Yes, we all hate what is currently happening at UCT. It sucks, it’s barbaric, it’s absolutely unnecessary violence and vandalism and all of the million other things we can think of or have been calling it and “them.” While paintings are being ripped off the university walls with years of sentiment being burnt to ashes and while our iconic building is being vandalised, we are all (black, white, Indian, coloured, Asian etc.) wondering where our beautiful country is headed and when it will ever stop.
But while the country is lashing out, I have silently observed one simple fact – these students are very clearly crying out for help – and like little kids, they are going about it the wrong way. However, what do we do when our little kids are crying out to us for whatever it is they need our help with? We obviously do not condone their tantrums, but we help them anyway.
It is time we realise that we are no longer innocent bystanders who gets to be offended by the “baboons” wreaking havoc on our beautiful country. We no longer get to point fingers and pretend how innocent we are in all of this, no matter how innocent we may be. We no longer get to pretend this is not our problem, because quite frankly, it is. Unless you are moving to Australia any time soon, it’s time we get our hands dirty and get to work rebuilding this nation.
These students are crying out for help the best way they know how and the more the rest of us tell them how barbaric they are, the louder and messier the tantrum becomes, it’s time we listen to the outcry South Africa. It’s time we teach what we have had the privilege to be taught.
You start arguments on the issue and you get offended when someone mentions race. “Because, come on! Who mentioned anything about race in this discussion?” Well, it may not be about race to you South Africa, but it’s all about race to them. Although unreasonable in this day and age, it has become a crutch.
Have you noticed, South Africa, that the only people trying to make some kind of sense of this abstract behaviour, are non-white? No, it’s not because of some personal vendetta against whites. Far from it. If you think about it, it’s simply because the only people who have truly lived through “the struggle” are non-white; and though we condone this destructive behaviour probably least of all, we maybe understand most of all why name calling and showing frustration on public platforms is not solving anything. It’s just further fueling this runaway fire.
Now, before you shoot me off as being biased or more commonly, racist, I am not pointing a finger at you, white South Africa, I am appealing to you. Maybe even on behalf of these very students trying to break down the barriers, but breaking down historic landmarks and buildings instead, because ‘asking for help’ is synonymous with failure. The truth is, we need you. But more than that, we need to stand together. Only then will true and lasting change come.
Imagine the incredible things we can accomplish if only we put our differences aside and focus on moving forward. Imagine what we can achieve as a rainbow nation if only we open our hearts and hear the helpless cries. Our leaders have forsaken us, but we can finish this war with victory.
No matter how hard our new democratic is trying to tear us apart, we need to take a stand together. Only then will our beautiful South Africa be the country we all so long for.
I am not talking from a political stance, I am writing this letter of appeal from a maternal point of view. We have all had mothers, still have mothers, have been mothers, want to be mothers or are mothers. I think it’s time we take these tantrum throwing kids under our wing and guide them in the right direction. What do you say South Africa?