An open letter to my White friends, in South Africa and Americaland…

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An open letter to my White friends, in South Africa and Americaland…

This morning i was browsing Facebook and i came upon a status from my friend Nkosivumile Gola [who has written a number of posts for this blog] that read like this:

The land question is very personal, the land includes my whole being it is the very me. The land question is very emotional its not an intellectual talk. I don’t have a nice way of saying we want the land, I can’t smile when I’m talking about land.

Followed by 50 or so comments [and still going on] of which i think i was the only white person engaging. Trying to listen and really hear and understand.

Having opened my blog up somewhat to conversations about Race-related themes and issues over the last few months, and having connected with some new friends and been talking about race i have come to realise that for many black people in South Africa, land reform and restitutional justice are huge topics. I don’t know of many of my white friends that even have an opinion or understanding of this. Or how deep the hurt related to this topic lies

 

land

 

AMERICALAND 

As far as Americaland goes, it is becoming difficult to keep up. Last week it was the news that Darren Wilson [the white police officer who was responsible for the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson] was not going to be indicted. Today it is the somehow more surprising news that Daniel Pantaleo [the white police officer who allegedly put an illegal choke hold on Eric Garner which led to his subsequent death] was also not going to be indicted, despite there being quite clear video footage of the incident [that to my reckoning shows a blatant choke hold].

#Ferguson, #MikeBrown,#BlackLivesMatter, #EricGarner, how many hashtags do we need before significant change starts to happen?

As i have been following Ferguson pretty closely, and especially the Christian voices on it, I have noticed that the black voices are very vocal, where for the most part [and there are some incredible exceptions], the white voices are remaining silent.

Austin Channing, who is one of the people i have a lot of respect for in this conversation, tweeted this a couple of hours ago:

I need this to matter. What use have I for a Church that doesn’t believe I am worthy of justice, love and humility? [@austonchanning]

 

eric

 

CHURCH

South Africa… Americaland… i imagine these conversations need to be had elsewhere, but these are the countries i have spend time in the last couple of years and so they are forefront in my mind and heart.

The contexts are quite different in some ways [Majority Oppression vs Minority Oppression, Restitution vs Present Day Justice] but there are some eerie similarities:

# For the most part a lack of white interest, engagement, outrage, action. There are white people who are involved and are making waves and using their platforms and showing up, but they are way too much the exception.

# A seeming lack of joining the dots of what is happening in the country politically being linked in any way to what we, as the church, believe, or should believe based on
 

 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly with your God.

[Micah 6.8]

Learn to do right; seek justice.
    Defend the oppressed.
Take up the cause of the fatherless;
    plead the case of the widow.

[Isaiah 1.17]

The righteous care about justice for the poor,
    but the wicked have no such concern.

[Proverbs 29.7]

 

And then Jesus aiming this at the religious ones of His day, in Matthew 23:

23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24 You blind guides!You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.

 

As white people [those who in many instances hold the power for change in both situations] it is not good enough for us to sit back and be uninvolved and unengaged and let injustice go on around us.

In terms of the land reform conversations that need to take place in South Africa, i do not even come close to knowing the answers, but i do know that i am not informed enough, and so one thing i can do is this action based on this status i stuck on to Facebook a few hours ago:

Have decided if i truly am for unity, reconciliation and justice in my beloved South Africa, that i have a bit of reading to do. There is a lot i need to hear and understand from different voices to the ones that informed me growing up. So i could use some suggestions of good books to start with and interested to know if any of my white friends would be up to journeying this journey with me and maybe we could book club it [even if we’re in different parts of the country] so that we can share the costs of a big pile of books. My first recommendation was ‘Sobukwe led the road to Robben Island’ by Dr. Motsoko Pheko – what else do you think would be helpful?
 
I was reminded of this great quote which sums up the work ahead.

‘Freedom is not free. The price of freedom is selfless service, suffering and sacrifice.’ [Dr. Motsoko Pheko]

 

Getting involved, putting your hand up, being informed and taking action are not easy or comfortable or free things. There is a cost and it will require effort and time and buy-in and some form of sacrifice along the way. It requires us to get intentional about how we do or don’t engage with this much needed conversation.

In Americaland, the church at large needs to get involved. We need to hear outrage from white people [the black people are already there and have been for so long and are dying for us to pitch up and listen and hear and feel and cry out alongside them – they are not needing you to lead this revolution, they just need you to show up!]

 

Here are some more tweets from Austin Channing, which i found devastating, more so because of how true they are:

Are you really okay that policing for black lives is different than policing for your life?

Is it okay that our sunday school children have to split up by race to receive different lessons on what to expect from police?

Show us. Show us that its not ok. Stand with us. Let us mourn. Hell, why aren’t you mourning? Let us be angry. You should be angry too.

The cycle of systemic racism and interpersonal racism are robbing the lives of black people and robbing the humanity of white people.

Either you believe we are all created in the Image of God and should be treated accordingly or you do not.

Don’t you see, we all lose? Don’t you see why the Church cant ignore this issue? Cant you see why being “apolitical” is not an option?

Because that’s really the point isn’t it? “Oh no, church and politics shouldn’t mix.” What verse was that from again? While there might be a place where church and politics mixing is not the heathiest of ideas, this goes beyond that.

This is about justice. This should concern all of us, but especially for people who call themselves followers of Jesus, this stuff should be in our D.N.A. This is what we’re about.

 

Kimberley Brusk just nailed it – this is the point – what is your response going to be?

Justice won’t be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are. BE OUTRAGED  @peaceforus4ever

 

My white friends, my white family, white strangers who i don’t yet know, but who some reason have landed in this place, we are the unaffected ones [directly] and it is time for us to be outraged and informed and engaged.

Or may God have mercy on us.

About the Author:

Brett Fish is a lover of life, God, tbV [the beautiful Valerie] and owns the world's most famous stuffed dolphin, No_bob (who doesn't bob). He believes that we are all responsible for making the world a significantly better place for everyone.

19 Comments

  1. Nkosivumile Wiseman Gola December 4, 2014 at 7:39 am - Reply

    Brett I like your post and it is far respectful and caring more than that protective statement of Khoi and Sans. This Khoi and Sans story is the continuation is creating disunity amongst the Afrikan masses and I will never buy into it. Your post shows your solidarity and not your protection by all kinds of talks including faith and so on. I am personally tired of this faith talk if this faith continues to be used as means to passify the black people I am surely an earthist to the “jesus” who propagates such embracenment of hell. This faith talk is the one that was used by the missionaries when they promised our people about the world to come whilst they were busy with the world we are in today, the white missionaries preached about the new jerusalem that was coming whilst they were busy creating their own jerusalem. Your post is the actual cry I have that white people can recognise the damage they have done and respond deliberately and intentionally.

    • brettfish December 4, 2014 at 9:14 am - Reply

      Thanks Nkosi. My biggest issue with the conversation today was the continuing lack of practical ideas. Everyone can shout the WHAT but no one is even suggesting any form of the HOW. That feels largely unhelpful to anyone genuinely wanting to be part of making a difference. But I like that we continue to converse and look forward to hanging out this weekend.

  2. Jaco December 7, 2014 at 11:27 am - Reply

    Dear Brett,

    I have only recently discovered your blog and have found your posts very sensible and thought-provoking. Two days ago I was involved in a discussion with a colleague on this issue of land-reform and why it will always be such a difficult topic. The reasoning of said colleague ran thus: The Afrikaners who initiated the ‘Groot Trek’ and moved inland, took the land by waging war on the indigenous tribes, and as we all know following their victory settled there. How can the defeated claim that the taking of the land was and is unfair, isn’t it in the ‘unwritten law’ of war that the victors partake of the spoils? This is truly Machiavellian reasoning and I am trying my best to find a fault with it. Strangely enough, this colleague is an English South-African and I am the Afrikaner from Free State.

    It is very easy for me to tell the farmer who has owned the land for seven generations that the war that granted his ancestors the property was unjust, but that is because I’m a urbanized city dweller whose identity is not tied to the land. If you mix religion into the situation considering ‘Bloedrivier’ and ‘Geloftedag’ which is still celebrated in rural areas, then I feel it is just as wrong to ask these people to just hand-over even part of their farms. However like you I’m woefully uniformed as to the full complexity of the situation. I am at odds with my liberal upbringing, I feel that the situation as is, is indeed unjust but there is a part of me that also wonders if we as 21st century people are not just all ‘spoiled’ intellectuals harping on about justice and human rights etc. when the world that we inhabit and most of our proudest achievements are built on at least 6000 years of man’s inhumanity to man. I may sound cynical, but whilst I believe in the good of people on the micro-level of society, on the macro-level ruthless has always, in retrospect, seemed the only option. Would love to hear your thoughts…

    Kindest regards,
    Jaco Griessel

  3. spicemerchant December 7, 2014 at 10:04 pm - Reply

    I dont care for my opinion, its boring, but after reading and researching I think I am spot on. I dont really care anymore. I have tried uplifting, employing, working, transferring skills. Its a dog eat dog world out there, and the more you give the less you have time to do important things. I hear cried of a black solution, please bring that on. Sadly I think things are going to get more ugly in South Africa, I hear it all around, from privileged blacks and whites. I have seen so much just given away for mahala, its solved no problems. Land oneday will not be the solution either. The solution comes from deep inside, and I think we are a very damaged society. Its power transfer, there will be land grabs, its about fighting the storm that is coming and seeing the sun at the end. God bless Africa, may it find its light oneday.

    • brettfish December 7, 2014 at 10:16 pm - Reply

      Thankx for stopping by, but please don’t give up hope. If you had been on Robben Island with us this weekend and seen the hope evident in these young people of all colours and languages, you would know there is hope for this nation. It is easy to see the darkness and to let it get to you but each of us need to pick up our light and refuse to let it be put out and then keep on finding other people holding lights and holding ours alongside theirs. Soon the light will grow.

  4. John December 9, 2014 at 12:28 pm - Reply

    The reason I write you off as another white “Arts-degree” imbecile: You compare the history and economics and politics and sociology of America to SA. They are NOTHING alike. And they NEVER were. You are painfully Anti-White and Pro-Black throughout. Why would you not only deny Whites their voice, but decide BEFOREHAND what your outcome in your head will be? “My white friends, my white family, white strangers who i don’t yet know, but who some reason have landed in this place, we are the unaffected ones [directly] and it is time for us to be outraged and informed and engaged.” The unaffected ones??? You are so, SO out of line bud. And you have effectively wished away with that limp wrist of yours the history, dreams, blood, prayers, sweat and tears of a nation that had it harder than most, and is AS entitled to the country as any other. I am outraged. By your type. Not only are you ignorant, racist, hateful, you are glib and biased. Do you have MSM each morning for breakfast, or do you choose ignorance and bias freely? What truly, truly angered me was this drivel: “As white people…hold the power for change in both situations”] … (whites) are …uninvolved and unengaged and let injustice go on around (them).” Just go home before you hurt yourself. You’re a six year old taking a tomy gun to an international arms trade. You are in so deep, and you have no clue. And as for proclaiming to be a Christian, that’s terribly hard to believe when all you seek to do is vilify, nullify and crucify a Nation you know NOTHING about, or simply care NOTHING for.

    • brettfish December 10, 2014 at 12:53 am - Reply

      hey John,

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by.

      Some thoughts in response:

      [1] What a pity – why would you ever write anyone off? That sounds so unoptimistic and as the self-proclaimed eternal optimist just completely outside of my life experience – there is always hope that people will stand in front of a mirror and see what is really there and choose to change. Always. As a follower of Jesus i believe that 100 fold as inviting God to come in and bring change just accelerates that in my experience.

      [2] i feel like ‘Arts-degree’ imbecile is a step up – you see i am a 40 year old white guy with dreads and so usually get asked at traffic lights for weed or high fived by other drug takers because of wrongful assumptions made, so i will take Arts-degree imbecile – i actually got kicked out of art in high school for spending the year mixing paint colours [because they just expected us to do art and never taught us how to and i couldn’t do art] and officially i am a primary school teacher [by study] although have spent most of my life working with young people in the church

      [3] “You compare the history and economics and politics and sociology of America to SA.” – not true, or not intended at least – in my most recent blog dealing with #Ferguson whiplash vs South African White Privilege vibes i maybe say it more clearly but the point is that in terms of the focus on race issues at the moment, there are similarities between what the two countries are presently facing and some huge differences [in USA white majority, in SA it is minority being a big one] and so very interesting to me keeping an eye on both and seeing what might be learned on either side of the ocean.

      [4] Painfully anti-white and pro-black throughout? Hm, i don’t see that. i am white firstly and i kinda like myself, and most of my white friends. i AM pro-black in the same way that i am pro-white and Indian, coloured etc… Not one above the other. HOWEVER, that doesn’t for a second mean i overlook where we have made mistakes and as white people in South Africa we very much do need to stand in the front of the line with our hands raised and admit a few things. With apartheid having been officially turned over 20 years ago or so we can [and would love to] decide that racism is all done now in this country and let’s move on, but because a lot of black people [and possibly others] feel aggrieved still in terms of work of reparation and restitution that was not done, i think we have a way to go still. At the very least taking time to listen and try hear and then see if we can in fact do something about it. This conversation is probably heading from race towards social economic status, but while people still have racist thoughts and comments and behaviours [see white guy at university peeing on man of colour just a week or so ago and more] it seems like many people still have a bit of a way to go. Just because it is uncomfortable doesn’t mean the hard conversations shouldn’t happen. My heart is complete unity and togetherness and it is going to take a long and difficult journey to get there still.

      i really honestly am not sure why you think i am anti-white – that is so far from the truth – i can be completely pro-white and still feel we have a responsibility to bear some of the cost of change. absolutely.

      [5] Not sure how i have denied whites their voice – i have used the platform of this blog to give all voices a chance to be heard – because less whites seem to be engaged in this conversation there has been less of a pool to draw from but take a look at Michael Talbot’s piece at one example of hearing a white voice here.

      [6] i am two weeks into the hundred week pushup challenge and we have added some weight exercises to that as well and so my wrists are anything but limp at the moment. My pushups need a lot of work though. Also not sure how this unaffected wrist has wished away the history [blood, sweat, tears etc] of this nation that has had it so rough – at the moment i am reading Robert Sobukwe: How Can Man Die Better to try and understand a different perspective of our story and learn a little more of the history especially the blood, tears and sweat side of things. i am not wishing it away at all but taking it into consideration and starting to understand more deeply about the people who shed blood, sweat and tears and now feel like they may have lost out in the process. Taking a bit of extra time to see if they might be right and if so, what can we do about it.

      [7] “ignorant, racist, hateful, you are glib and biased” – a lot of things to call someone you don’t know, have never met, and i assume got all your information from one blog post one – ignorant? yes i can take that – i know a lot less than i would like and am doing all i can to join in some of the dots of the story including spending this last weekend on Robben Island hearing from people who were imprisoned and families that were affected by that. racist? i don’t think so, not overtly anyways – we all carry some prejudice and i definitely have some towards other races that needs to be worked out of me – and will as i grow friendships with people from other backgrounds and contexts. hateful? i don’t think that’s fair and am really not sure where you got that? i have so much love for people that i believe God filled me with – if anyone comes close to feeling unloved or hard done by me it is likely to be christians who don’t live out what they say they believe as that is when it is hardest for me to show grace and mercy but even then i think i do okay. Could always be better. Glib – embarrassed to say i need to go google that which does back up your ignorant comment – insincere and shallow? hm, no, i think you’re thinking of someone else – i say it as i see it which means i am open to being wrong on occasion or missing the mark but definitely not insincere and shallow. and biased? maybe, i work from what i have and so each story has a bias derived from the teller’s experience and sources and prejudices – definitely not intentionally biased but there is probably a little in there.

      [8] Also had to look up Methylsulfonylmethane so clearly am not willingly taking it, although it is possible Megs slipped some into my porridge this morning, but that doesn’t seem like her style. And so no i don’t choose ignorance and bias freely – i am doing what i can to add knowledge and learn and am trying my best to not be biased but to give space for all sorts of voices and opinions. We will never get the perfect story but we can definitely work towards getting a more balanced and close to the truth one.

      [9] And then there was the part that “truly angered” you, which was this – As white people [those who in many instances hold the power for change in both situations] it is not good enough for us to sit back and be uninvolved and unengaged and let injustice go on around us.

      Although in your comment you changed it around to this: “As white people…hold the power for change in both situations”] … (whites) are …uninvolved and unengaged and let injustice go on around (them).”

      So kinda like looking at me holding a banana and saying, “I hate your apple, bud!”

      My point is that “it is not good enough” for us to sit around and be uninvolved – that is not suggesting that everyone is uninvolved [although a lot of people certainly seem to be] but it is rather a call to action and saying that given the circumstances around us, we really need to make sure that we are not allowing injustice to go on around us.

      If it angered you because you don’t like the statement, does that mean we should sit back and be uninvolved and unengaged and let injustice go on around us? Or that you felt i was imposing a judgement on all white people. Again, the words “it is not good enough for” are really important as they speak to a situation that would not be favourable as opposed to declaring a situation that is.

      [10] Then it got a little personal [although you did seem to be looking out for my safety when you suggested i go home before i hurt myself – although to be fair i wrote this at home and in the broader picture South Africa is my home so either way i am fully there and in not too much danger of hurting myself]

      “You’re a six year old taking a tomy gun to an international arms trade. You are in so deep, and you have no clue. And as for proclaiming to be a Christian, that’s terribly hard to believe when all you seek to do is vilify, nullify and crucify a Nation you know NOTHING about, or simply care NOTHING for.”

      i tend to dig it when people think i’m younger than the 40 year old i am but usually they go for mid twenties or maybe thirty and so it feels like you are a little off there. i am not a huge fan of guns and so that is unlikely in a non-metaphoric sense but interesting that the language used is that of violence which my hope and optimising and belief in the goodness of people [and of God] really believes we can avoid if we continue to have healthy and helpful and at times uncomfortable conversations so that we can move towards change which works for everyone. And your accusation of me villifying, nullifying and crucifying a nation i don’t care about and know nothing about feels so far from the truth – i imagine i have lived here longer than you and so quite possibly know a decent amount, i don’t know many people as passionate as i am about this country and you should perhaps go and read some of the Robben Island blogs i’ve been posting more recently to see that [i will fight for the right to be called an African cos this is my home – i am a man of this soil] and yes, basically just the opposite of what you said back there.

      Finally, John, i don’t expect you to read this – i would love if it you did and i would really dig it if we could sit down over a drink and have a full on two way conversations and really get to hear a little bit of the other person’s story before we make snap judgements and think we know what the other person is about. I doubt this will happen though because you wrote me off right at the beginning, but i thought it would be fun to let you know what i would have written had you stuck around a bit to have some conversation.

      May you have a most excellent week
      Let’s build this nation together
      love brett fish

      • Johann January 20, 2015 at 10:25 am - Reply

        Hi Brett
        I came accross your wrintings here via another online article about the Boer history strangely enough. It was about how the boere fought against the british and also about their dealings with the zulus. And this has had me thinking more than once about this whole land issue in south africa. If the boere apparently negiotated with Dingaan et al and got land WITHOUT bloodshed, then I dont see why black people feel they are automatically entitled to get all the land back? People keep going on about how the “whites slaughtered” the blacks for it but there are too many conflicting stories/histories… But the true facts of the history behind land in SA seems to always be denied and laughed off. Why is that?

        Anyway, I wrote a whole essay here earlier about alot of things on my mind when it comes to South Africa. But decided to make it shorter. There is a ton of issues facing SA and unfortunately as a white male I would be called a racist for bringing up most of it. Whether or not I am sincere and honest about it. So I will stick to land issues.

        I think the biggest problem comes from how the transition was handled by the govt and the reigning political party since 1994. Mandela was great and things looked promising when he was still in charge. But things have taken a huge nose-dive since Mandela is no longer around. Seems now that the current leaders do not have to be accountable and honourable in the face of Mandela, they are now doing anything they want, including forcing farmers to hand over their land. And if not they are simply murdered and now seems a new law is being passed where their land can be taken willy nilly by the govt. Sounds alot like Zimbabwe doesnt it. My question is, how will taking away land from white farmers and giving it to black people, who have no farming skills or the money to sustain these farms, solve anything? Countless reports of world class farms collapsing and becoming a white elephant… and then getting re-sold by the new black owners for peanuts? This alone tells me that the issue is not about giving land back, but its about getting whites out. And this is truly sad, as it could have been so much different and so much better for everyone in SA if things were done differently since 1994.

        And offcourse what does this land grabbing do to food security, poverty, employment of farm workers and their communities? Not to mention for the economy? This is why I despise the word “entitlement”. Because it is the root cause of the problems.

        I am more than willing to fight and stand up for blacks to be treated equally, however that will only happen the day I see blacks also stand up against farm attacks and murder of white farmers.

        • brettfish January 20, 2015 at 12:14 pm - Reply

          Johann, thankx for stopping by and for sharing your thoughts. It feels like you are genuinely wrestling with these issues and i am hugely grateful for that. It will be good if i can get some of my black friends to come and respond to these questions cos they are valid. If you would be up to taking what you have in this comment and putting it into a blog post so i can officially get some response for it drop me an email at brettfish@hotmail.com and let’s dig a little deeper – i wish i had answers for a lot of this stuff, but i don’t… but i do feel that as i pose the questions and give space for comments on either side, that i am learning and hopefully eventually out of that can come some creativity and ideas…

          love brett fish

  5. Top Posts of 2015 | Irresistibly Fish December 31, 2014 at 12:49 pm - Reply

    […] An open letter to my White Friends in South Africa and Americaland – i have been following race issues and conversations both here in South Africa and back in […]

  6. Cathy Billingham January 21, 2015 at 4:18 pm - Reply

    I don’t think these problems will ever be solved – too much hatred and bitterness. Apartheid has been gone from SA for 20 years now – isn’t it time to get over it? Time to show the world what can be done without the (every negative description you can think of) white man. You can start whenever you are ready.

    • brettfish January 21, 2015 at 9:51 pm - Reply

      Every time someone give up hope that is one less person engaged in the pursuit of a better time. To expect that a system like apartheid can be ‘gotten over’ in even 20 years might be hopeful, but not realistic thinking, because of the depths of disparity it was responsible for and the lack of engagement by the majority of people in trying to turn things around. Add in of course everyone who fled the country with the skills needed to turn us around. Because the economic aspects were not well addressed during the transition it will still take a great deal of time but there are a lot of people and groups and churches who are doing some incredible things and it is really about finding those and getting involved and also about telling those positive stories more and giving them airplay so as to get even more people hopeful and involved. The choice is ours…

  7. Melda January 23, 2015 at 3:08 am - Reply

    As an octogenarian, I can only sigh in despair. Debates of hot air, ad nauseum which sinks into a babble of theories.
    I look for facts to connect the dots – so that relevant questions will give you the answer/solution you seek.
    As an octagenarian, it works for my limited lifespan.

    FACT: The ANC want to take land the Boers found as pristine bushes and forests. Their determination and strength of character – braved the Ocean in a wooden ship, faced wild animals, mountains and heat to forge a new life free from persecution. Their motto with Bible in hand…God helps those who help themselves (not steal)
    *** and to ensure results *** A BOER MAKES A PLAN.

    IS threatening to STEAL assets built over centuries, without
    recourse to justice – * not persecution ?
    WHO owns the Land according to the Constitution ?
    Or is that just toilet paper ?

    DID Boers find settlements (farms) that sustained life ?
    WHY did the tribes fight wars against each other instead of ‘developing’ and evolving ?
    DO Africans prefer pastoral farming to till the soil
    in the most difficult climate on earth ?
    Do Africans need fertile land for cattle farming (their
    natural choice) with Nguni cattle ?
    Can over 50 million people live on MEAT alone and
    to import produce from other ‘whitey’ countries.

    SO WHY do city dwellers *who do not want; nor know how to physically “farm” *only want the productive farms ?
    Which they then sell back after all the assets have been stripped and the land become arid. Back to its origin.
    If so – why does ANC not give the millions of square miles of unoccupied and undeveloped land (as it was) to those who want land ?

    WHY does the ANC insist on ‘giving land’ that has been tilled and developed over centuries – to the illiterate and the nation to all starve as in rest of Africa ? More ANC handouts ?

    Was Zim not the “bread basket” of AFrica once upon a time ?
    Zimbabweans are on food AID and come to SA to survive
    Another African failed state ? ?.

    WHAT is the current GDP value of Agriculture 2014 compared to 1994 values of exports ?
    WHAT is the current value of Imports compared to 1994 ?

    Have the above questions given any rational and logical answers?
    No ?
    Well here come a few more tough ones to un-justify “land grab.”

    Why is the rest of Africa still starving, and landless (NOTE) and illiterate – when Colonialism ended more than 50 years ago ? There are no more thieving whites to deprive them of THEIR land ?
    Will we under ANC be prosperous in the coming decades without
    the hated whites, who developed SA to a 1st World country ?
    These are just a few facts and questions from a mountain of proof – now what do you have to say ?

    Let me say it for you – as land goes barren (like Zim) the nation will starve but thank you Lord…..they will have “land” that is now sand and stones instead of green fields and trees.
    Soil trampled and desert ‘blooms’ from over grazing.
    Or will they head off to countries ruled by colonialists, who will once again be patronizing and all the verbs you can think of.
    Thank you Lord, there are handouts from the labour of others.

    Any questions anyone ?

    • brettfish January 23, 2015 at 3:49 am - Reply

      Thanks for stopping by Melda. I think it is really important for us to be asking the tough questions and work together to create a unified and more successful country. I don’t know anyone who us wanting us to grab productive farms and see them put into the hands of people who will intenionally destroy them or see them go to ruin. I certainly am not abdicating for that. But sitting around the table together to find a solution that works for the majority of the people in this land is what feels great. We need to move away from the “us” and “them” narrative and just start to see us. Rainbow nation with all the strengths and weaknesses each of us brings to that.

      • Tony January 23, 2015 at 4:25 am - Reply

        You started the US vs THEM when you mentioned “white privilege”.

        • brettfish January 23, 2015 at 4:36 am - Reply

          i don’t think you understand what i’m saying when i say ‘white privilege’ – if you really genuinely wanted to know, which judging by your comments you probably don’t, take a little time and read some of the stuff i’ve written and articles i have linked to. If you’re a reasonable person, then i imagine if you understood what i meant by the phrase you would agree with me that it is a thing. When i talk about “US” vs “THEM” i mean stop being divisive and seeing “THEM” as less than or inferior. Clearly to speak about race we have to mention black and white and other groups, but i am talking about drawing lines between them and assuming the US is better when you have no proof to back that up. Black people do some heinous thing as do white people. Black people achieve some incredible things as do white people. It is the wide sweeping discriminationary brush strokes i am inviting you to step away from. And the best way is to meet some people from the “THEM” group as you perceive it and start to hear their stories, perhaps over a meal.

  8. Melda January 23, 2015 at 6:29 am - Reply

    Whether we like it or not it has become ‘us and them.’ The line was deeply drawn when Mbeki said ” I AM AN AFRICAN .”
    Bloggers began debating who is “African?”, Those were heady optimistic days and I was a Liberal in mind and Soul. I made excuses when Africans told me to go back to where I came from.
    I did not have such a “place” being 4th generation in SA;.

    I was told loud and clear that I am not a SOUTH African. Liberal excuses for the “victims” as I reasoned in the past, became the past. My rainbow disappeared as the storm gathered.
    It was now “Us – those who do not belong” and “Them, who are the self-appointed owners of SA.”
    I also realized that being Liberal is being ‘deliberately patronizing by ” ignoring the reality of how it is. ”

    There is a canyon which divides “us” and “them” and there is no rainbow bridge to understanding each other.

    I am no longer Liberal and looking for excuses for the “victims.”
    I am a Realistic South African expecting the same logic and reasoning from “them.” Being a victim is ‘their way of functioning’ in a unforgiving environment.

    Success does not come to you – you have to go out and make a success of your life. Sadly that concept is lacking in African Logic and to blame others for their weaknesses, is self-defeating.
    Freedom was not won by ANC as history is now being rewritten.
    It was given to the ANC on a silver platter, as euphoria gripped the Liberal and Communist believers of “we.”.

    Mbeki stomped on it without the logic and reason to foresee the consequences.

    • brettfish January 23, 2015 at 6:33 am - Reply

      What a pity. I am definitely an African and no one can take that away from me. I have found the way past us vs them is getting to know and deeply love some of the them. Then it starts to become second nature. If you have any genuine black friends i doubt they will be the ones telling you you don’t belong. If you don’t have any black friends then i find that a little strange living in a country where they make up by far the largest percentage people group and i would encourage you to begin there. Invite someone round, start sharing stories. Discover the us together.

  9. […] An Open Letter to my White Friends in South Africa and Americaland – i see two very different stories on race enfolding in Americaland and South Africa but also some really strong overlaps and so this email was a challenge to my white friends to jump in and get engaging. […]

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