serious delusion of what the extent of what is really happening in South Africa, or worse, that they might know, but that they don’t really care … leaning more towards optimism I would like to believe that the first is in fact that truth, and that they are ignorant of the crimes committed on a daily basis in our townships against our fellow black South Africans.

The mainstream media can’t possibly report on all the murders, rapes and other violent crime which occurs on a daily basis in the townships, and even if they could, I think that they won’t go as far as to publish it, because let us face it, “News” is business like any other business built on top of the capitalist system which aims for profit, and who in his right mind would want to buy a subscription to a media outlet who is forever publishing stories about the slaughter which is taking place on a daily basis.

No media outlet will do that since they will stand the chance of either scaring away their little cash cows to other countries, or worse, drive them to suicide in a final last attempt to rid themselves of the horror which might be in their future.

With that being said one cannot totally indemnify the media outlets, as I believe it is their duty as protectors of our Democracy, our civil rights and our way of life to make available information to everyone so that people can get educated and start thinking logically about everything which is transpiring in South Africa.

They can nudge people (like the ones who support Red October) in the right direction and to get them to broaden their goals to include EVERYONE, and not just a select few which includes me as part of the minority.

How can I then, in good conscious throw my support behind a group that only aims to stop the assault on a white minority?  Easy, I won’t! Not because I don’t want to stop the senseless slaughter, but because the problem is far reaching, and the reality of the matter is that unless we take a holistic approach to the problem that nothing will be gained.

Time for the people of South Africa to wake up and smell the sewage … One can’t cleanse one hand without cleansing the other!

I hope the folks over at Red October realizes this and work together with other groups and to form a unity movement which includes all South Africans which will go far towards building a unified civil society which can force the Government to listen to the people who endorsed them and trusted them to make the right choices on their behalf.

Only through the principals of Ubuntu, mutual respect and love will we be able to fix this, our beloved country, South Africa

The Spirit of Ubuntu and it’s relevance in today’s society

I think most of us can agree that there is something very wrong with the world today.  It is as if the global society have become sick, driven by the lust, the greed for power and wealth of the “own me”.

Over the last couple of years I’ve seen a decline in the social fabric that kept societies together.  I remember as a child and staying with my grandparents from time to time that in the afternoon, when they come home from work they would go and water the garden and have a chat to the neighbours who were on their way home, or taking an afternoon stroll.

Everyone knew everyone in the neighbourhood and it gave you a sense of belonging where kids could play in the street, kicking ball or driving around on their bicycles under the watchful eye of someone’s parents or grandparents.

Things have changed however, those people who can afford it put up huge walls around their properties to ensure the privacy and safety, and those who can’t just tend to lock themselves in their houses and steer clear of any interaction with the neighbors.  It is as if every household changed into a mini island state, hell bend on keeping to itself.

A few weeks ago a very good friend of mine asked me to help her with a paper that she had to do for school.  The topic was Western Philosophy vs The Spirit of Ubuntu, and one had to do a comparison between the two.  I finished the paper quickly because it was such a fun topic, but I was somewhat limited to what could be said in the paper since it had a length restriction.  Imagine that, touching such a great topic without being able to go into it to deeply.

This is one of the reasons I decided to start the blog, and to touch on some other aspects which carry great importance for me related to the state of the global collective of the human race.

In short, The Spirit of Ubuntu says you are who you are because of your interaction with the community around you, if the community thrives then you will thrive.

Stanlake J.W.T Samkange defines the three main maxim’s of Ubuntu as follows:

  • To be human is to affirm one’s humanity by recognizing the humanity of others and, on that basis, establish respectful human relations with them
  • If and when one is faced with a decisive choice between wealth and the preservation of the life of another human being, then one should opt for the preservation of life
  • A ‘principle deeply embedded in traditional African political philosophy’ says ‘that the king owed his status, including all the powers associated with it, to the will of the people under him

I firmly believe that the time is right for the human race to evolve beyond  the constraining “I think, therefore I am am” Western Philosophy which revolves around the interests of the individual towards something more in line with the Spirit of Ubuntu.

Evolve you might ask?  Yes, evolve I say, since it would be impossible for you to deliver a positive contribution towards your local community if you do not know yourself.

If more people embrace this philosophy I believe that we can see a Renaissance of global proportions which would ensure the survival of the human race as a species and further our own evolution as being who can actually decide between right and wrong.