Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Tag: Rod Suskin

A few last words on the subject

Why is everyone with a different opinion from mine so hectic? Why can we not engage robustly instead of it spiralling into name calling and blame? I have never had my mind changed by being screamed at, literally or figuratively. And it also does’t make me hear or understand your point of view better. Why do I end up feeling like I am putting myself out there and must therefore expect a certain level of abuse? I know that that is how things work on the internet, and that what has happened to me is mild and silly, in comparison to threats, and trolling and violence, but still. Come on guys, surely you realise that your vitriol and self righteous anger sounds alarmingly defensive? It also sounds like the thing you keep telling everyone you find so repulsive and unnecessary; white guilt.

I am very sad that black people saw absolutely no reason to engage with me around what I wrote about the #ZumaMustFailMarch, but I totally understand. It was a shouting match of white people. Unless you share my opinion, or were moved, by something I wrote, into seeing things differently (yes there were those too) you were all quite cross with me and what I had to say. And I am afraid that reminds me more of apartheid than is comfortable.

I don’t have many practical answers, but I do know that awareness and vigilant calling out of white privilege will be something I will be making a daily effort to do. And I can’t imagine what will happen if others don’t.

And thank you Rod Suskin for your passionate engagement on Twitter. That’s constructive and engaging,and has kept me thinking all day.

On Freedom Day, democracy, coming of age, and stuff

A few years ago wise human and fantastic astrologer Rod Suskin compared South African democracy to a child. At the time I think we were celebrating 13 years of democracy and Rod said that our country had just entered its teenage years. I thought the analogy was brilliant, and it helped me look at where we had come in such a short time, and even made me more comfortable with some of the excuses we all had to make about where we were at; after all, it was a 13 year old child we had created and now had to manage.

Using the same analogy; today, democratic South Africa has just turned 17. South Africa is on the brink of becoming a ‘young adult’ democracy but it still carries the childish burden of sulky teenager. Democratic South Africa still has problem skin; it erupts on the surface, red and flaring, just like the flashes and outbursts of crime, racism and reactive behaviour. South Africa is passive aggressive, sulky and rebellious, but on the verge of being ready to be a legal, responsible adult. South Africa is just a learner driver, not yet ready to go for its license. It still has to study, and finish its matric! South Africa is still a little too preoccupied with labels, and brands, and bling, still concerned about what its friends will think, even though it says it isn’t. The government is more like a junior SRC where ‘problem kids’ have been given a chance to grow, to prove themselves, and there is still room for mistakes and forgiveness. But time is running out, and teachers and parents are becoming impatient! There is still the teenage tendency to play the blame game, to be reluctant to own up, to complain bitterly during detention. There is the tendency to play rough and then cry when the game gets dirty, still the habit of stealing its mom’s car for joyrides, still the recklessness of a youth that struggles to hold in its present thoughts the poor, the needy, the old, the suffering.

I still have huge hope for our seventeen year old democracy. But, the truth is, I can’t wait for it to grow up properly and get to the work of big people.

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