Black Cat rising as Penny Sparrow‘s black monkey. South African racists, you were warned. Time has come …
The humane and spiritual magnanimity of South African people regarding what they have had to give in order to facilitate the creation and sustenance of the relatively peaceful, and prosperous post-1994 democratic South Africa can only be fully understood by those who have felt the venomous bite of the fangs of apartheid in their bodies, minds, and souls. It’s not a thing just read about in books and research reports to comprehend thoroughly.
I guess the apartheid venom was so effective it made us, Black people, into huge, docile sponges you can pee and shit upon ceaselessly, and we’ll keep smiling, ever extending our hands out to evil-minded White supremacists people, begging for love, and peaceful co-existence. But then again, I fear there is a Black Cat in the hearts and souls of many a, if not all, apartheid survivors and their descendents. The Black Cat is on the run…
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HOME AT LAST! Part 32
BETRAYAL IN THE DIASPORA
I do not know José Mourinho. I would be very surprised if he would ever be interested in knowing whether I exist or not. We live in such divergent worlds, miles upon miles apart. I refer to him here only for the one reason that his recent fall from glory and grace finally brought it on home to me that, as leaders, makers, as well as movers of men and women, when the mighty fall, there is one common thread connecting them all, regardless of the relative/ comparative magnitudes and extends of their domains of power and influence anywhere in the world. That common thread is betrayal. Jesus was betrayed to the cross by one of his disciples, Judas. His Chief Disciple, Peter, would disown him three times at the very last minute. But I won’t go there. I want to dwell here on the betrayal of trust and confidence, that from a personal relations perspective.
Betrayal of trust and confidence, both or not as an intended, conscious act or a series of acts works both ways. That is to say, it will lead to the fall of the mighty and special ones as they lose grip of things, lose it, and consequently fail to inspire, motivate, excite, fire up, guide, coach, teach, and mentor those they work with in any relationship, at any level. If and when they do rise again, the formerly mighty and special ones will do so often after a certain spell of time, which could have been lengthy or of relatively short duration, depending on the many variables of given situations and personal circumstances. Whatever the case, in their rise again come-back trails, they will have become new persons or personalities from the point of view of their re-entry strategies, and, not in the least, the personal growth and changes they will have undergone during the lull period in the valley of fallen and broken once upon a time mighty heroes. At the same time, the other relations, hostile or otherwise, left in the world of glory and grace will also have had their own growths and changes taking place. People change all the time. Failure by the rising again fallen mighty to be attuned to, as well as to be sensitive to the latter often has a high potential and risk for betrayal, often unintended, of trust and confidence towards, especially, those left in the world of glory and grace who remained loyal and supportive during the dark days of seeming personal and professional insignificance in the valley of the fallen and broken formerly mighty heroes and special ones. This happens when due regard is not paid to the changed terms of references, as well ways of effectively communicating them both linguistically and functionally, if not behaviourally. Thus arise many mistakes and misunderstandings around, among other things, issues of trust and confidence when previously unknown or disregarded aspects of people’s realities emerge, revealing unexpected and shocking patterns of behaviour and/ or expectations in (certain) interpersonal relations spaces.
The series of long-term personal challenges and crises in my life peaked in 2015, completing a full ten year cycle. During the year, I was let down by a few when I acutely needed them most. But many more continued to reach out with unprecedented generous and much kind material and non-material support to help me make it through this most vulnerable period in my adult years. For that I shall remain eternally humble and grateful. My renewed sense of strength and will to rise again I owe to these most wonderful people in my life. These people have been close family, friends, colleagues, teachers, students, and in one or two cases, total strangers.
I still make my many mistakes, as well as my equally numerous errors of judgement about things, people, and personal relations. I am the first to recognize and acknowledge that I am not perfect, and I am no angel. That said, I am also the first to declare that I will never ever with deliberate intent work at betraying the confidence and trust bestowed upon me by people whose lives I touch by virtue of our mutual interaction at various levels of socialization endeavours and domains. I shall never ever with conscious malicious intent betray the confidence and trust of, and/ or cause harm to the people I adore, love, admire, and respect. I simply do not have the heart for it. In my new rise again strategic mind games, I play on a different turf with different rules, applying different sets of means and resources. In the process I might step on some toes, ruffle many a feather, and make new enemies. If my new enemies will include people I know I will always adore, love, admire, and respect, it will be most tragic and regrettable; all because if I have hurt and upset them by what will be/ has been wrongly misinterpreted as my betraying their confidence and trust in me, violating their sacred human integrity, it has been unintentional on my part. I offer my sincere most apologies for my apparent lack of awareness, ignorance, and insensitivity.
With this I close the 38 YEARS AN EXILE series in this my blog. Could I see into the future, when in 1996 my father asked me when my own exile would end given that South Africa was already a two year old free and democratic state then, I would simply have said, ‘On December 31, 2015, Pappa!’
I have bounced back. I have landed again. On solid ground. All the inevitable mighty battles yet ahead I’ll fight with all the dignity and honour they deserve. Fair play is the name of my game. If ever I fall again, it won’t be tomorrow soon.
Here is to wishing everyone a happy and prosperous New Year 2016. May we all rise again, us the fallen-once-upon-a-time mighty heroes and special ones! Those who have been in good non-stop rising spaces for many a year, keep aiming for the sky, where there really is no limit as to being the best we can be as achieving, successful, as well as serving men and women in our own lifetimes. Do, please, remember to get your safety nets and parachutes in place for the day your own mighty fall comes thumping at your door. There is hell below, we all gonna go someday. On any one day, temptations, trials and tribulations abound for the high and mighty of the world.
Tel.: +27 717 454 115
December 29, 2015
HOME AT LAST! Part 31
FRIENDS IN THE DIASPORA
I have on many different platforms said it without fear or favour many times before: Some of my best friends are Muslims. Much like, within the confines of the laws of my free and democratic lands, and in adherence to the United Nations Human Rights Charter, I’ll do for the unjustly and unfairly discriminated against and marginalised in society, such as homosexuals, I’ll fight for the right of Muslims to exist and practise their religion in peace in my lands. Although I have yet to read the holy Koran, I have from these Muslim people of mine gathered enough knowledge and understanding of, and about what Islam promulgates, and how Muslims think about their religion, Islam, its tenets, goals, and mission. I also do have a well informed, as well as experiential personal idea as to what Muslims, speaking in general terms, think of other people who are not of their religion and faith. The latter is what I will dwell upon is this my brief thought exposition of what I see as a most critical human relations, or Public Relations (PR) crisis for Islam as lived, and ever one track-mindedly continually steadfastly, determined, and most loyally propagated by Muslims in the 21st Century. This with particular reference to conditions in the Western world and its satellite ally states across the globe, as influenced and inspired by ancient, as well as contemporary Western philosophical thought around concepts of religion, belief, faith, God, and principles of Democracy, if not, indeed, basic questions about human existence and implications thereof in the wider universe’s context. My thoughts in this regard are not only sentimental to the extent of my stated close relationship with my Muslim friends; they are also based on critical thinking capacity and ability facilitated and ever inspired by solid academic and intellectual education and training at university level.
Were I to read the holy Koran, it would have to be in classic Arabic as spoken and written in the Saudi Arabian ruling and elite classes circles throughout the generations. I know from my Muslim people that the real and pure message of the holy Koran can only be grasped and thoroughly understood when the scriptures are read in the original classic Arabic literary tradition. According to my Muslim people, some of them highly learned and educated in classic Arabic scholarship from old, respectable institutions of higher learning such as the Alexandria University in Egypt, much of the incongruence contra the proclaimed religion of peace, Islam, as manifest through acts of terrorism the world over by various so-called jihadist groups, are due to the original message of the Holy Koran having been lost in translation, both by accident and deliberate intention. And, besides, given the historical high illiteracy levels among the majority poor and disenfranchised in the Islamic world, millions of Muslims across the world are supposedly ignorant of the intrinsic meanings of the quotes and citations they daily routinely make from the holy Koran. Neither do they have the intellectual/ academic training capacity nor motivation to want to reflect critically on the sayings and the teachings of the holy book on earthly human terms. Classic Arabic is a highly complicated and complex language anchored in mathematical formulation principles and logic, making for expansive rooms for rhetoric intricacies in use and application, including rhetorical training and teaching. Such that for a sophisticated Muslim cleric to have ordinary people dance around his little finger is a piece of cake. Combining that with the stipulated Sharia Law jihadist application of force, violence if need be, to ensure conscription and/ or conversion, as well as non-flinching adherence for life, more or less permanent Islamic domination is guaranteed.
When currently Muslims all over the world are on the defensive, struggling to explain what is and/ or what is not Islam; who is and/ or who is not a real or good Muslim, that which I call Public Relations (PR) crisis for Islam in the 21st Century has its core, in my opinion and direct personal experience as a Black African man, in the extreme levels of ill-conceived arrogance of religious power chauvinism, it being rooted in as irrelevant, archaic racial superiority complex beliefs and manifestations. Muslims, spearheaded by the Arabs, have this generations long belief that they are the first and best children of God; everyone else with their infidel religions, faiths, and beliefs are pieces of shit to be trampled upon at will and with total impunity, without any regard and respect, even in the least, the essence of their humanity and their right to exist as free and right-to-choose-driven individuals in a free world. Muslims see and define it as their own God God-given right, privilege, and power to impose their religion and ways wherever in the world they will find themselves, regardless of the circumstances.
It seems the concept of humility towards non-Islamic people is non-existent to Muslims. Muslims will with impunity demand to have it their way or nothing wherever they are, showing little, if any, willingness for compromise and show respect and recognition for the ways and laws of the non-Islamic lands they will find themselves in as long term residents. This is what I see as the crux of the Public Relations (PR) crisis for Islam in the 21st Century, seen from my joint Western and non-Islamic African society’s perspective. In the 21st Century, and moving forwards with history, Muslims have to tone down their hard line belief that they can change the world to suit themselves at the expense of the freedoms and rights of others who practice different religions and faiths, as well as life-styles considered to be non-conventional according to Islam. The time for successful application of wars and violence to acquire and sustain religious and political domination over others is over. Time of the Islamic Jihad perpetuation is long gone.
We live in an age where everyone can wage and sustain a war for a long time, both conventional and otherwise, as the growth of global terrorism in recent years clearly demonstrates; not to mention big wars in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Burundi, The DRC, and others across the world. This last point does not make Western religious fanatics and right wing populists, as well as war mongers any better. My contention being that non-compromisingly arrogant, rude, chauvinistic, and racist Muslims feed the growth of the likes of Donald Trump on the one hand, while on the other hand, the latter fuels further the hate and determination to destroy anything western by the ever growing radicalised movement of angry western-born Muslim youth driven by the long established negative and destructive attitudes of their forefathers. Muslim fundamentalists and Western right wing war mongers, creating and fronting also each their own kinds of terrorists, will bomb one another to mankind’s extinction on planet earth.
Those Muslims running away from the extreme brutalities of the morally and, indeed, religiously degenerated wars the resolutions of which are nowhere in sight in their lands, such as Syria, seeking and hoping for safety, new good lives of health and prosperity, as well as longevity in the real and perceived relative peace of Western Europe, must honestly revise their Religious PR strategies relative to the Western way of life, while it lasts. There is supposed to be a red button somewhere in Teheran, Moscow, Pyongyang, and Washington somebody can in a spur of anger management crisis moment press by accident, and then we shall all get fried up by a nuclear war fall out catastrophe. If and when that happens, we shall all be charred down to black ash regardless of skin pigmentation in the living; all our religions, faiths, beliefs, politics, philosophies, and Gods will have gone with each one of us. Nullifying, therefore, all the irrationality, madness, and stupidity of religious power arrogance and chauvinism, as well as perceived racial superiority complexes by those who think they are the special chosen children of God. Ultimately, from a purely scientific point of view, religion and God cease to matter from the moment we die medically, and the decomposition process begins. It actually makes sense in this regard that Muslims will bury their dead as quickly after death pronouncement as possible, in accordance with their specified, strictly adhered to religious rites. Therefore, we might as well make, and live in peace and harmony in the world while alive, with each one of us allowed to seek and find the answers to pressing issues of life and existence in accordance with their own preferred ways, methodologies, and systems of beliefs forming the bases of religions and religious thought, as encapsulated in the concept of almighty and divine Gods supreme above anything and everybody else.
In this our time and age of information in knowledge-based societies, as exemplified in the West and other western-oriented parts of the world, people will make informed decisions and choices as to whether they want to follow a certain religion, a certain political doctrine or not. The concept and practice of the Islamic Jihad must for all intents and purposes be declared null and void in our times, therefore. Were that to happen, it could be a major PR boost for Muslims in the Western world and its non-Islamic allies.
Many years ago, a once upon a time Muslim friend from a North African country asks me to prepare and cook a typical South African big boys’ power dinner for the two of us. We together went to the market to buy all the necessary ingredients. Back home, he with a keen eye followed everything I did in my cooking, asking questions and making comments plus suggestions here and there. With the food ready to be served after a while, my friend declined to eat, encouraging me to eat and drink to my fill; he would gladly sit by and keep me company through the meal. Why? Wasn’t the food and everything in this town halal, then?
‘Well, your hands are dirty, my brother. If you are not a believer, if you are not a Muslim, you are no person to me; I can never eat food prepared by your dirty hands. Enjoy the food, it’s all yours. We shall afterwards go out for me to eat at a good Muslim restaurant nearby,’ my ex-friend explained.
With the food tasting like paper, and the wine like dirty water, that remains the most unpleasant dinner I have ever had anywhere.
A few years later, on one of many nights out on the town with another once upon a time Muslim friend and business associate from a Middle Eastern country, we are both drunk and happy, pleased with ourselves after a groovy dance session and things with the most beautiful girls in Oslo, Norway.
Ex-friend-2, ‘You know, my good friend, I have been wanting to tell you something important for a while now. You see, you and I work very well together, as the numbers in our business show. We have a good time with the girls, and that’s very nice. But one thing you have to know is, we can talk about anything, and do anything together as friends and business partners, but you must never touch religion and God, whatever you do. You see, when I look at you through my Muslim eyes, I see not only a lowly Black person who in reality is supposed to be my slave, I also see you as filthy because you are not a Muslim. Looking at you that way, you are as filthy as a pig, not different from these Norwegian whores we fuck everyday. That’s just the way it is, man!’
Shocked, and almost dumbfounded, I respond, ‘Okay, never mind me. But if these Norwegian whores, as you call them, are indeed filthy as pigs, why do you go on fucking them, then?’
Ex-friend-2, ‘Black people and all women are our slaves. As Muslim men, we use and abuse them as we like. By the way, if I catch you fucking a Muslim chick, I’ll kill you. I swear. So, please, don’t even look at Muslim girls when you are with me. Muslim girls also know that we kill them if ever they sleep with filthy, Black non-believers.’
I then hurriedly got into the next taxi to take me home, my good spirits devastated for the night, and for a very long time thereafter.
It goes without saying that my two friendships above wouldn’t last. In both these incidents, there wasn’t any manifestation of sensitivity to my feelings. There aren’t many more incidents I can count where I have ever been exposed to such extremely arrogant personal disrespect with such callous impunity. Whenever a Muslim woman declines to take my hand in polite, social convention hand-shake greeting gesture, I am rudely reminded of how filthy like a pig I am in arrogant, patronising, and pretentious Muslim eyes. However, in my new debut novel, a Muslim woman gets to bang it together with a Black man. A pivotal female character in the novel argues, ‘If God is indeed a God of love, the love has to begin and end with the woman. Any religion that denies a woman the rights and privileges of experiencing, and enjoying love in freedom, dignity, and honour is anti-God.’
Read how the story unfolds by purchasing the novel via Amazon here: WHEN THE MIGHTY FALL.
Tel.: +27 717 454 115
December 11, 2015
HOME AT LAST! Part 30
OWN TURF IN THE DIASPORA
Because I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth, the notion that I must be happy with what I have here and now, no matter how little, was ingrained in my head from a very early age. If I could get more by doing what is acknowledged and recognized as good and acceptable practices, well and good. However, if it doesn’t work, too bad; try something, or go for something else, and/ or simply wait. Waiting never meant for me to just rest on my laurels, hoping for some miracle to happen for the more of that which I want to materialize somehow, without any effort from me, though. If I have to pray, it will be more to introspect and find peace of mind so I can think more clearly, but not for God to deliver it all for free just because I believe in her. It means that I have to, in the meantime, divert my attention to other things that work, even if they are not in any way related to that the more of I want in the first place. The point being that I have to keep myself moving in constant mental, physical, and spiritual shape, such that whenever the opportunity arises that I can now get more of the little I already have, I am ready, alert, and sharp. It may also be that by the time the opportunity for more presents itself, I may have lost the interest and desire. In that case, then, because of my ever alert and ready mental, physical, and spiritual state, making a transition to other areas of more gain and satisfaction potential should come as second nature.
Growing up with time, I also have come to learn and understand that I can only be what I can be, at any one time, wherever I am. That which I want to be, that which I aspire for I may or I may not achieve. But that’s not as important as the help I get to focus my energies and resources in positive, productive, and inspirational activities and ventures, by way of maintaining and sustaining healthy levels of mental, physical, and spiritual sharpness and alertness. To the extent that, although I will or may be terribly disappointed in the face of apparent failure in one area, I am never totally shattered because there is always an almost immediate alternative to channel out my frustrations in the creation of something new and different. There are many great things I have purposely and actively aspired to do and achieve in my life, but all to no avail. Nevertheless, the unexpected alternative opportunities for personal growth and development which have over the years presented themselves from even the most unlikely of sources have given me unimaginable levels of joy and fulfilment. And, that’s all that matters to me; not the could have, might have, or should have been. I am that I am, I have that I have here and now. That’s just the way it is.
Beaten and tired, coming back home from the Diaspora to the motherland in July 2013, it in no time emerged that I wouldn’t get, if at all, on the local professional and business success bandwagon as quickly and as trouble-free as I had earlier envisioned I would. Indeed, shattering reality when a prophet fails in his own land. So, I withdrew, allowed my depression to run its full course, did some special social responsibility/ community work volunteering, did lots of gardening, walked long distances for exercising, read a lot, thought about things a lot, fought a mean insolvency case in Norway, and wrote blog articles on the internet. The latter would build a loyal and critical following, which subsequently brought forth the desire and opportunity to expand my thoughts and creative energy to present them in a book form. A new me is born, tasting my own COOL Coaching’s sweet medicine of Self-Discovery, Self-Knowledge, Self-Renewal, and Self-Reinvention.
My maiden novel will be launched on the e-Books platform in a week’s time. Although the storyline decided to take its own form and direction when I finally got to get going with the writing process for exactly three weeks, starting last week of October to second week of November, 2015, the original idea actually crystallized itself in August, 2001. This was supposed to have been a story of and about the life of my late father, one of the truly most remarkable men who were forced by British colonialism induced poverty and misery to leave their countries in Central-East-Southern Africa to come and work as cheap labour in the then, and still, vibrant South African economy. Without exception, they all came with nothing but an awesome hunger, desire, and need for a better life. With minimal to zero level education, lack of any vocational skills, and not being accustomed to any form of heavy physically demanding work from before, many would sustain permanently debilitating injuries, if not die altogether, in the gold, diamond, coal, and platinum mines, as well as the large commercial farms across the country. Others, as became the case with my father, would end up in the service industry, especially restaurants and hotels, including domestic servant jobs.
It has always been a great source of curiosity and fascination for me as to how people like my father managed, against all the odds facing them, to finally settle down, curve their own spaces, get married to local girls and women, and establish own families in South Africa. If South African Black people were third class citizens during the Colonial to Apartheid eras, people like my father were treated with even lower levels and worse forms of indignities by all the White, Green, Purple, Yellow, and Pink South Africans. Their wives and off-spring were not spared either, especially among fellow Black people, with whom, of course, we had/ have the most immediate contact. Yet, despite all the hassles, many of these people like my father would keep it together, raising children many of whom would grow up to be very prominent in the various fields of human endeavour, contributing to the growth, progress, and development of the country, making South Africa ever so proud. While my father died at a relatively tender age of 65, his remaining friends and former colleagues continue to pass on, many between 80-100 years old, leaving behind as much as 9 generations since they first came to the country in the 1930s, if not earlier. Contrasting issues of violent xenophobia tendencies in post-1994 South Africa, absolutely without exception, the older generations of Black South Africans never cease to talk about how, despite everything else, people like my father were ever so humble, peaceful, tolerant, patient, kind, generous, and inclusive. I guess it may be because as a Diasporant in Europe myself, I see and feel much of my father and people like him in me. I see and identify many parallels with those of my father and people like him in my own life experiences abroad. After at least 20 years in the country, my father, and many other people like him did in the 1970s, at the height of Apartheid’s deadly venomous brutality, return to their countries of origin, Zambia, in my father’s case. Many, including my father, failed to reconnect with their own roots. Much had changed too much for them, they also had changed too much for their own lands of birth themselves. That’s how prophets fail in their own lands. Some came back to South Africa, their new old homeland. Story of my life. I am going back to Norway.
Watch this space for more information regarding the book launch. A recommended reading for those seeking to understand how the minds of immigrants work out in the Diaspora. I especially recommend the reading for those who sadly fail to make it in the Diaspora, thinking that the Diaspora is the place called hell itself. Indeed, hell is a place on earth. But so is heaven. We make what we make, and choose what we choose for ourselves.
Tel.: +27 717 454 115
November 23, 2015 (more…)
Racism is a constant. Racism does not change colour with location, or time. Racism is not some figment of the imagination. Racism is as real as day and night. Racism cannot be explained away; it is neither an intellectual nor academic exercise. Racism is unidirectional like an arrow in flight. Its objective is to demean, use, abuse, exploit, hurt, dehumanize, destroy, and obliterate; nothing in between. The ultimate goal of racism is genocide.
Racism is a systematized, institutionalized mind-set of false superiority, entitlement, and privilege over Black people by White people. Racism classifies Black people as stupid, intellectually inferior sub-humans. Racism is no playing matter for Black and dark-skinned people of the world. Racism eats into the flesh and bones of Black and dark-skinned people of the world as if sulphuric acid. When a Black and dark-skinned person has lost their identity and sense of pride, and have ceased to reproduce themselves effectively, racism has done its job according to plan.
Racism against Black and dark-skinned people of the world nothing compares to it. It does not matter how intelligent, successful, creative, powerful, affluent, influential, proud, and self-confident a Black and dark-skinned person of the world is; racism seeks to eliminate them from them face of the earth. In South Africa, it took out Steve Biko, to name but one anti-racism icon in our time. In the USA, racism can’t quite get it right. And, so, it has a field day dishonouring, disrespecting, and working against President Barack Obama each and every step of the way. It’s not about President Obama doing the wrong thing or not. The man is simply Black, and according to racism propagators, he cannot rightly be the president of the USA, and by extension, the most powerful man in the world. If allowed to live, Black people, according to racism, ought to be slaves and/ cheap entertainment objects for other non-Black people.
Because this is a very personal piece on the subject, based on my direct life-long experiences of the abhorrent practice as a Black person, in my world, racism defines both historical and contemporary power relations between White people and Black people at both regional, as well as global levels. In the competition for access to, and ownership of limited survival resources on earth, White people have devised methods, ways, and means to sideline, deprive, exclude, marginalize, suppress, and oppress Black people with respect to deriving benefits from the wealth of their own nations, as well as that of the world. Discrimination and segregation have been/ are used to set Black people apart and away from the good that growth, progress, and development in society ought to bring to all who live in it. In the old South Africa we had Apartheid, which instituted and applied with extremely effective police and military brutality, laws which ensured total disenfranchisement of Black people.
South African Black people were second class citizens in their own country, treated with the most humiliating and dehumanizing indignities by White people practising racism, guided and protected by the lethal Apartheid power state machinery. To this day, there is evidence of extremely poor housing and sub-standard provision of social amenities inherited from the Apartheid era. There is also evidence of continuing arrogance of power by pockets of White racists misguidedly acting either alone or in organized fringe groups, living in denial of the fact that the inherently structurally weak South African White supremacist foundations crumbled with the fall of Apartheid in 1994. In the same manner, there are White and some strange other supposedly non-Black-but-not-quite-White people across the world who live with the conviction that real Black-Black people are inferior and intellectually deprived by default. Hardly surprising, therefore, that Black people are treated as doormats by even the most wretched of the earth globally. But then again, there are Black Super Stars who crush racism and racists everywhere on a daily basis. Come to me, I show you how.
The anti-racism stance and struggle are not about individual victories over small time, small-minded bigots and racists in small towns owing to a Black Super Star’s privilege, status, success, power, influence, as well as protection and luck. There are many a Black Super Star and other dark-skinned people who will go through their lives claiming to be oblivious to racism. These will either be outright dumb, ignorant, naïve, arrogant, uncultured, and unrealistic, if not all of these. On the other hand, we acknowledge that there will be eccentrics everywhere; they too have the right to live and to express themselves in the free world. Nevertheless, it is tragically insensitive, symptomatic of having little or no respect at all for Black people victims of racism all over the world to perceive racism as non-existent, dismissing it as being merely a matter of possible low self-esteem issues manifestation on the part of the racially violated.
Racism is huge, ugly as any monster can be. Racism is at the core of historical and contemporary imperialist and colonialist expansion, as well as domination. The enormous losses of human life and material resources in the global struggle against Imperialism and Colonialism bear enough testimony as to the deeply grave nature of racism. Through the epochs, at the centre of about all major liberation struggles across the world is the people’s need to free themselves from the shackles of racism and its anti-life attributes of discrimination, marginalization, and segregation, as well slavery and murder.
Racism is not about how I as an individual feel and think of myself and my reality. My thoughts give substance to my feelings arising from how racism ever strives to soil my reality, and how I shall relate to that reality. I know I am not alone in knowing and understanding how racism works. It is by rising and keeping together as boundless resourceful free thinkers, intellectuals, academicians, philosophers, scientists, and freedom fighters that we can continue mobilizing mass movements against racism through creativity and innovation via the arts, literature, culture, and education, including social activism and militancy, as well as business. The fact is that White supremacist racism pukes on everybody that’s not White. There may be so many shades of Black and/ or Blackness in a racialised non-White-yet-not-so-Black person’s eyes, but Black is Black in a White supremacist’s eyes.
Therefore, I beg to differ with a dear friend when she says, on Facebook (Own translation from Norwegian), “Either I am ignorant of the negativity that has come my way, or I am an exception. If I say I have (ever) experienced racism that will be a lie, but if I have (ever) been subjected to stupid comments about not being an ethnic Norwegian, yeah, then the speaker will have gotten a response he/ she will remember the rest of their lives … (I) Think that which is perceived as racism is more a form of vulnerability on the part of the offended. If the offended had seen that it’s only idiots who can behave that way (i.e. racist), and that all are equal under the law, regardless of whether someone likes it or not, we would perhaps hear a bit less (of) ‘victim’ of racism occurrences. Exception is harassment, (and) discrimination because of dressing style, religion, and skin colour. In that case one ought to seek justice, and report the case… / Enten er jeg ignorant av det negative som må ha passert meg, ellers så er jeg et unntak. Hvis jeg sier jeg har opplevd rasisme så vil det være en løgn, men om jeg har vært utsatt for dumme kommentarer angående det å være ikke etnisk norsk, tja men da har vedkommende fått seg et svar som han/hun vil huske resten av livet… Tror det som blir oppfattet som rasisme er mer en form for sårbarhet av den som føler seg utsatt, hadde vedkommende sett at det er kun idioter som kan finne på å oppføre seg slik og at alle er like under loven, uansett om noen liker eller ikke liker det, så hadde vi kanskje hørt litt mindre “offer” for rasisme episoder. Unntak er da trakassering, diskriminering,pga klesplagg, religion og hudfarge. Da bør man gå rettens vei eller anmelde…”
Tel.: +27 717 454 115
September 14, 2015
HOME AT LAST! Part 28
New Job Application:
Change, Win, Adapt, or Jump in The Lake in The Diaspora
How old I was then was of no concern to me. At that age I saw things in terms of physical appearances relative to other objects in the immediate environment. People were adults because they were far bigger, and stronger than me. When I first became consciously aware of where I was in my surroundings, it was of no concern to me as to whether I was coming or going; I was just there where I found myself, having the time of my life discovering wonders of the world.
In the middle of the darkest of nights, this big man had put me up on his shoulders, with my hands barely touching each other across his forehead, holding tight as I had been instructed. He took my grandmother’s hand, and led the wade into, and across the Caledon River at a hip high, slow rapids point, with thick willow tree forest on either side. Silence was everything, so was invisibility. Somewhere about half way across the river, the man stepped on a loose stone, missing balance slightly. My immediate panic reflex response was to scream, but the man’s harsh “SHHH!!!” stopped my voice cold. He whispered we stand still for a while. “If the police on the other side see or hear us, we are dead. They shoot to kill. They don’t miss!” the man said. After what seemed like forever, our guide and protector proceeded to see my grandmother and I across the river safely, and walked us through the river bank forest. Sure that we were safe into South Africa, the man turned back to return to his village on the other side, instructing my grandmother to speak to no one until we get to the train station. My grandmother had earlier told me that the man and his elderly father made a living by helping people cross the river into South Africa in the way we just did. There were all sorts of people, from those simply out to look for work, lovers such as my grandmother was, to politicians and freedom fighters.
Now I know I was four-and-half years old when I was introduced to the world of human trafficking. I understood already at that age that lack of passport could never be a hindrance to travel if you had money and other resources to pay somebody who had alternative, unconventional routes and methods, and you were prepared to risk your life as a worst case scenario in the process. 51 years later, I still wonder at how my dying would have felt like had we been discovered that night. What would have happened had the man fallen in the middle of the river, and the currents had taken me? We used to hear of many, many people drowning in the river while attempting to cross into, and from South Africa.
51 years later, human-trafficked children suffer and survive incomparable ordeals over the Mediterranean. For those who do finally make it to Europe, many will have died not only at sea, but the many transit points in North Africa on the one side of the Mediterranean and Red Seas, and the Middle East on the other. I can’t help but wonder where and how these surviving children will be 51 years ahead.
The fact that endless streams of so many, many thousands of people in our time continually go out with rock-hard, clearly well-thought-out determination to seek to defy the meanest odds in order to get to Europe ought to serve as more than enough proof that imperfect and decadent as it may be, the Western way of life remains the most human needs and aspirations fulfilling of all. Western countries of Democracy are lands of promise. Democracy is a beautiful thing, worth dying for, for its enlivenment and propagation in one’s country; worth dying for in the pursuit of living in it in far away lands if conditions at home are impossible. Democracy frees the human spirit, inspires hope, enhances faith, facilitates for and enables unleashing of maximum human creative potential and expression.
Democracy is a tool for lasting and durable human development in the service of humanity’s sustenance and sustainability against challenges of living and life in, and with nature. Perhaps the most endearing thing about Democracy is its humane aspect, where the individual has the right to choose to live their lives as they see and deem fit for themselves as individuals, or specific collectives sharing common beliefs and norms. Because Democracy is what it is, it is so to the extent that it is measured against other systems of human society organization and engineering. Therefore, Democracy does have its own boundaries and limitations, as defined and expressed in each a democratic country’s constitution and laws. You choose to love or hate Democracy as you will, just don’t seek to destroy it where it thrives well and good in its acknowledged imperfect nature, as it does in various ways in many a progressive Western country. To those who want to hang themselves, Democracy gives them abundant access to the ropes.
I contend that the worst tragedy for many survivors who do eventually make it, and settle into Western Europe, as well as other democratic countries of the world, is not so much the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) arising from their escape travel ordeals, or tyrannical experiences in countries of origin. Many of these people get it all completely wrong by egoistically exploiting the newly-found, rather broad and wide, extremely tolerant freedom of choice and expression platforms taken for granted here. What boggles the mind is the ever single-minded determination by many of these people to want, at every cost, to reproduce the very oppressive and inhumane conditions they ran away from, from their own countries of origin in the first place. These people seem never to ever want to take time to introspect, compare and contrast the real human existence conditions between what they find here relative to where they come from. But then again, the core of how these people will ultimately organize their lives lies not in man-made life philosophies and their operative institutions.
There are forces called religion, and culture. These house, and express in various ways the attributes and nature of God, the creator of heaven and earth. It doesn’t matter even if God created different parts of the world unequally, such that in those parts of the world where religion and God are most highly exalted, the human condition is often at its most appalling, with disease, ignorance, poverty, inequalities, and exploitation of the weak and fragile at their most rampant, and non-apologetic. Whether or not by intention, these people have made God the original, and biggest segregationist, as well as racist of first order. In the real world, Democracy if understood and left alone, all (can) live harmoniously side-by-side with respect, honour, and dignity, within the operational boundaries of Democracy itself, as well as God through religion and culture.
No one is born a child of God. People are born to be children of God as a matter of personal choice, or through coercion, if not persuasion. No one is born with religion encoded within their genetic make up. People learn about religion, and so choose to be religious as a conscious act, persuasion, and/ or through coercion. No one is born religious. No one is born Atheist. No one is born Animist, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, or Taoist. People are born into religions, and other systems of belief, including cultures, traditions, as well as other systems of thought seeking to make sense of the human condition and its existential imperatives, both material and otherwise. Blessed are those born in times and spaces of Democracy; here shall all men, women, and children of the world aspire to be, paying the ultimate price to get there if need be.
To the extent that Democracy permits people to be real, giving them chances to be rational and critical about the big questions of life and living, including whether to die or not in its pursuit, attainment, cultivation, and preservation, its enemies can never, and will never crush it. Great harm and damage may be caused in the short term, but, ultimately, Democracy shall prevail. Democracy is freedom, and all people of the world are born free. The duty and obligation of every living human being are to essentially work continually at enhancing freedom, its expression, and experience; such that all children of the world are not only born free, but are born into freedom. Freedom shall enable children of the world to travel the world freely, making, with no effort, the necessary behavioural changes necessary to adapt to any new environment. Freedom as an extension and expression of Democracy does not impose. Imposition applies force, force begets resistance; resistance creates conflict, conflict will often culminate in violence, and, subsequently, death. Democracy is pro-life. If and when Democracy kills, it will often be in extreme necessary self-preservation circumstances, an act which in itself does not make killing conditionally right, or justifiable. Democracy is also about doing what has to be done when it has to be done. Time will judge as to the moral justness or not of effecting what had to be done.
No religion and its attributes, neither culture nor belief system, are encoded in anybody’s genes through conception and birth. Faith gives religion a face, highlighting its tenets, defining its boundaries, specifying its systems of rewards and punishments, and not in the least, it’s supreme, all powerful and mighty being. Faith is the pathway between religion and God Almighty. What is encoded in the genetic make up of people is the infinite potential and capacity to learn and fantasize.
Because it is in the nature of nature to be unpredictable, human survival on earth depends on the full and constant use, as well as application of the potential and capacity to learn. This is, and this has been the only way for humans to solve and overcome challenges of life and living in/ with nature. Learning provides tools for effecting change, as well as effective living with it in changing times and circumstances. Fantasy allows, and is the expression of the human mind’s ability and capacity to apply the five senses to conceptualizing perceptions beyond the normal physical reality as we experience it on daily basis. Life Coaching inspired by Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) seeks to broaden conscious awareness of the value and application of fantasy in relating to, and solving life’s ever present survival challenges.
Every word, every symbol, every thought, every action enlivens or subdues fantasy in variable ways according to time, space, and circumstances in relation to what we have learnt, what we have been taught. I can teach people new to the Western Democracy way of living to change their extremely exaggerated perceptions of Western society vis-à-vis their own imported religions and cultures. I can take these people on powerful fantasy trips that will show them that it actually is possible in reality to live in peace and harmony in the Western world. I can teach them that the Western world facilitates conditions for people to be nearer to, and understand their own God even more profoundly. Bombings, orgies of mass destruction, murder, oppression and exploitation of the weak and vulnerable can never be effective methods of creating a perfect world for a liberating, and loving God. This is a manifestation of extremely bad education, and human fantasy potential application gone totally wrong.
There is no better place to be a deeply religious, totally devoted to any God-of-choice-person than in the Western world today. Operating within the fully transparent and, if/ when necessary, contestable laws of the land defining the boundaries and limitations of Democracy, religious people of all faiths are ever happiest, and thrive more in the Western world as a matter of course. With my COOL Coaching® personal development training methods and techniques, I can help people from religious and political despotic, oppressive, repressive lands to settle well, and be decent value adding citizens in their new homelands; this done without in any way alienating them from their Gods and religions at all. On the contrary, experiencing the glory and power of God, living out one’s religion as a conscious personal journey of self-discovery, self-realization, self-knowledge, and self-reinvention can be the most liberating thing in so far as loving one’s God and creation go. Love of God is in practice a manifestation of love for the inner self, where love for humanity, understanding, tolerance, and the never ending urge to open one’s mind to new learning in/ with changing times and spaces reside. Welcome to the world of Western philosophical thought inspiration, and Democracy.
I shall receive and consider job offers from any organization, state or private (NGO), in any Western country working with the integration of immigrants as discussed above. Please download my CV (Pdf-fil).
Tel.: +27 717 454 115
August 24, 2015