30 Years ago, UCT was the shining light of Liberalism in Africa, and the spearhead of the anti-apartheid movement. Today it has become home to a small group of weak, emotional and shallow people who can’t deal with the one thing you can’t change – history. What kind of weak, and pathetic person gets angry and offended over history, and a statue?
The only creatures known to throw feces are chimpanzees. And now we see university students behaving like this and boasting about it. These protesters are showing a complete lack of understanding about how civilised people sort out grievances. They seem to have no sense of decency, or concept of what constitutes appropriate behaviour. In most other countries, this behaviour would be unimaginable, and have serious consequences.
These ‘activists‘ (vandals?) claim to stand for something. But actually, they only really seek to boost their insecure egos and become more popular in their small circle of equally deluded and immature ‘supporters’.
They believe they have the self righteous moral authority to unilaterally decide what historical monuments should exist, and what parts of history should be revered/discarded based on the narrative they wish to advance.
Are their feelings that fragile?
One of the ‘side effects’ of freedom of speech is that you may at times be offended. In fact, you have no right not to be offended.
But this has very little to do with the statue, in fact, I suspect the majority of South African youths would not have known who Rhodes was if you had asked them 3 weeks ago. This is about transformation.
They catch-phrase of this so-called movement is the fight against what they call ‘institutional racism’. Ask them what they mean by this, or for any examples, and you are likely to be met with an irrational and hostile response for questioning their half baked assumptions. In fact, you will be shouted down and silenced by being told “you don’t know what it feels like, you are still benefitting from the legacy of apartheid” if you are white, or “you have been brainwashed by the oppressor” if you are black. Every time they shut down debate, they are showing their own arrogance and intolerance.
They may, at first be successful at getting things done, but the negativity that flows into what they say and do, and their unconscious need for enemies and conflict ultimately just create more opposition to their cause.
It is likely that in this case however, their sheer closed-mindedness and aggression will get them what they want (the removal of an inanimate object). They see themselves as being at the forefront of some brave new struggle, and they are so utterly certain their actions are righteous and justified. They are completely unwilling to broaden their horizons, or engage with new ideas (what education is actually supposed to be about). But this only serves to make them oblivious to the realities of how the world works. But the satisfaction they get won’t last long. Their deep seated resentment and sense of entitlement will soon compel them to take up another cause, however trivial.
The SRC is caving in, and showing themselves to be spineless when it comes to standing up for anything based on principle. But this is to be expected, since the only requirement for SRC membership is being popular. And the Ivory Tower of (pseudo?)-Intellectuals known as UCT management are exhibiting cowardly behaviour by facilitating these odious and odorous acts.
The really sad thing about all of this however, is that the majority of other good, level headed UCT students don’t seem to have the balls to stand up to these lot for the fear of being called names. This Campus is supposed to be the intellectual breeding ground of tomorrow’s enlightened leaders. Instead, they bring shame on the institution.
Has UCT become nothing more than a righteous bubble of progressive intolerance?
Disagree with this view? No problem.
*I write what I like