The “other” is a state of mind

And the headlines read: “16000 people internally displaced in a week, 34 reported dead… when will it ever end?”

Its sad that our world is cluttered with degenerate human beings who, despite millions of years of evolution, still fail to accept that the “other” does not really exist. What cowardice it is to attack someone because of (mis)perceived differences. The problem of xenophobia is particularly riling because more often than not it manifests itself in violence..

It amazes me that one can discriminate against another because they hail from across an imaginary line. People forget that we are all one and the same despite some differences in external physical appearance, concentrations of melanin, language.. Even if we were “different”, whatever happened to loving thy neighbour as you love thyself? Is it so hard to express positive emotion? Must we continue to seek success by hurting others?

Xenophobia and all other forms of hatred towards people we perceive as the “other” only show how much we reject our own adequacy. As if by killing off those you “fear” are taking away your resources (resources which you claim entitlement to.. whether or not you really are entitled to them is another issue altogether) you’ll suddenly become better… solve the problem. Hate is a cancer,that cannot be “cured” by cutting off the undesirable bits.

And yet, we sit and watch as South African across the country assault and murder foreigners… Did South African people not recently celebrate and ululate at the demise (or perceived demise) of apartheid? Did it “just” happen? It was through the actions of a vast majority of people – most of whom were foreigners – that South Africa became “free”. Through the actions of people who believed that even when the worst seems to be upon us, something CAN be done. Harbouring the exiled freedom “fighters” is but one of many ways through which foreigners aided the South African “revolution”… Were it not for the same foreigners being attacked today, “freedom” would not exist in South Africa (well, not for most people anyway…)

The sad thing is while groups are sprouting across facebook condemning the attacks, very little is actually being done… mostly, I suppose because of the negative attitudes that pervade our society today…

I have heard suggestions that the perpetrators of this xenophobic violence should be killed. Quelle horreur! So, these people want to KILL the people who are attacking foreigners. To what end? To perpetuate the cycle of violence?
The xenophobics are clearly in the wrong, but killing people off because you think they are wrong is exactly what the xenophobics wished dead are doing!

On the other hand there are those people who argue that, even though xenophobia is a problem, nothing can really be done. I am appalled by such defeatist attitudes! There IS something that can be done. IMHO only someone who sees some justification to the violence would suggest that nothing can be done.

Earlier someone said to me that all these drives for marches are a waste of time and an elitist way of dealing with xenophobia. I can only say that its unfortunate that such ignorance can exist at varsity level. Marches are an effective way… clearly this person was not aware of the school children of Soweto, who on June 16, 1976 marched in protest of the apartheid regime, or the women who marched to the Union building in 1956 to protest pass laws. If they were they wouldn’t have made such a statement.. Indeed, it was through marches such as these that the tide of change began to rise…

Yes,society thinks what they are doing is appalling but what are WE doing about it? By sitting back and doing nothing are we not part of the problem? Issues such as these should be debated in the public domain, protests should be held and those who have, through their xenophobic violence, harmed others (psychologically, physically, emotionally or otherwise) should be brought to book…

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