Shame on Us

Photo: Shayne Robinson, The Star

From a distance, it looked like a pile of bedding that had been set alight. Then a head peered through the top of the fiery mattress.

Incredibly, arms flailed weakly from the inferno. Not a scream. Not a whisper. Not a word.

“He’s still alive!”

Today’s Star

Shame on you, my people.

Is not your own anguish, your own suffering, still within living memory?

What the fuck do you think you’re doing?


8 responses to “Shame on Us

  1. What was the motivation for the horrendous act Teri? (I’m not looking for an excuse for the perpetrators. Nothing can excuse this. I’m just seeking to understand.)I read the article you linked to, but it didn’t elaborate (other than to describe the scene in excruciatingly exact detail).


  2. Hi Kay,The excuse given is xenophobia.South Africans are fearing that foreign nationals from other African countries are taking their jobs and committing crime.The actual issues are much more comlpex than that, and include real fears of being unable to afford food petrol or medicine for very much longer, especially amongst the poor.It’s also called scapegoating and we’ve seen it before, only the last time it was people burning witches.Love,Terri


  3. Why are you asking a bunch of fucking monkeys what is wrong with them? You know what is wrong with them. And you’re all the same, you have a good job and make good money and pay for security to keep them away from you, so there you go. Making you no better than they are. :-)Well, you may be peaceful in your own way but you would shoot them if they tried to storm you to take what you have.But maybe not, maybe you would just let them kill you without a fight? Well, I don’t have to worry about it, the way I live I’m not a target.


  4. Terri, I have been so concerned for you since the news coverage of this violence. I take my relatively peaceful, calm surroundings so for granted, and yet, the world is too small for that.I know your heart must be breaking! South Africa has come so far in recent years, but the legacy of violence and poverty is a tough stain to wash away. (I’m sure this is a part of the reason I’m called to non-violence–that tendency violence has to linger in the cultures that live through it, and to erupt in unpredictable ways.)For what it is worth, I hold you and the people of South Africa in my heart. Blessed be, friend.


  5. Thank you, Cat- your energies are never lost.Abraxas, also being a native of this country, has some of the heart of it.It’s hard to be peaceful when your children are hungry…or dying of AIDS, or raped by predatory men, and so on.This country has indeed a long history of brutalisation of one citizen by another-it seems that more than the good hearts of a few will be needed to wipe out that legacy.Love,terri


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