Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Look to your left and look to your right ...

one of them is going to become a terrorist. I remember being told this in a high school assemby one morning. Statistics then were that 1 in every 3 youths would run off to join one of the terrorist factions fighting the apartheid regime. Back then I figured it would probably be me. Not that I believed in the principles of terrorism then, or even now. But something was wrong, and needed to be changed.

I do not now, nor have I ever advocated the use of force to overthrow a government.

My wife and I watched "The Interpreter" over the weekend. I've seen it before, but I've been watching a few movies lately with political themes linked to Southern Africa, and it seemed like this would be a good time to see it again. I would highly recommend this movie.

Last weekend I watched a movie called "Stander". This film was based on the true story of a Police Captain turned bank robber in South Africa in the later 70's and early 80's. When I remember them talking about him on the news, I recall that he was always painted as a criminal and little reference was ever made to his political motivations. His story is incredible, although not one with a 'Happily Ever After' ending.

These movies have got me thinking about a lot of things. Most especially about making a difference.

When I was a kid living under the Apartheid government, I knew something was wrong. Subsequent time spent amongst the Zulu people of South Africa, revealed to me the utter hell that this time was for these people, and the incredible deception perpetrated by the government.

I think there is a lot of similar deception going on now with the US government as well, and likely most governments through out the world.

In 'The Interpreter' they speak about how a liberator will use force to free his country from an oppressive dictator, only to turn into an even worse dictator, once he gets a taste of power.

I'm tired of being lied to. I'm tired of corrupt men who have positions of authority, but yet use those positions for selfish means. I'm tired of the polarization of our society.

I think that more than 90% of the worlds population are good decent people. The percentage is likely even higher than that. The problem is that we are taught separation from the time we are kids. We are taught to manipulate others to get them to think the same way as us, because we have a better government, we have a better way of living, we are part of a true church and everyone else is wrong.

This way of think permeates every part of our culture. It's the reason we go to war and probably causes most other problems as well - if not all of them.

I think it would be overly ambitious to believe that I could change the world, but I think I would be failing as a human if I didn't try...

The key is going to be... What is the best way to break out of this horrible cycle?

War is definitely not the answer, but I'm still not sure what is.


  1. Interesting. I haven't seen the Interpreter, but I will have to check it out.

    I collect movies about S.A. and Aparthied. I love them. My wife (as you know, she's black) won't watch them any more. She hates to see people treated so bad.

    For me, I love seeing how much the people (I concider them "my" people) had to go through and I am inspired by how they overcame and what they did when they did recieve their freedom.

    (and also the white South Africans who were involved in the struggle)

    It is difficult for me to think about these people who I look at as "heros" (like Mandella) who are viewed by many as Terrorists and technically, they were commiting Terrorist acts.

    But then I see terrorists today that we are deeling with as crazy jerks.

  2. You would probably enjoy "Stander" as well... Let me know if you want to borrow it some time.

    The event that serves as a pivot point for him ("Stander") is involvement in a riot situation, somewhat like Sharpville. Personally it made me angry, but was very well done.

    I think when it comes to terrorism, you have to look a lot at the motives. In Southern Africa, a lot of times and depending on your side, many terrorists were called "Freedom Fighters". In their case they weren't serving as pawns for a bunch of religeous zealots, but people genuinely trying to achieve freedom, and having limited options.

    I still need to read Mandela's book, but from what I understand he considered an armed struggle to be the absolutely last option to achieve freedom. I was able to go and hear him speak once, and still feel he is one of the greatest men alive today.

  3. I agree about Mandela.

    And as far as the armed struggle goes, in S.A. you couldn't do peaceful protests, they would just open fire on unarmed people - even kids, so I feel they were left with no other options.