Reconciling “whiteness”

Being “white” and disgruntled about the current South African government has become an act of futility.

Actually I realise more and more that it’s a growing act of racism…The very systems that kept the government of the oppressors going are the systems at play now. The only difference is that the systems no longer work for you. Now your skin colour seems more like a liability… But instead of deeply interrogating the depths of the suffering and psychological mayhem that your collective comfort and privilege created; you have become cyber activists that still haven’t exchanged “whiteness” for being, present amd justice seeking citizens. And your laziness in this regard has begun to erode the quality of your life.

It’s not the government you have a problem with. It’s the skin colour of the people who run it that has become the glaring issue.

But maybe that’s because you expected that we would have changed by now. That we would have healed and forgotten. You have put so much pressure on time… but 21 years is not enough time for the expected healing on the part of broken families in South Africa. In 21 years how much of your whiteness have you readily given up for someone else’s healing?

Are you even asking yourself these sorts of questions?

Have you considered; that change lies dormant in your community?

This post is not about blame. It’s
about being accountable more than it is about being sorry. Pity never changed a situation for the better, its never empowered people or levelled the playing field. Being sorry and complacent will only keep our country here.

One day when you take the time to change the status quo and oppressive systems that created and continue to fuel your privilege; then and only then will your disgruntled reactions mean anything in the greater scheme of this countries collective suffering.

Only when you can decide from your many forums, with your many degrees that you want to spend time finding inclusive solutions instead of complaining compulsively; only then will your voices not be drowned out by the wailing mothers who are yet to experience freedom for their broken children.

Don’t tell me that you are worried about crime; when generations of people with skin darker than yours lived in abject poverty whilst institutionalised violence and terror instilled a generational fear that still cannot be broken by the “emancipation” that has come with democracy.

South Africa has always had a grim reaper knocking down people’s doors at night. Violence and violation isn’t new for a larger number of citizens in this country. When you can learn to pray down the walls of fear that still consume your black neighbour only then will you begin to understand what terror can actually look like outside of the high walls of privilege.

If you cannot reconcile the fact that your lack of action is synonymous with the state of our nation as it stands then you’re not an honest South African.

Reconciliation will only come with justice. However; for justice to be achieved complacency needs to stop. And the bubble of whiteness needs to be popped.

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Gracious freedom

I won’t desecrate beauty with cynicism anymore. I won’t confuse critical thinking with a critical spirit, and I will practice, painfully, over and over, patience and peace until my gentle answers turn away even my own wrath. I will breathe fresh air while I learn, all over again, grace freely given and wisdom honored; and when my fingers fumble, when I sound flat or sharp, I will simply try again.

Sarah Bessey

100 Happy Days: days 5/6/7

Okay so I’m catching up… Feels like this way will work better for me.

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Day 5/100
On Saturday I was grateful for the beauty and experience of contrasts. The day was filled with many forms and levels of contrast. I went from being confused to being certain, from not having a seat at the Nelson Mandela Lecture to having one of the best seats in the house. From early mornings to late nights. From watching young people use music to fuel toxic highs to being on an emotional high from experiencing Pops Mohammad and his band perform live.  On Saturday I saw the intricacy of diversity of life and opinions at play. And I was grateful.

Day 6/100
On Sunday I was grateful for failed plans. I had my Sunday perfectly planned. I was going to church and then to a birthday party. It all went pear shaped. But because things went belly up I ended up experiencing weird and wonderful things. On Sunday I felt like a gracious adventurer. If such a thing exists. Blind faith moments all the way. But that could only happen because I let go of what was supposed to happen and took in the joy of the present. And for that I am still grateful.

Day 7/100
Today I am grateful for Chumani Bontsa and Alvin Nyika. Shucks. Purpose flows through these gentlemen. But so does God. They have an awesome way of reminding me that God is mindful of his children. They also keep reminding me that being a crazy dreamer is the only way to live. Its such a blessing to have people who are not intimidated by my crazy. Instead the support it, and see the value in it. We measure our crazy by how many lives ,being ourselves, can change for the better, not by how many likes we will generate on social media; and it has been liberating. I love you gentlemen very much. Thank you for your continued presence in my life.

#100HappyDays #Gratitude

100 Happy Days: day 4

Day 4/100:
Today I’m grateful for meaningful conversations. Where honesty and vulnerability are strengths and where love is the foundation. I’m grateful for the people who can allow themselves to open up and watch you open up and show up. Thank you to Joel Motlafi and Lufuno Maraga.

There is hope when we can guide each other out of the darkness.

#100Happydays #Gratitude

100 Happy Days: Day 3

Day 3/100:
Today I am grateful for MINDS. An organisation that is filled with great African men and women who challenge the way that I think. As some point of the day I felt the creeping in of the fear of not being worthy to sit and engage with people of this calibre. But then I am reminded that the bible did say that my gifts and talents will put me in the presence of kings.

The King’s of my generation are in organisations like MINDS, making a difference in the world.

Thank you Lord. #100HappyDays #Gratitude

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My truth right now.

I feel this everyday,  the conflict of bring there for others,  as i have been for years,  or just spending time doing what I love and investing in me.

I haven’t been the easiest person to be around for the past few days because I feel stifled by my life. Not because I’m inundated with work but because I can’t seem to get the work I do have done because of this internal conflict.

And now I’m not being productive at all. I’m moody and angry I’m  carrying quite a hefty load of resentment.

Sarah Bessey captured what I’m feeling ever so perfectly. Her insight gives me hope. Not because I have someone paddling with me in my canoe,  but because there’s someone upstream who I can catch up with. 🙂

Sometimes I can think that pursuing my calling is selfish. I don’t know where I picked that up – perhaps it’s cultural conditioning, leftover bad theology, or something. On some sub-conscious level, I can feel guilty for taking time to create, for taking time to do the things I love to do, simply because I love to do them.

But the truth is that I start to falter without it. I become frustrated, tired, empty, if I’m not creating something, even if it’s just as simple as a few hundred words a day. I know this but I forget it sometimes. I skip creating in some grand self-sacrificial way but then everyone else ends up missing the best and most whole version of myself altogether. It isn’t until I sit down and do my work again that I return to the rest of my life – homemaking, raising children, community, church, school, marriage, all of it – as my most true self.

Sarah Bessey

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100 Happy days: day 2

This is a late post because I passed out like a baby.

Day 2/100:
I am grateful for good food. Truly. Very few things make me happier than good food and cake, and I had both today. The cake was in celebration of my amazing friend Londiwe Katleho Sithole, no birthday should go without cake. And she was no exception.

The good food was a creamy garlic prawn pasta that I made. It was delicious…my goodness. Tshimangi Tj Mulaudzi come home you’re missing out on good food.

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The sharing of food can be such an expression of love. Grateful that I have food and love to share.

#100happydays #gratitude