Shaman, WiseWo/man, Sorcerer….Witch.
In the deadly Wetiko culture which we call civilisation, there are words whose meaning we have forgotten, or conveniently altered to fit the cannibal mindset. Shaman seems to get a pass, mostly – and I wonder if that’s because, by now, most Shamans are perceived as male? – but the epithet Witch is still, in many places and in many minds, one of the worst you can apply to a human being.
A Witch is not a person who kills others for the use of their body parts. Neither is s/he a sinker of ships and a blighter of crops. Necessarily, that is. There are other more accurate descriptors for such people – but we apply the W-word almost indiscriminately, especially in Africa, where its use has been drummed into the populace by a colonising, crusading, domineering subset of Wetikos; namely European missionaries.
Well, and many thanks to SAPRA for all the thankless work they do, trying to fight the ignorance, the racism and the inherent evil of the dominant culture’s nomenclature. It’s a fight with many legs on it, and a long way to go yet.
This morning my attention has been drawn to another Witch hunt which has been ongoing for decades now – and that is the demonisation of the American Pitbull Terrier. A fight , that is, between the ignorant Press on one side, and lovers and friends of the Pitbull on the other.
You see, journalists and reporters of the mass media: the name Pitbull does not translate as killer dog.
Killer domesticated animals are created by their domesticators – us – when we turn our beloved companions into stressed, traumatised, bad tempered paragons of violence. Just like ourselves. And a dog can be of any breed at all, or none, when it snaps and takes a bite out of its oppressors.
I would invite the popular press to stop thinking of the shock value of their puff-pieces on the front page (and I’m looking at you, The Star, and one Aurelia Chapman in particular) and start considering what it is they are really saying when they unthinkingly refer to any dog which has had a go at a human as a Pitbull.
Witch does not translate as murderer. Pitbull doesn’t, either.
Pic: Pitbull Federation of South Africa