Category: pain and Hope


There have been a lot of words written this last week with regards to #FeesMustFall and it can be quite overwhelming to try and wade through them all.

Sometimes pictures can speak louder than words, so here is a post with some of the better pictures i have found that help to put this past week and some of the related issues into some kind of perspective.

Firstly the Ant vs Cricket scenario we witnessed so effectively in ‘A Bug’s Life’ – how less than 25% of this country managed to keep 75% or so of it in bondage for so long was always going to be a just-a-matter-of-time scenario.

game

This cartoon i feel sums up much of the white population in South Africa. i don’t know many people who drive past the township on the way to the airport and don’t think it would be great if all those people had better living conditions and a more comfortable way of life. But the moment it looks like i might have to give up some of my comfort or ease-of-life or money, resources or time, it can quickly become a whole different story…

change

This piece by Iain Thomas was shared across Facebook and i think puts into good words a lot of the sadness that many of us carry with some of the actions and responses [or lack of action and response] we have seen from various people and organisations this last week while #FeesMustFall was happening…

iain

The punchline of this is ‘Most Importantly Africa needs leadership’ which sums up so much of our present condition and obstacles i feel. As does the one statement i heard this past week which went: South Africa doesn’t have a money problem – South Africa has a money management problem’ – i cannot get my head around the numbers i saw posted about Zuma’s cabinet and some of the stats of what they earn and the houses and cars they have that tbV shared with me last night and how that has been allowed so easily to be a thing. Right there there are millions of rands that could be doing good.

But the other statements on this poster help give an eyesight into more of the White Privilege we have been talking about:privilege

This is a repost of one of the more powerful posters i saw which we saw play out in reality this past week which was incredible:anne

And finally this cartoon which i just realised i only posted the first four blocks of in one of my previous posts as i assumed the whole thing came together, which must have confused a whole lot of people, but having the whole cartoon will help give a comparative insight into how privilege can play out in two different life trajectories…cartoon

pencil2 pencil4 pencil6

Above all else, and thanks to Wayne Eaves for this one, take time to LISTEN, to do some RESEARCH, to really try and UNDERSTAND and if you do there will be so many people more than happy to engage with you and hep you to ‘get’ this thing. But above all else, try and not be one of these:

wayne

[If you are someone looking for more of the words from last week, there are some excellent links here]

With thanks to Nick Frost aka @Nick_Frost for this pic

With thanks to Nick Frost aka @Nick_Frost for this pic

Dear Church in South Africa,

i am not known for my brevity, but let me give this a try.

Firstly, i hope you know just how much i love you. Continue reading

They often say that during a crisis, to know who your true friends are, just look left and right. Actually i don’t know if they do say that, i just came up with it but i’m pretty sure if i try and claim it some dead guy is going to come forward and say, “Um actually Brett Fish, that one is mine.” Like that whole “I have a dream” debacle. Okay not quite, but still.

To Know Who Your True Friends Are, Just Look Left and Right

Continue reading

9

i did my best to compile some helpful resources linked to the #FeesMustFall movement in this post i did ‘From a Number of Different Eyes and Mouths’ and this second post which shared more thoughts as well as first-hand experiences of others. But i knew that to really get a feel for what was happening and to be a more active part of it, we needed to get on the ground and so we did that today for 5 and a half hours.

My Facebook status after i got home read like this: Continue reading

The last two days have been a blur of action and comment and conversation and reporting and trying to figure out exactly what is what and who is who in the whole South African #FeesMustFall movement. It is complicated and tricky and confusing and yet SO SO IMPORTANT and so it is up to each one of us to do the best we can in terms of figuring out our understanding and our involvement. Here are just a few hopefully helpful things out of many to get us closer to that: Continue reading

Continuing my series looking at how white people can be more effective allies to their friends of colour as we seek reconciliation and restitution and try to see South Africa head more towards where it should be…

How to be a better ally text

The title of this post might seem like a bit of a contradiction having just written one called Move to the Back, but it’s not.

Last night i was lamenting to my wife, tbV, that life as an attempted white ally can feel a little lonely and confusing. i don’t believe it must be left to our black friends to lead the way in how we ally [as so many of them are tired of trying to explain to yet another white person the concepts of white privilege, restitution and so much more] but at the same time i don’t see many of my white friends engaging with these things in the same way [i am very grateful for friends at the Warehouse for example who engage with these things on really deep levels in other significant ways] so a lot of it feels like making it up on the spot and hoping i get it right. i believe that my black friends will feel the freedom and invitation to jump in and let me know when they think i get it wrong [yes Nkosi? Sindile? Felicity? Linde? Tsholo?] but it’s not fair to expect them to wage this battle.

Then today i jumped on and saw my friend Anne GOING OFF on this very topic and it gave me such a sense of relief. i’m not alone. Her post was a little more colourful and in your face than i think mine ever are [watch out Facebook!] and i have asked her to let me share some of it so hopefully we will get to see that later this week.

My point being that for other white people who understand white privilege and get the need to educate those who don’t and understand the need for us to be listening and learning more than we speak and try to lead, you need to step out of the shadows into the light. It is great when you favourite and like and even share, but we desperately need you to add your own words and voice to it [Thank you Alexa Matthews, Duncan Hobbs, Anne Katherine…] to show that these are not just the crazy ramblings of one or two libtards i think they call me these days.

hiding

i need it. And i imagine it would be a huge boost to the community of those we are allying ourselves to, to know they had more than one or two people they could count on. It is scary and confusing and it feels like there is a lot of pressure because of what is riding on this all to get it right. But we can’t let that stop us. We need to educate ourselves and make sure we get the facts and the stories right so that we can speak with conviction and authority. But we cannot stay silent any longer.

Too many did during apartheid.

Too many did during #RhodesMustFall

How many confrontations must happen before we decide we need to get in there and show what we are standing for?

Let’s do this.

[For the next part of this series on Just Saying No!, click here]

Turning the Tide

one white hand

calling to another

to tear itself away

from the clenched fist

it has become

accustomed to

to step away

and towards

the sea of black faces

looking on

exhibiting so much

welcoming

grace

forgiveness

patience

but at the edges

one can start to see

the restlessness

is beginning to show

[For other poetry i have written this year, click here]

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