One cannot stand idly when you are living in a country that is caught in the grip of Xenophobia with images of brutal attacks on foreigners. It is disturbing to see how many types of hatred humanity is capable of.
It’s not just about gender, or sexual orientation, or age, or colour of your skin anymore. Humans have found new methods to discriminate against one another, we developed new words that accurately describe why one person is considered superior to another. Now it ranges from religion to the country where you were born in. What’s next? A person’s taste in music?
It’s scary and sad. It’s shocking to see the people who are lashing out against foreigners are the same people who have been victims of prejudice from a previous South African regime. One would think they have a fundamental understanding of prejudice and show some compassion towards minorities. Guess not.
They have their reasons. “They take our jobs.” “They bring drugs.” They take our woman.” Maybe they’re right. Maybe South Africans are getting sick of other people flooding our borders seeking an escape from the horrendous reality of their own countries. BUT, whatever the reasons might be, it DOES NOT validate random acts of violence against another human being. Nothing ever does. We’re not animals.
In the end change starts in the mirror. Every person needs to see this as a wake-up call and have a serious meeting with his or her own reflection. We need to constantly challenge our opinions, our ethics, our values and our beliefs to ensure it’s free of defects. And when we find them, which we will, we need to adjust our base program and only then start to influence others with our new, modified convictions.
It starts with the Man in the Mirror as sung by Michael Jackson