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He was just a Nigger.

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Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teenager shot dead for apparently looking menacing. He left behind a family and a potentially bright future, but don’t worry – he was just a Nigger. Eric Garner, choked to his death for breaking up a fight and no medical team called to the scene in good time, but not to worry – he too was just a Nigger. Mike Brown, shot whilst running away from the police, but considered a threat. But hey, all will be forgotten in a few weeks. He was just a Nigger. Whilst these events took place, society simply carried on as normal, because, well, it was just another Nigger dead.

My heart goes out to the families and friends of Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin and the other people that have recently been murdered. I believe strongly that every issue regarding to race relations points back to slavery. Had slavery not occurred, yes racism would exist because where there is diversity there is bound to be conflict, however I doubt it would exist to this extent. There would not be a great divide in superiority and inferiority as determined by slavery, but yes individuals would indeed have some sort of prejudice, but slavery in a sense gave white people the entitlement to feel superior to black people. As a society, we cannot bury our heads under the sand and pretend that these incidents are just isolated cases and that everyone gets along. These are far from isolated cases, and anyone who feels sincerely that there is no racism in our society needs a reality check. Racism isn’t just when someone walks up to you and hurls a racial slur. Racism is Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner being brutally murdered and the value of their lives being belittled. But hey, they were just Niggers! Read More…

 
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Posted by on August 14, 2014 in Culture, Politics, Social

 

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Why do Africans have such an inferiority complex?

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For years, Africa has been the symbol of war, poverty, corruption, disease, and a host of other negative labels. I shan’t delve too deeply into the whole history of Africa, but as many may not be aware, Africa did not just become ‘like that’ – it was once, and still is, a beautiful continent with an abundance of minerals and natural resources which would have assisted in it’s development, but unfortunately due to colonialism and capitalism it has been and still continues to be milked of these resources leading it to become reliant on handouts. No matter where you look, be it a poster on the train, an advert on the television or a news article, there is a pattern in the way Africa is portrayed – a malnourished child seeking food aid, machine-gun-totting child soldiers, child witches being mutilated, poverty, illiteracy, AIDS-sufferers, mud huts etc. Anything to do with Africa is primarily associated with all-things-negative. Many know little about Africa save for what it looks like and what they’ve heard about it, but not what it actually is. We live in a society where we are always ready to accept anything fed to us by the media without stopping to consider that maybe we should do our own bit of research and make a judgment for ourselves. I am not saying Africa is perfect, no it isn’t, but there is certainly a lot more to Africa than what the western media portrays. Read more…

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2014 in Culture, Education, Politics, Social

 

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A desensitised generation of followers?

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Call me boring or old-fashioned, but I have always been under the impression that our generation is supposed to use the example of the one which preceded ours, and learn from their mistakes, improve on the visions they had, and also set a benchmark to be followed by the generation that will succeed ours. Are we not supposed to set an example for the next generation to be leaders so they can also equip the one after theirs with knowledge, or, am I just being old fashioned in my ways and a tad boring? No matter where you go in the world, the legacies of the revolutionaries who came before us are still alive –  through literature, murals, biopics, songs, graffiti, you name it – there is no denying that the ideals of long ago still have an impact on people many years later. The likes of Che Guevara, Fidel Castro, Anne Braden, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Dorothy Tilly, Alice Norwood Spearman Wright, Steve Biko and many others, lived long before many of our generation were born, but their legacies have outlived them. These are men and women who were willing to risk their lives all in the name of equality and change and we owe them a lot for the example they left us. Regardless of whatever race, colour or creed we may be, there is no denying that they stood for meaningful ideals which were intended to unify nations, and chose to sacrifice their lives so that the sufferings they went through would not be faced by the next generation. We probably haven’t faced hardships and injustice in the same scale as they did so does that mean we therefore have nothing to fight against so we are entitled to carry on with our lives and allow the torch they passed on to us to be quenched? At this point I would like to point out that I am not talking about a racial issue here – colour has very little to do with the point I am trying to make as there were many white people who were involved in civil rights movements like Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, and were inspired by Che Guevara etc and chose to fight oppression. So what is wrong with our generation? Read More

 

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Is modesty a thing of the past?

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That is one of the many questions I have been asking myself for quite a while now, especially since the famous singer Rihanna clothed herself (just about) in this very interesting outfit. I have nothing against this woman as I do not know her personally and I will probably never know her way of life behind closed doors, so I can only base my perception of her on the public image she much enjoys to portray. Rihanna is one of the many singers whom a lot of young girls and women emulate and aspire to be like in today’s society where sex is used as a tool to reach out to the masses and generate revenue. But what about the immensely talented artists of old, who were fully clothed but were still regarded as ‘sexy’ and attractive in their own right and managed to generate revenue whilst maintaining their modesty? Would they still be regarded as ‘sexy’ based on today’s standards where the more you show, the ‘sexier’ you apparently are? The likes of Chaka Khan, Aretha Franklin, Celine Dion, Marylin Monroe and Sade, to name a few. These ladies are examples of women who were regarded by many world over as being highly attractive and appealing even without showing excessive skin. Has what was once taboo become the new normal? …Read more

 
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Posted by on June 6, 2014 in Culture, Social

 

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Just a word?

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I remember a few years ago when I was a teen, I thought it was pretty ‘cool’ to use the ‘N’ word. I would constantly refer to my black friends as ‘Ns’ because, well, it was part of the culture – I mean we heard it used in rap songs and films and it became a part of our vocabulary and the norm to refer to each other as ‘Ns’. At the time it seemed to be part and parcel of being ‘cool’ and ‘down’, a sort of tool we used for reaffirmation. However, years have passed and with age comes a different perspective and I no longer use that word, because, well, I have my reservations. Read More

 

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