So we had a lovely dinner with my folks and then after they had said their goodbyes I checked my email and was left seething. An asshole ruined the entire evening.
I’m on a number of civic mailing lists for Observatory, the suburb we live in. One particularly active list is the neighbourhood watch list which is peppered with crime reports and the occasional report of residents aiding the police (who’re doing an incredible job) catching criminals.
It can be a daunting list to be on. Especially before you even move in. But soon you realise that crime is everywhere and that being on this list is like spending your days in the police station… You’re going to hear about a lot of crime.
Pessimists piss me off. People who think they’re being smart by saying thing like “Oh, It’s obviously going to go the way of Zimbabwe” etc etc. What these fuckers don’t seem to realise is that assholes like them have been saying shit like that since the dark ages. I have a friend whose grandfather sold everything in 1990 because he was convinced that Mandela was going to take his home. He died, bitter and twisted, in a caravan, while all around him the Rainbow Nation smiled.
Anyway, back to the mailing list. Some asshole, who has already fled the country, in reply to a report about a cash in transit robbery that happened in front of a child, felt the need to basically tell everyone that we’re fucked and “Get out of that hellhole which South Africa has become!” and “There’s no future in SA for you and your children”. He also went on about white suburbs and how the criminals hate our skin colour.
My reply was cordial. I suggest politely that he never post on the list again because we don’t really need his pessimism.
But here’s what I wanted to say.
You ignorant fuckwad. You racist, bigoted, coward. How dare you come onto a public forum and spout your simple-minded drivel, aimed at nothing else but undermining the good that these people are doing. The blood of generations of slain innocents stains our soil and punctuates our history…The struggle is not new or unique. Our legend is one of truth and reconciliation, of forgiveness and grace… and I would be honoured to have my own blood take its place in this soil while I worked to make this country better. You on the other hand ran away. You asked whether we love our children more than our country… My answer to that, you shallow dipshit, is that no parent wants to see their child hurt, but I would rather build a better future for all the children of this country than teach my own that running away is an option. In short, fuck you and the horse you left town on.
I didn’t post that because it’s a public list and we’re trying to be civil.
I had the pleasure of spending a few hours with a Zimbabwean the other day. He, like millions of other Zimbabweans, left their country because the realistic alternative was starvation or torture. He will never be anything but Zimbabwean. He has a passion and a deep love for his country. He knows that HOPE is greater than FEAR. He believes that normal people make a difference, even in light of insurmountable obstacles. He knows that the human spirit can stop tanks and dictators even when their bodies can’t.
A lot of what Tawanda, the Zimbabwean, knows about the human spirit was taught to him by us. South Africa. A country where the story is so incredible that people would have not believed it if it were not for CNN.
This blood in our soil belongs to men and woman far greater than any of us can comprehend. Millions of unsung heros, children, mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters… I could not dishonour their sacrifice by running away now.
And hey, I’m actually loving my life. You’re the miserable dude in the first world telling other people how fucked their lives are over the internet.
ps. I have no issues with people leaving the country because they just want to live somewhere else. My sister lives permanently in the UK. She left for a whole bunch of reasons, crime was obviously a factor but it wasn’t the biggest factor. She can’t wait to come home for holidays.
pps. I don’t have any children.