You have to say it and try and sound like a 13 year old:
“It’s a democratic country and you can’t make me to do it!”
I imagine that would have been my response to my teachers if I was being forced to say an oath every day in school.
And ironically I would have been right… I would have been zit faced and snot nosed, but I would have been absolutely, categorically, right! In a democratic state you can not force anyone to recite a statement of beliefs, especially in the form of a promise to that state, against their will.
Your age does not affect your democratic freedom and I’ll tell you why: The ANC Youth League.
The ANC Youth League was founded on the ideals that the youth of South Africa were powerful and wanted freedom from the oppressive state. Kids are also easily radicalised and will cause untold shit if they all band together and you don’t listen to them.
And so it is unfortunate that we have let those radical ideals of freedom slip away from us to the extent that some people in government think it’s a good idea to institute a compulsory oath to our schools.
Imagine if they wanted to add this compulsory oath to the workplace. Imagine if every morning at 11am everyone in your office had to stand and recite a promise to uphold the constitution and forgive the past injustices… I’m trying not to swear here, but let me just say that most of us would be very very very pissed off and would probably end up rioting on the streets. One of the core precepts of a constitutional democracy is that you have the right to challenge that constitution.
Why should children be treated any other way?. If I had a kid in school today I would tell him that he can recite the oath if he wants, but he could, if he wanted to, recite my oath:
â€œWe the youth of South Africa, recognising the hotness of Jessica Biel, honour those heroes who shape our porous minds like Tony Hawk, Steve Jobs and Natalie Portmanâ€
â€œWe promise to argue with our parents about music, play video games and score chicksâ€
â€œWe sincerely declare that we shall eat Nandos, Bunk School, Watch too much TV, Sneak our dad’s alcohol out of the house on a Friday night, Spend way too much time on facebook, Tell our dad’s we love them occasionally, Try our best not to be fat asses and most of all, always be kief to other people.â€
Now that’s an oath… These are kids. The injustices of their past is that yesterday the DSTV wasn’t working.
THE WHOLE F-ING POINT OF THE STRUGGLE WAS THAT OUR KIDS COULD GROW UP WATCHING DSTV INSTEAD OF GETTING SHOT IN THE FACE IN SHARPVILLE!
SO why the hell is the government making 6 year olds say “We the youth of South Africa, recognising the injustices of our past…”? I hope like hell that those kids don’t recognise the injustices of their past, because that past is disgusting, filled with oppression, police brutality, racism, exploding packages ripping people’s limbs off their bodies in their own houses, incarceration, children being shot in the back, unfair education policies, segregation, heroes being murdered and a whole lot of other stuff I’d rather my kids learnt about properly, at the right age, than have flippantly wafted in their faces every day.
This makes me pissed off.
Oh, and remember that radical freedom movement, The ANC Youth League? Well, guess what they want to do… Yup, you guessed it. They want to ban the sale of alcohol on Sundays… I shit you not. The descendants of the actual heroes who actually got shot in the face for the implicit freedoms of this country now want to introduce a law that has been proven to only really affect the poor and UCT students, and has nothing to do with morality or alcoholism.
I suggest this. How about the ANC Youth League members, those who joined because they want to uphold the ideals of the group, not buy alcohol on Sundays.