Violence against another human being is wrong.

Sunset or Sunrise for us?

Violence against another human being is wrong. It is evil.  We must stop abusing our language and our silence to cover up our own damning prejudices.  Once again, we have the horrendous manifestation of xenophobia in the spotlight. Ordinary people like you and me are forced to flee like animals because they are being attacked under the guise of  their being foreigners.

Most of us are horrified by this fresh spate of violence on innocent folk.  Sadly, many of us want to pigeonhole these attacks as purely criminal activities. We say the brutal attacks on fellow human beings is criminal and therefore the perpetrators have to be punished. On one level, there is the comfort that our courts will deliver on this mandate.  Those who broke the law will be punished. More concerning though, is that we have the Elephant in the room, a much more complex  layer of attitudes and culture that has to be addressed.  This is where we are getting stuck.

How do we deal with the culture of anarchy that rules when we terrorise ordinary folk who fled from their own countries to find happiness in another country?  How do we build a culture of nation-building and social harmony after the criminals have been punished and the victims have been buried or dislocated from their homes and businesses?  Where are the powerful voices who can help us to embrace all who live here before we spiral out of control?

 We  are breeding a xenophobic and a schitzophrenic nation. We want to assault all those who come from Africa only.  The loudest, powerful voices are those that foster hatred for Africans who hail for another country. The ingenuity and community-centeredness that drive our African neighbors to be competitive entrepreneurs are sold as devious tactics to deprive South Africans of their rights to jobs, homes and security.  The masses listen to these voices of destruction and the masses act ruthlessly.

We need to hear our leaders and ordinary South Africans speak up and build our culture of social unity.  We need our influential voices
at all layers to promote and action our Batho Pele principles. We cannot  direct our frustrations and disillusionment towards someone running a mobile shop in townships because of our own paralysis to live up to our Freedom Charter.

Unless, we want to follow the path of doom as William Butler Yeats captured in his poem, The Second Coming:

"Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity."
                                                   (W.B. Yeats)


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