I turn on the radio and the news is on. I go to my computer, looking for some relief, let me see what’s on Facebook. My timeline is filled with news broadcasts. I turn to twitter, something good must be there… more news. The world is filled with news, news of my home, my country, my shame.
I read the reports, listen to the broadcasts, look at the images being shared.
People being tortured. Suffering. Death. Violence.
I am ashamed. I am ashamed for my home, I am ashamed to be a part of a world where human beings can be treated like this.
I see burning human beings. I see a 14-year-old smile, that will never brighten up his family’s life again. I see a man with wounds so deep in his back. inflicted on him simply because he’s African but not the same African as me.
How quickly we forget. During harder times when we ourselves sought refuge in the care of our neighbours. Today, we have forgotten. Today we are selfishly claiming the resources of our land. This land, this African land. This land belonging to us all. Defined by boundaries, created by humans. Created by our forefathers, our oppressors.
Xenophobia. The word itself sounds foreign. The treatment of other human beings as lesser simply because we don’t come from the same soil. Isn’t this all African soil?
I am heartbroken. I am saddened. I am surprised at myself, feeling shame of my country. Of the silence of my president who says nothing for days and then fills the silence with emptiness. I am ashamed to be South African today. I am ashamed to belong to a country filled with hate.
I am ashamed.
I am also heart-broken.
[bctt tweet=”I love my country so deeply but this place, I hardly recognise.”]