• September 21st, 2020

Letters - The facts matter

One of our duties as human beings is to make the world a better place through truthful and honest speech because inaction is complicity. This is what I have come to realise after immense effort trying to understand how the world works.
It is for this reason that I bring recourse to a few highly provocative mainstream concerns that have been featuring in the news lately, for example, an article titled “Uniting Against Social Justice” by Johnathan Sasha and the recent protest at the statue of Curt von Francois.

My main concern with articles like this and the protest is a worrying trend I see these days, where people lump issues together, in this case, the colonial monuments, racism, black lives matter, police violence and the LGBTQ+ plight and then lay them at the feet of the patriarchy. But when you take these issues apart and look at the facts, it becomes clear that each of these concerns is either underpinned by misinformation or is politicised. For example, the statue of Curt von Francois. Firstly, it is part of our history and we should desist from the idea that every bad thing needs to be erased or removed from our heritage. To be oblivious to history means humanity can fall trap to repeating the same atrocities. History serves as lessons and a guide for future generations. It is for this reason that I believe the removal of statues or symbols construed as hate should be discussed fervently based on the facts until a solution is reached and not through force by a group of a few.

Secondly, to blame the existence of the statue and all these problems on the patriarchy is just wrong. Historically, men held most positions of authority, same today, in some fields, which was mainly due to competence not corrupt power and certainly not through oppressing women. Lest we forget, it was men who went to war to die for their wives and children so that they could be free. 

Men were also at the forefront in the fight for women’s rights and it was men who voted to give women their rights.  The idea that all the world’s problems can be laid at the feet of the patriarchy is a western leftist ideology parroted by some activists, who have no regard for history. Today, women dominate the social sciences and humanities field, Should we regard their dominance as the oppression of men by the matriarchy? The idea that there is systematic oppression peddled by racism and the patriarchy is inaccurate. I have seen no evidence to support this and articles like the one mentioned earlier provide nothing to this effect. On the contrary, racism is illegal in Namibia as well as in most parts of the world. It is prosecuted (in Namibia) for the most part when it rears its ugly head. The recent uproar on social media about a few individuals who made racially charged comments do not represent the country, while at the same time, there will always be some racist people and it (racism) should be condemned at every turn. As these protests were sparked by the black lives matter protests after the unfortunate George Floyd incident in the United states, which I believe what happened to him was wrong, at the same time we should be careful that our outrage is not misplaced or manipulated.  Because one of the concerning criticisms about the black lives matter movement is its silence about black on black violence in the United States. They (BLM) only care when certain police officers are involved in the loss of an African American citizen while the facts prove that similar fatal encounters happen to all race groups. Once you follow the facts then it points to police brutality, not racism or systematic oppression.  Police brutality is also a concern in Namibia, therefore it is a question of police reform.  We must be careful not to distort reality and exalt phrases like black lives matter especially if it’s based on the wrong premise; this has the potential of creating more racism, rather All Lives Matter and people must be judged on the content of their character, not the colour of their skin. I urge everyone who cares enough for the truth to do their research before believing anything on social media and resist the temptation to take matters of concern on face value. 
We must create platforms where we have open dialogue from all sides because the facts matter.

Staff Reporter
2020-08-07 10:27:56 | 1 months ago

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