Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Its not xenophobia, or is it ?

Again, there are a deep and understandable concern over the violence meted out against nationals, in particular against shopkeepers from Somalia and Zimbabwean and Mozambican nationals. This scourge must concern all of us.

Let me give a piece of my mind, so to speak. I've observed that its not focussed on foreigners in general, the Eastern Europeans or Mafia-types from Italy or China (if anything, I would admit hating these ugly China-malls popping up all over Johannesburg.*blush*); This violence is focussed on black Africans; it is the actions of the poor and it is focussed on the vulnerable, the defenseless. Mostly these actions are physically violent, yet it's a desperate unorchestrated kind of violence. Its not the violence of the powerful in society, its the violence of the powerless. So, my concern is the question, what lies behind these actions. What leads to township folk pouncing on fellow Africans, as they too scramble for the crumbs that fall from the table of the rich man.
Let me make another point. Uncomfortable as it is, it need to be said. As I can see it, most middle class professionals from various other countries working in South Africa are not chased out of their houses, nor are they in the danger of being hacked to death or burnt alive. Again....its the poor.

So, what's my point ? My point is that the deeper socio-economic, the class dimension is more pertinent. In my view, we see the symptoms of a deeper more incidious evil system that gangs up against the landless, vulnerable classes. This system is maintained by the elite classes, where the old colonial elite and the new black diamonds have a common interest: the exploitation of the natural and human resources for the sake of the optimization of profits. We see in the so-called xenophobic violence the brute power of the current empire, which divide and rule the poor, the marginalised, through the other-ing of those darker blacks. The actual loathing of the stranger, the hatred of the other is happening in sophisticated systems of power, which creates others through laws, media images, police brutality.

The soldiers will not stop migration nor will it stop the inevitable ruthless scramble for the crumbs. The key to unlock this is dealing with the long term contradictions in the system; it lies in the state's regulation of economic policy, in the integration of regional economies, but moreso in the removal of bloodhirsty tyrants, who sell their own people at the market, to finance their lavish splurges on soccertickets and fine whisky. What was learnt is that quiet diplomacy simply entrench and solidify their positions. A more direct approach in unmasking and isolating the Mugabes and the Al Bashir's of this world is needed from the African Union. Unless the invisible (?), structural violence against the poor, is dealt with, we will continue to be disgusted by this visible (?) naked violence, which forces us to hear the wailing cries for a place under the sun.
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