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Ethnic solidarity

04 July 2012, 10:33
The biggest stumbling block to social cohesion in our country is ethnic (racial) solidarity. Where my support for any action, right or wrong, is informed by the skin colour/affiliation of the person responsible for the action.

We just do not want to be seen criticising/taking a stand against '"our own" even if we know, not even deep down, that the action is wrong, that the action is against the principles and good values that we all hold so dearly.

This phenomenon is so prevalent in our country and our communities, and our families, in black and white. And while one understands the history behind this, all those of us who love our country should acknowledge our woundedness, through apartheid, and we should all start working very hard to rid ourselves of this cancer that is destroying the fabric of social cohesion, of good common sense.

Why do we first have to see who said or did what before we decide to support or condemn the action.

Right now many negative and disgraceful things are happening in our country, especially on the political front, with the focus on education.

The bottom line is that our education system is failing our children who depend on it the most as a way out of the spiral of poverty, and the many negative life experiences that tag along with poverty.

Whether this is the closure of schools in the Western Cape (and elsewhere, by the way), or the textbook delivery scandal in Limpopo (and elsewhere, by the way).

The response to these two issues has been so polarised, and the silence (tacit support) and condemnation is informed by who you stand in solidarity with, rather than the noble principle of standing up for what is right. Standing up for truth.

If I can't evaluate a situation critically and with honesty, without fear or favour, if I choose to be politically correct rather than to be true to the values that build social cohesion, then I am taking sides with those who have deserted the wellbeing of our country.

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” 
? Martin Luther King Jr.
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