Another June 16 and commemoration of an event that saw brave young people defy their oppressor in pursuit of human rights, education, equality, to self-determine. This post will deviate from the norm and test our appetite for what matters.
We know young Black lives did not matter in Soweto on June 16, 1976. We know Black lives do not matter in 2020 as Black men in America are killed over what hardly can be described as a misdemeanor. We know Black lives don’t matter when your own country’s Defense Force takes up arms against you … at home! We know Black lives don’t matter as young Black mothers and their daughters are murdered by their partners, not in some far of free world, but right here within our South African communities. We know Black lives don’t matter when young pregnant woman are murdered and hung from trees. We know Black lives don’t matter when young Black woman are raped, killed and their bodies mutilated by the very men whom we dop with, smoke with, do business with, live with. We know that Black lives don’t matter when incompetence and thuggery are allowed to reign untested throughout the structures put in place to govern the very lives that should be prioritized. We know that lives of woman, young or old, family, friend, colleague and stranger does not matter as gender based violence surge. We know that the life of another does not matter whether Black, Coloured, Indian or White, as all that is important is gain; a cell phone, cash even political positioning. So then what matters? If perpetual rhetoric and reflection on horrors and injustices past and present fail to bring about fundamental change in masculinity, then what will? At which point do I realize that I am causing harm to another human being? Perhaps this is the wrong question because causing harm, inflicting pain and suffering is the intention. I am not worth my place in society if I cannot respect others’ right to occupy their space safely. No amount or scale of protest will make Black lives matter and neither will protests bring an end to GBV or killing for gain. An inner uprising has to take effect that will alter our (every man individually) behavior towards probity. An inner uprising has to occur towards understanding our purpose. An inner uprising has to occur towards our custodianship of peace and opportunity. Self-realization is key towards self-determination.
I will matter when I place the matter of others above my own.
Our message to our young people in the #Overberg and across #Mzansi this #YouthDay: You matter!
#BlackLivesMatter #WomanMatter #GirlsMatter #YouMatter