Them Humans

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Now, ’twas but an ordinary inner dialogue that brought with it the epiphany that I do not see myself as a human being.

Not that I am not human, I just can’t seem to admit it.

Perhaps because of the misanthropic days that precede me? Or because, though I love humanity, I can’t seem to understand humans.

The other day I heard something that almost made me cry (of empathy), “I like people but I don’t like people at the same time.”

I am sure that I have been cured of misanthropy, however, that general distrust for the human species still remains. I want to believe that we are good, that we know right from wrong, but at the same time, I don’t see the opportunity to prove humanity’s goodness.

All that exists is a means to regulate our behaviour, the state, the Law, all attempting to minimize damage, to maintain “order”, and, ultimately, to standardize human existence.

Yes, I am one who would love to witness an hour of full blown chaos, to testify to all those terrible scenarios the word “chaos” connotes, and to see if, indeed, Hobbes was right in his ‘state of nature’ theories.

Would we go crazy and kill each other? Is there something, anything remotely indicative of possible absolutism in this universe? Anything that somehow governs our decisions? Now that I’d like to see.

I almost wish we could all study animals. In fact, yes(!), in efforts to ditch this increasingly anthropocentric world, perhaps it would prove rather healthy to remember that we, humans, are of the animal kingdom, and, thus, not above anything.

Seems to me that human beings have forever colonized the center stage of history, and that all the universe is but our rehearsing room. What happened to the ideals that  once governed people, what happened to the never-ending love letters between man and nature?

We preach democracy but dictate death to the earth in which we inhabit; we agree to pretend on universal laws and rights, but end up restraining our freedoms in this beautiful cloud of logic, this nicely shaped pot of order. What is order, if but a disguised version of chaos?

 

I know not. I know nothing, in fact.

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Black Privilege

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In a dream, one of my lecturers admitted to be promoting an extremely biased and racist syllabus.

Of course I thought, “well, if it’s indeed racist, it can only be promoted by a white lecturer”, only to have reality confronting my folly logic, upon the realization that even my (so thought) most esteemed black lecturers were, too, disturbingly biased in their presentations.

 

In rolling my eyes and shaking my head, with my ears I listened to what my lecturers had to say.  Good words and good concepts that, mistranslated, presented themselves in my everyday surroundings.

White friends would be accused of being racist by referring to that black girl who was really funny, but a black fellow would join us in laughter, contemplating that white girls’ inexplicable obsession with wearing shorts on a winter’s day.

From my mouth, the laughter never ran dry. Indeed, I’d laugh at my friends’ compilation of “white people things”, at every seemingly abnormal action related to “white people”, and life was fine, until I heard a lecturer claim that white people aren’t Africans, that, in order for them to become Africans, they must do a, b and c.

Then I knew that two things were wrong.

First, I. I was, and am, wrong each time I play along blaming “white” people for the shorts or for the lack of rhythm or whatnot.

Second, the lecturer and all those who, in his presence, proclaimed Amen in their agreement.  How can a representative of knowledge, of education, stand before I, a brain ready to absorb from its source, claiming that white people are not Africans on the mere basis of their skin colour? And more, that discrimination is “fair” in some cases? This monstrous paradox almost made me stand and scream! (were it not for the unrelated work I was doing in the classroom, and my general apathy towards such issues in a lecture hall)

I remember repeating the slogan, “Say it out loud, I’m black and I’m proud!” countless times, after having briefly done American history, but what if a white person decides to take pride in his/her “race”? Then, it’s racism. But not if black people do it.

And the point is, we are all so quick to tweet our deepest and falsely knowledgeable thoughts on white privilege, that we fail to consider its counterpart, black privilege.

I am of the opinion that in this country, South Africa, the black person has it best. It is such a great platform to be a victim, that everything, regardless of the parties involved, becomes the white man’s fault, or a reason to call upon those slave ancestors we all seem to be related with.

As black people, we are immensely blessed to carry with us this burden of a past abundant in suffering, that will forever justify the need for us to appear as victims, instead of emerging as survivors.

Yesterday, oppressed by men; today, enslaved by our conveniently put together past: a perfect collage of all events that shall aid us in solidifying the need for “fair discrimination” as a vehicle to equality. What equality in “fair” discrimination!

This, amongst many, is one paradox that irks me in my classes. But then again, the gods have blessed me with great apathy, and a blog to rant about such things.

 

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