I’ve been trying, for a week, to write about the recent senseless, inhumane attacks and murders of black African, non-South Africans living in South Africa. It’s been beyond difficult. It’s not so much that words fail me completely…no, words are there. They’re just not the kind of words I have been looking for…
They are angry words.
Words that hurt and in return want to incite hurt.
My words are the defeated, disappointed and hissing mad kind.
They are old words, familiar ones.
We’ve been here before.
Past mistakes have not been learnt.
Words that do not alleviate my mourning.
These are the ones that I keep finding.
The words I seek are ones that offer solace, comfort and explanation. I want to write of understanding and compassion. To school the ignorant in the legacy of fear, distrust and violence that underlies such flare ups.
I want to speak of long forgotten alliances and shared histories.
Not as a form of lazy rhetoric or empty platitudes, but as a passionate call to incite feelings of kinship and empathy.
And yet our leaders remain silent.
Their silence a muted endorsement of these horrors.
This is wrong.
This is murder,
This is genocide.
There are no more words.