Tag Archive: #FeesMustFall


Dom Helder Cavara quote

The past two weeks have been an incredible time.

Yes, some of the conversations on Social Media got a little aggro, but there were also some really incredible interactions, both online and off and it feels like the #FeesMustFall movement and events really got a lot of people thinking. And introduced many new people to some of the conversations we have been having on Privilege and Restitution and Racism and more.

There were a number of exciting “AHA!” moments i got to witness. Someone posted on my Facebook wall, “I finally get what white privilege is all about. Thanks for persevering.” and there were also a couple of moments within back and forth arguments where suddenly the light seemed to go on. I get it. Which is really encouraging for those of us who have been bravely soldiering on [And it is bravely sometimes as people who don’t yet ‘get it’ when it comes to privilege and race conversations tend to for the most part respond quite defensively and at times personally] calling on our white friends and acquaintances in particular to take a step towards Being a More Effective Ally and realising that as long as one suffers we all suffer.

BEFORE YOU RUSH IN

i attended a workshop run by Caroline Powell from the Warehouse the other day and found it extremely helpful.

She spoke about how we tend to rush towards formulas and yet where people and complicated situations are involved, formulas don’t often cut it.

She also pointed out that whenever there is an AWAKENING [that Aha! i finally get it moment] we usually want to jump to IMPLEMENTATION [What can i do? i need to do something. Let me do something. Surely doing anything is better than doing nothing? On that, no, doing something bad, hurtful, oppressive, damaging is not as good as doing nothing]. Then shared this chart, not as a formula that is always going to work neatly and comfortably from one space to the next, but that gives a helpful idea of some other steps that might be really helpful once the AWAKENING has occurred.

AWAKENING – AHA! moment – i finally get white privilege, see the racism in me, etc

LISTENING – before jumping to action, let me listen, to really try and hear what is being said

DISCERNMENT – i’ve noticed something, i’ve listened, let me try and understand the bigger picture of what is happening and what is necessary and perhaps what my place and role in this can be – this process will often happen with other people who better understand the context and situation and have more wisdom to offer

PLANNING – Instead of rushing in with some action, let me come up with a plan, and do the necessary and important groundwork to that will lead towards that plan being effectively achieved

IMPLEMENTATION – Do you see the difference? All of those steps between AWAKENING and IMPLEMENTATION which all increase the likelihood of my IMPLEMENTATION being effective and sustainable and relevant

REFLECTING – Follow IMPLEMENTATION with REFLECTION to ensure that what you did actually achieved the hope for results or was what was needed or helpful. This step may lead you towards more:

AWAKENING

As Caroline said to us, this is not necessarily a smooth one leads to two leads to three cycle. But the different steps there can be really powerful in terms of making sure that any involvement you have, is a positive and hopefully powerful thing.

If you were someone that had an AHA! moment in the last two weeks or so in terms of this conversation, please share it with us and give us a glimpse into what you think helped lead you to that point. Which of the steps above would you say is a current weakness of yours which you need to work a little harder at?

[For some Practical Suggestions on getting hands on involved in Restitution, click here] 

oscar

Oscar Romero

With great Social Media activity, comes great Responsibility. Or something like that.

A short while ago i wrote this piece urging you to take a moment to fact check before sharing something newsworthy on Facebook. Especially if something is particularly dramatic or inflammatory or involves the supposed death of some celebrity. There is a lot of rubbish that goes around on the internet and when we share a hoax or a scam that we could have verified [quick visit to Snopes.com or even a basic google check is often enough to quickly determine if something is true or not] we become part of the problem. Continue reading

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

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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

Nick Frost pic

Picture made by Nick Frost and used without all of his permission, yet.

i only have a few minutes to write this before i have to go out to do a talk [which has been much affected by this week’s events] so this will not be as meaty as it could be, but i wanted to get something out.

The last few days have been kindova blur – i have written and shared and experienced much and only been able to post a fraction of it – if you’re on the Facebook then a lot of extra articles and shares got posted on my blog page over here.

On this blog i managed to get four posts out, which are still worth a read if you missed any of them: 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

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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

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