Friday, September 28, 2007

Mianmar/Burma



Let us rise and stand in solidarity with the people of Burma. It is a sin against humanity to see the naked aggression and Zimbabwean-type onslaught against people of conscience, against us all. Wear your red today and show solidarity with the rising waves of protest the main city, Rangoon, against the military violence. For more information read human rights action blog or maybe this one. You sign a petition from Avaaz

Friday, September 21, 2007

Silent September

Its been a quiet month for me. I had a lot planned, are working on some 'serious projects', important meetings and so forth, *sigh* the usual. Then, I was (and am still being )whipped by a bout of bronchitis. It gave me time, though to pick some reading, coughing my lungs out, listening to the latest school gossip from my 2 preens and see how our national cricket team choke themselves (again) out of a World Cup. I think I need a stronger dose of antibiotics, doc. Maybe the Boks will beat me and the rest of our nation back in shape, even though it's White's team, having to beat the All Blacks...go Amabokoboko !

Monday, September 10, 2007

Courage is Contageous...AA Boesak

Allan Boesak remains someone to listen to intently, irrespective of how you might feel about the man. His most recent article in the Beeld is indeed timely and relevant for the context in which we find ourselves today. It is written in Afrikaans and this in itself, indicates the place the Boesak takes in the debate on national unity and reconciliation. Many a time, key thinkers succumb to the push for political correctness and color-blindness as the safe place for the church to be. Not so with Boesak. Although he fervently stride for non-racialism, affirm the influence of Black consciousness on his own theology and ministry, he is also critical of the way in which the current political regime lay claim upon this legacy. The ANC's growing obsession with race and quotas, obscure safe and constructive conversations about reconciliation, which, in my view are not simply a project, but a costly lifestyle. What is for me interesting about Boesak, is the unapologetic manner in which he unmask ( in his view) the key to Biko's legacy in the fact that he followed, not the gospel of the church, but the gospel of Jesus.

This reminds me of 1993 at a tense funeral of Christ Hani, in the Student's Church in Stellenbosch, where the same Boesak stood up and addressed angry, bitter comrades, who just lost their hero to a right wing assassination. This time he drew strength from the wells of the cross and resurrection of Jesus and played no small part in allaying the eruptious raw emotions of black militant youth.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Being human and the quest for reconciliation

Talks of reconciliation is not popular, it never was. Most of us call for blood and revenge. In our communities, coloured communities, we were fed on 'action' and 'karate movies'-Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, Charles Bronson, John Wayne and later on TV 'The A-team', Nightrider, Macgiver, 'Jackie Chan', etc. One of the key (if not the only) themes in these movies were the violent murder of the hero's family or burning of the village, the taking over of their land or positions of power by the enemy, the hero's oath to revenge this injustice and then.... how he (usually a man) takes on the enemy and kills him violently at the end. That's where the movie stops, the highlight, the bloody hero having conquered them all. Small wonder then, that our communities were inherently violent. Weekends we would run to see the fights in the streets, to see men would drag their wifes/girl friends on the pavements and our sports games were often called off because of marauding gangs showing 'their colours'. Of course we should not give too much credit to the movies and Bruce Lee's acting abilities, hence the question need to be asked why there are such a fascination with blood and revenge. Could it be that these themes were speaking to the heart of our experiences under a cruel system or that it articulated the same yearning for dealing with the injustice of a brutal oppressive system ? Could it be that we merely reflected in our own bloodsport, the core of what is happening in any case in our society.

The question then is how do we overcome this, because indeed, even today we still call for the guillotine, for more blood. I would think that we could start to re-affirm the call of someone like Steve Biko for the regaining of our humanity. Reconciliation and anti-racism is not about oppressed conquering the oppressor violently, it's rather about finding and asserting our common humanity in the face of inhumanity, in the face of violence, in the face of injustice. It is at this point where we discover the same humanity in 'the other', the enemy, in their being a father a mother, son, a lover of fun, good food, humor, etc. Maybe the key to understand my opening line lies in the word 'talks' about reconciliation. Talk (blogging?) is cheap. Maybe we rather need these smaller connections, rooted in the humane values that we share and then we'll destroy our enemies by turning them into friends (Abraham Lincoln, I think) Maybe, by simply being human amongst other humans, by mothering, fathering, laughing, crying playing.. we can start to connect the dots.. and simply be humans of flesh and blood. Maybe, then, I still need to call for blood, flesh and blood.

Musings.....