My brother and I stood in solidarity with the students at UCT yesterday, the 22nd October 2015. My mom and I have had lots of conversations about what is unfolding. I asked her to put some of her thoughts down… here they are. Thanks Mamma.
In the musical “Les Miserables” there is a song –
“Do you hear the people sing?
Singing the song of angry men?
It is the music of a people
Who will not be slaves again!
When the beating of your heart
Echoes the beating of the drums
There is a life about to start when
When tomorrow comes!
And an invitation to join in and be strong, although some may fall and some may live.
I keep on thinking of this. I am a wife, mother, 69 yrs old and WHITE. How does this affect me? I hear the anger, see the hurt, the desperateness and yet I have HOPE.
I am and have been privileged and blessed. My parents “battled”, money was in short supply, but I am a qualified nurse who did not have to pay for my training. My brothers all have degrees. My children finished their degrees of choice, without any debt.
What right do I have to even comment? How can I understand what many parents and students are going through, universities closed and exams not being written? It is not right and understand the concern, but every week I sit with people, whose cry “please pray for work for me”, My children need to go to school. My child needs to be educated, I cant afford to send him
A mother and her primary school son, who often have to walk 8 km to school and work and back, because there is no money for a taxi or bus. Fortunately he gets fed at school.
A mother, who pushes trolleys for tips, so that her children can go to school.
When a mother says, I do not want to go back to the life I led to be able to educate my children. I hated it and know it was wrong, but I was desperate.
The stories are endless and they do not want to their children to remain in this cycle
Two of these above mothers are white.
I say again, I am blessed and privileged.
How do I see the marches? If I was in Cape Town, would have been there too. I am proud of my children being there.
And yes, I understand the anger and frustration. Maybe I would lash out too.
I do not agree or support or condone the rioting, looting, stone throwing, burning and pray that there will be a life about to start when tomorrow comes.
I do not know what the future holds for my children or grandchildren. I hope and pray that they will be able to study in freedom, without the yoke of being slaves to debt.
That is why I say I have HOPE because we have hope that if we act and speak out for justice, there is Hope.
Isaiah 58v6 “is this not the kind of fasting I have chosen; to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cord of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?
V7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter- when you see the naked to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood
V12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls , Restorer of Streets with Dwellings”
I want to be able to stand before God and say “Lord, I chose the true fast”
I pray that our country will be the country it can be. A country with a hope and a future. Too long there has been too little hope for too many.