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Actually, they won’t say that. Maybe behind closed doors somewhere. But even then they won’t use the word African. No they’ll use something much more harsh than that. They’ll tell public jokes about people from Pakistan or Poland, but they’ll stay away from Africans. Ever wondered why?

Maybe because they have raped and pillaged Africa so much that there is no joke left for them to tell. Not without feeling guilty. It’s easy to tell jokes about people that are down and less fortunate than you. But it is more difficult to tell a joke about people that you messed up so badly. Where you drew the borders with a ruler and a dice. Hey, it was a half a century ago, but it takes the fun away when you see your handiwork in the news every single day.

But even those outside Europe don’t tell jokes about Africans. But they don’t do it because of their history of exploitation. No. They do it because of what they are still doing today. Want a trade deal? We got one for you. Okay, it’s not what you want, but it’s all you gonna get. Want some help with economic development? No problem. Just sign on the dotted line and take all the strings that’s attached. Want to deal with a health crisis? No problem. Here take these pills, but pay up and break your neck if you want the stuff that will really help. No fun telling jokes about Africans now is it? Not when what you do is no joke. It kills people.

There is another reason why they don’t tell jokes about Africans. Racism. Plain old vanilla flavored racism. It is difficult to tell jokes when you know you discriminate against people from Africa. Because you can’t laugh out loud when your conscious drowns out the laughter with its screaming. And the tears of laughter gets replaced by tears of sorrow when you are reminded of that kid you saw on the Save The Children poster. No fun now is it?

Oh, they’ll hide that racism away. And hide behind their politically correct walls. But we know better. We see it in their eyes when they can’t look at us for too long. Or the condescending voice they use when describing how much they love Africa. A good friend of mine described it in the perfect way – the “snobbery and veiled superiority of the Brits”. (Don’t worry John, I won’t give away your identity, but those were beautiful words. I just had to use it.) They don’t believe that they are better. No never, not them. They know they are better. And it is so subtle. It’s just the slight tilt of their head, the slow knowing nod of the head, the soft voice almost whispering, their chin resting on their folded hands as if in prayer, and the way they sigh in a caring way when they talk about the people of Africa and the suffering. But we know. Oh yes, we know.

They’ll let in everyone with a white skin (or money). You’re from Poland? No problem. Come on in. America? Welcome to London. South Africa? Sorry, you were okay before, but you know now that you have a black government running the country we are experiencing all these problems with visas. It was okay way back then when you only came over to visit and spend your money, but now you want to work here as well? Really, that is just too much. Give an African a finger and he’ll take the middle one. Yes, South Africa has at last become like almost all other African countries. We can now call ourselves true Africans. We have passed the last hurdle. The UK will charge our people just enough money for visas to keep the majority of black South Africans at home. Welcome home South Africa, welcome home.

But the joke is on them. Those borders they drew never kept us in. Or out for that matter. We are not some animal you can cage. We will explore the world like we always have. Move around and find a nice little place to hang out. Hey, you can thank your lucky stars that we have this eagerness to explore. A couple of us got sick and tired of hanging around hunting in this bloody heat and decided to go north for a bit. Just a winter break. And decided to stay for a while. We gave you life. And a few thousand years later those same bastards came back with white skins and a gun. Jeez umlungu, what happened to you? You leave for a few days and come back looking like this? Go wash yourself. You look ridiculous.

Hey, gotta run. Want to see the Cullinan Diamond in London before I need a visa. Oh yes, that was one of ours before as well. After London? Who knows. I hear Switzerland still takes us. Just a shame about all the Swiss. Have I ever told you the joke about the Swiss?

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We won and we lost. Obama winning helped to put one piece of injustice to sleep. But injustice is still with us. Discrimination is still lurking in the laws. Liberty is still for the select few. Freedom is still not for all of us. Equality still hunts us down like we were on cotton plantations.

Because “they” are still not allowed to get married. “They” are still held as second class citizens. Tell me? Who the hell are “they”?

Bullshit. Bullshit I tell you.

It’s like playing that whack-the-mole game. You hit one piece of bigotry on the head and another one pops up. Whack! Whack! Whack! It never stops. But unlike the game, we can’t pull the plug on bigotry. Their batteries get charged by their own hatred.

Look. I am REALLY getting sick and tired of this. There is no “they”.

There. Is. No. They.

There is only us. “They” are you who are bigots. The only people who are “they” are those who preach hatred. Hatred for gays, hatred for Africans, hatred for African-Americans, hatred for rednecks, hatred for Jews, hatred for Muslims, hatred for Christians, hatred for… and more hatred and more hatred and more hatred.

You! Yes you! Bigot! That one who hates gays. Or who doesn’t want “them” to have the same rights as everyone else. All that separates you from burning “them” on a cross is some wood and matches. All that separates you from strapping a bomb to your chest and blowing them up is a book in your hand and a different language. Bigotry is bigotry. Hatred is hatred. It’s only the degrees that differ.

You think you are so different from those who kill innocent people elsewhere in the name of a jihad? You think you are so different from those policemen who killed Biko? You think you are so different from the Christians who murdered during the Crusade? You think you are so different from those who flew those planes? You think you are so different from those who kept slaves on the plantations? Who burned people at stakes? You think you are better than a Hutu or a Tutsi? You think you are better than the priests leading Jesus to the cross?

You are not. You are no better. You are separated only by the degrees of action. You speak the same language. You spew the same hatred. You can cloak it in nice words. But so did Hitler. So did Pontius Pilot. So did PW Botha. So did Mao. So did Stalin. So did everyone who believed they were better than “the others”.

You are no better than those who killed and murdered. You are them. Separated by a small degree of heat. A small step. One action separates you. Just one. They are your brothers. Your keepers. In thought and prayer.

Don’t ever call me straight. I am not straight. I am me. Who I sleep with and who I love has nothing to do with you. It has nothing to do with my bad fashion sense. It has nothing to do with my anger. It has nothing to do with defining who I am inside.

I have no choice about who I am. I am because we are. I have no choice about being straight. I have no choice about being gay. I am just me. Like the color of my skin is not my choice. And my gender is not my choice. Or where I was born was not my choice. It is who I am. We should not be defined by these parts of who we are. We should be defined by our love and compassion for others and for ourselves.

Hell, if I had a choice I would not have chosen to be a pale heterosexual male. Except for the fact that it helped me find the love of my life it is nothing to be proud of. It is nothing special. In fact, I don’t like many of those who look like me. Hitler, Bush, Stalin, Verwoerd – all white males proclaiming to be straight. Too many bigots wear the same “clothes”.

I don’t ever want to be defined as heterosexual. I don’t. Because I am not. I am just a person who met another person and who loves. It could have been anyone. It just happened to be someone from the opposite gender. I didn’t make the choice to love her. It just happened.

That’s all I want the world to have. Just to feel the same love I feel. I don’t care who you are. Jew, Christian, gay, Muslim, straight, male, female, black, white, Chinese, Russian. I don’t care.

I. Don’t. Care.

All I want is “us” to all feel love. And see a better future together. As us. Not as “them” and “us”. There is only us in this world. All of us.

There is no such thing as a “gay issue”. Any injustice is my issue. Our injustice. Any limitation on freedom is a limitation of my freedom. Our freedom. Any inequality takes away my equality. Our equality. Any time the liberty of others are restricted then my liberty is restricted. Our liberty. Any place love is threatened my love is threatened. Our love. There can be no “others”. There can be no “gay issue”. There is only my issues. And our issues. We all have freedom, liberty, equality, justice, life, love and opportunity. Or I have none. I am not gay. But I am gay. 

I am the “gay issue”. We are the “gay issue”.

Because… I am because we are.

All of us. I am us. I am the “we”.

We will not fail each other. Because there is no gay issue. There is only an us issue.

 

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A few other posts of mine looking at the “gay issue”:

The “gay problem” or The Idiot’s Guide to Bigotry

The Gay Agenda

And one more thing

How to solve the “gay marriage problem”

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A friend of mine just passed me this link to something Keith Olbermann had to say on gay marriages. I missed it completely as I don’t watch enough telly. But it seems as if Keith and myself have more in common than what I thought. Go watch what he had to say. It is long. But it is worth it. His questions are very similar to mine. Just more eloquently put…

Saffer emailed me these photos. Taken by someone waiting for Obama to come and speak after being elected President of the United States of America. And then he saw this little interaction. Just kids. Kids… Or, in the words of Saffer… We can learn so much from them.

kids

I hope we will all reach out a little. Just do it. No need to think it through. Like these kids. They just did what came naturally when no one was watching. Kids…

 

It happened in 1995. The awakening…

I was driving back from Cape Town to my home in Stellenbosch. Part of my regular commute. I was working at the Labour Research Service (LRS) in Salt River on the outskirt of Cape Town. The rougher outskirts of Cape Town. The LRS was one of those small nonprofits that supported the trade unions and the liberation organizations during the Apartheid years. Apartheid ended, but the work never stopped. Workers still needed us. Discrimination still happened. And I was working with and for a Pan-Africanist trade union federation – the National Council of Trade Unions (NACTU). But I digress…

Driving this road was never a nice road. Just a week earlier my wallet got stolen by two guys. Some would call it stupidity on my behalf. You know, picking up hitch hikers. Or rather leaving my wallet open for them to take. I saw two guys hitch hiking and I decided to give them a lift. I used to hitch hike a lot myself. I knew how crap it was to stand in the road begging for a lift. Time running out. Cold winds. No sign of life outside those people sitting snug in their cars. Yeah, I gave them a lift. And they stole my wallet.

Oh, nothing happened to me. I had a habit of just throwing my wallet on the backseat whenever I drove anywhere. You know, just flip it on the backseat when I get in the car. Not thinking. Just a standard thing to do.

And I left it there without thinking. Like I always do. They took it without me even knowing. Or noticing. Oh they were nice guys. We had a good chat. Laughing and joking like all good South Africans do when they get close enough to poke fun at everyone and everything. I guess they saw my wallet as payment for the entertainment they provided. I don’t think they were that funny…

The money wasn’t much. I hardly ever have loads of cash on me. A minor inconvenience really. But it was a principle thing. You don’t steal. Full stop. So I decided to not pick up any more hitch hikers. Yes, unfortunately many people were going to stand a little bit longer because one dude in a car just got pulled off the assembly line of lift givers. I didn’t feel too crap about the decision. I made it and lived with it.

And now it was a week later. I was just driving me old car. Singing away to the Cat Steven tape that has been stuck in my radio since 1990. Yes. I know Cat Steven off by heart. Not because I wanted to or that I liked him that much, but because I couldn’t remove the bloody tape. It was stuck. And I just didn’t see spending the little money we had on fixing my car radio. Thank God the tape deck was one of those automatic switch-over gadgets. Or else I would have been stuck on the same side forever (Rewind-play, rewind-play…) So Cat Stevens it was.

The ride went smoothly. Like usual. Lost in my own little world. Not getting pissed off at anyone else on the road. Entertaining myself by singing out loud. Or making dancing moves in the car. Or pulling funny faces. Sometimes looking in the mirror to see if it was a good one or not. And sometimes just waving at people driving past me at a much faster speed.

And then I saw the guy. Hitch hiking. Just standing next to the road with his thumb sticking out. He looked like a typical hitch hiker. Normal clothes and a cap. No luggage. I didn’t pick him up. I didn’t even think of picking him up. The thought never crossed my mind. Not even for a minute.

So I drove on…

About a mile or two later I saw another guy with his thumb out. Hitch hiking. Just a normal guy. Normal clothes and a hat. No luggage. I looked at him as I approached and thought whether I should pick him up or not. Just for a split second. Nothing more than a split second. But I didn’t pick hm up. I drove past him without even looking. But for a split second… For a split second I thought about it…

I didn’t think about it for the next few miles. And then it hit me. Like a ton of bricks. Like someone just knocked me one hard one in the stomach. Cold water tipped over my head. Blood draining from my system…

Damn you! Damn me!

I am a racist…

And I didn’t even know it.

Why?

…The one guy was black… and the other guy was white…

I didn’t pick up either. But I did think of picking up the second guy. It never crossed my mind with the first on. Not even for a split second. Not even for a blink. Okay, it wasn’t a deep thought of picking the second guy up. It was only a flash for a split second. But still… That flash was a split second of thinking of picking the guy up. I rejected the idea immediately. But the point is that I did have a flash with the second guy and not the first guy.

So I am a racist.

Me. The guy who worked for the only pan-Africanist trade union federation in South Africa. The trade union federation who has never employed a white guy in their whole history up to then. A guy who fought the Apartheid system and all the discrimination that went with that. The guy who fought racism at each and every corner. The guy who saw Steve Biko as his man. I made no distinction between white or black. I hated racism. Banned it from even getting close to my kids. I had relationships that was never defined by race. I fought racism since I left my past behind. It has been the one thing that could get me going since my personal “liberation” started. I spoke out against it. Tackled people in the streets about it. I could look in the mirror and tell myself, “I am not a racist”. Hell, I even had a nickname given to me by NACTU – Umlungu (White bastard). I was drenched in anti-racism actions and fighting racism.

But here I was. A racist. And I didn’t even know it.

Which of the hitch hikers was white? Which one was black? What color was the guys I picked up and who stole my wallet? Does it matter? Is it relevant? Really? Isn’t that just justifying my racism? Isn’t that just shifting blame?

Racists. Easy to see. Racist are those people who are bigots. Or so we believe.

Racism. Easy to see. You’ll know it when you see it. Or so we believe.

No. Racists are not always that easy to see. It’s deeply rooted. It’s not something you just switch off. It hides in corners where you can’t see. It’s something you have to work on. You can overcome it. Racism is not part of the natural you. You weren’t born racist. But it is still deeply rooted like a weed when you grow up amongst racists and are taught the racist way when you are young. But it can be overcome. The more you open up. The more you talk about it. The more you look at yourself. The more you face the mirror.

It’s looking back each day and check on yourself. Looking in the mirror each day and ask yourself, “Was I just today?” And judging yourself not as a negative, but to look for those little hidden bigots inside you. And to fight them until they are out of your system. It’s something you should embrace.

Make no mistake. I am not hard on myself about this. I see this as a huge plus. Something I look forward to each day. To face that stupid bigot inside. And then laugh at him and to say, “Cheers, you are out of here”. Embrace it. And celebrate it. Because tomorrow I won’t do that. I won’t have that flash. Each day is about making it a little better.

I have managed to kill that racist inside. He is gone. No more. It feels good. But it’s not just race. It’s how we treat women. It’s how we treat the kids. How we look at the guy dressed in a hoodie, baseball cap and bling who looks like a gangster. How we stare at the women with the short skirt. It’s how we treat the guy begging in the streets. That gay couple down the road walking hand in hand. Or how we treat that person working behind the counter at Wal-Mart. It’s how we treat that worker in the factory. It’s how we treat the farmer in the fields. It’s everything we do. And it is in all of us. Black or white. Gay or straight. Men and women. We all have a little bigot or two inside us.

Bigotry is taught in different ways to us all. Those words our parent told us, “Study hard and you will get a good job. You don’t have to be caught in this life. You are better than this. You can do better than this.” That’s where it starts. When we start telling ourselves that somehow earning more money or having a bigger house make us better. Better than what?

Liberate yourself. Look at the mirror. Smile at the bigot. Because each day he is getting closer to extinction. Bye bye bigot. Death awaits you.

I like who I am. But I know I am going to like who I am tomorrow even more. And I can’t wait.

Are you? Because… I am because you are…

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Why did I write this piece? Because of something I read in the NY Times. It’s not a perfect article, but it reminded me that blatant racism isn’t the problem. It’s the racism we don’t see. The hidden parts that people don’t even see. The bigotry we don’t see in ourselves. It just reminded me why I use the mirror every day.

I thought it might be a good thing to look back at why I started blogging. You know, while I’m taking a coffee break. I first started writing as An Accidental Activist. Can’t get away from all the “A’s” I guess. It was meant to be about stories of my life and how I got here. I started writing about my past to leave something for my kids to read one day. For them to see what their dad was about. My past and my journey. Hope they will still believe their old man was okay. But I started ranting and raving about issues that pissed me off and someone said, “You are a real angry African on the loose”. (Thanks Cheryl.) And that’s how I got the name Angry African. Not as romantic or inspirational as what people might think. But it flowed onwards from there.

I wrote a few pieces under An Accidental Activist. Like I said, mostly about my life so far. I think it is time to look back at the first post I ever wrote. Just in case you missed it. I might edit it a bit this time. Add something or take something away. Or just rewrite pieces. Or nothing! But unlikely I’ll do nothing! I’ll see where it takes me. (Note: I did rewrite loads and added quite a bit!)

This was my first post ever. Introducing myself. Now reintroducing myself. Then called “An Accidental Activist: I wasn’t born to be an activist“. Now revisited…

Roots Revisited: I wasn’t born to be an Angry african

I wasn’t born to be an activist. Or an angry African. Quite the opposite, really. I was born to be the stereotypical ‘good, racist Afrikaner’ in Apartheid South Africa. My family supported Apartheid and all of them worked for the Apartheid regime at some stage in their lives. We lived off the fat of the Apartheid land. And for most part went through life nice and ignorant. Just the way they liked it.

I had everything a young boy could think of. Days playing in the streets with my friends. A bicycle to ride to school with. Playing sport on some of the best fields of dreams out there. Cool clothes that made me look like I just stepped out of of Miami Vice. A plate of unbelievable food every day – meat, potatoes and rice being staple food for Afrikaners. Friends and family everywhere around me. Good times. Fun times. Unreal times. Lying times.

My dad was a Brigadier in the South African Prison Services, and one of his last assignments was to look after political prisoners at Pollsmoor prison. We didn’t get along. Even when I was still “his (racist) little boy”. Both my sisters worked at the prison service at some stage of their lives and married guys who worked at the prison services. And my brother worked for the prison services on Robben Island – where Nelson Mandela was jailed. They have all left since then. Maybe realizing that the life we were told was real life wasn’t that real after all. And that it wasn’t that great for everyone living in South Africa.

I grew up in a home that did everything the Apartheid government wanted us to do. We were part of the Dutch Reformed Church – the Apartheid government in prayer. We went to Church every Sunday. To Sunday school. I got confirmed at a Dutch Reformed Church when I was 16 or something. We were the Church. I left the Dutch Reformed Church. And they have left me.

We watched rugby – then the sport of the white Afrikaner. We went to Newlands on a Saturday to watch our team play other white boys. We went to club rugby games to see our local white boys play other white boys from neighboring towns. I played rugby for my school and practiced almost every day. We played other white schools on a Saturday morning before we went to Newlands. I walked away from it for a while, but rugby stayed with me. Still loved it, but couldn’t face it. It changed when our national team won the World Cup in 1995 and we could all call it our team. But I now I know it was another tool under Apartheid before that beautiful day in 1994 when we had our first democratic elections. Politics on the field. And we didn’t even know it. I didn’t know it when I was a kid.

I went to school at Paarl Gymnasium – one of the best Apartheid schools in South Africa. I attended the University of Stellenbosch – the ‘brain trust‘ of the Apartheid policies and politics. We read the Apartheid government approved newspapers and watched their TV. I benefited from the education they provided and the money they paid my dad. I was made for a life supporting and working for the Apartheid government. I was a star pupil of the Apartheid system. And I didn’t even know it. But I should have.

I was well on my way to become one of them. I did everything they expected me to do. I was a young racist Afrikaner, ready to take my place in their world. Well, at least the small world within the white community in South Africa. But somehow it didn’t happen though.

Somewhere along the line things didn’t work out the way they planned. Maybe it was the fact that I poked fun at everything. Acted out Apartheid leaders on stage in one man shows at school. Half of the people laughing and the teachers staring at me not knowing if I was making a political statement or just being funny. I was just being funny. I didn’t know about politics. But I knew funny.

Maybe it was because my mother told me to question everything. To look beyond the obvious. Maybe it was just that the world wasn’t right. Even for a young kid it didn’t always seem just right. Why can’t I have black friends dad? Why can’t they come over to play? What are those shacks in the townships? Why don’t those kids have nice clothes dad? Why do they look so thin and dirty? See, there dad! Just on the other side of the fence if you look out the car window dad. Come on, you can’t not see them daddy! Why aren’t they allowed on the beaches dad? It’s just a beach, isn’t it? They are pretty funny when you talk to them dad. Really, just speak to them, you’ll see. I see and speak to them often at the station when I go to cricket games. Why do they ride in the other carriages dad? Looks a bit cramped in there. And the buses. Look dad! We have one of them working in our house. She looks after me when you aren’t here. She’s nice. She could be family. She is family dad. She gives nice hugs when I hurt my knee or cut my finger. Why do we call them “them” dad? They look like me. Eat like me. Play like me. They are me daddy…

Slowly but surely I became everything that Apartheid was against – an activist. An Angry African. Speaking out against their system. “Them” taking me in as one of “their” own and becoming me. I am because they are. I became them. I am them. The Apartheid “them” becoming the people I saw as different.  As the others. Instead of being the man they wanted me to be, I became the man I wanted to be. It hasn’t always been easy. It hasn’t always been fun. But it always felt right. From Stellenbosch to Seattle, Mali to Monterrey, and Lusaka to London – no matter where the road took me, it always felt right, and it always felt as if I belonged. I felt like this was what I was meant to be. Just me.

Why was it important to write about this? I don’t know. I hope I didn’t offend anyone. But it is important to know who we are. That we come from places we can’t always be proud of. That we have a history. I don’t know if it is important to know this about me. But it is for me. Maybe just to let you know that we aren’t always born into what we become. That we have choices. We can take the bad and the good and still be someone we can face when we look in the mirror. That we don’t have to be proud of everything in our past. But that we can take our past and own it. You can be born into hatred but still come out hugging the world. That’s the beauty of life – you can be who and what you want to be no matter where you come from. You decide. It’s easier than you think. It’s really your choice. Make it. Today.

I feel a bit like Obama at the moment. It seems as if the race card is being played. Or rather that people are all of a sudden interested in my race. Black or white? For the record? People keep on asking. It really shouldn’t be this difficult. Just a little bit of research will clarify it all up nicely. Really. Let me give some help here. But before we go there.

I am interested in why people want to know if I am black or white. Does it matter? Does it tell you all you need to know about me? Will the reaction be “Ah, I thought so”. Thought so what? How would my race make it any easier to understand what I say? The accent and language will still be a bit of a problem. Will it make it easier to dig through what I write and find the white or black warning lights? Will it help in making me fit into the box? The boxes we build.

Most know that I don’t think the world is black or white – no pun intended – but shades of grey. Nothing is definite. Nothing is final. Nothing is the final answer. Nothing is as it seems. There is always another angle. A third angle. But still. It should be easy to tick the box next to my name. But everyone seems to struggle a bit with that one.

It should be easy. Just a little bit of research is required. And you don’t even have to leave this site. Start at the start. My first blog – I wasn’t born to be an activist. It tells you all about where I come from. At the least the first bit. That I wasn’t born to be like this. No. I wasn’t socialized to be like this. I wasn’t brought up to be like this. I was brought up to think about race. As a racist. It’s easy to follow the trail from there onwards. Just read from the back – everything under “An Accidental Activist” will give you an idea of the journey so far.

I don’t mind the name calling. Really, I don’t. Another one you can read is about the name calling. Read Umlungu – becoming a white bastard. That was my first bit of name calling. But I actually liked that one. I’ve been called worse. Much worse. But the name calling isn’t really much of an issue. It’s the race card that is an issue.

It’s happened a few times. Being called out because of the color of my skin. At the UN while being asked by my African colleagues to co-chair a meeting. And some black non-Africans complained that I wasn’t the right color. Or rather – not the right shade. It is odd. Very odd. The only places where my color of my skin was never questioned was at NACTU and at the African Caucus.Guess what. There wasn’t a white face around. Not a single one. Except my shade. Makes me think a bit that one.  Their response was always the same, “So what. Look at his heart. Look at his deeds. Look at his blood. Look at his soul.”

I think it might have to do with the fact that racism doesn’t have anything to do with race, and has everything to do with race. People just want to put other people in little boxes. If you’re gay you are this way. If you are male you are that way. If you are black you are this way. And if you are Chinese you are that way.

Maybe the only way is people. Just sit down. Close your eyes. Listen to your soul. And listen to the voices around you – not the one in your head. Hear the wonder. Hear the beauty. Hear the people of this world living. And we can be part of that. Or we can be living in our own little box.

So what am I?

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Do you find this helpful? The deep analysis? Haha! Here we go.

1. British Airways going all British

Okay. That is enough. No more PC please. I draw the line right here. I was okay with the “we don’t want to our children to compete” stupidity in the schools when I was there. Yes, my child couldn’t compete in sport because they did not want there to be winners and losers. Failure was out – now called deferred success. Puh-lease! I think it was because she was going to kick some Pom butt. And on and on they went with their stupid ideas of the state controlling everything. But they have stepped over the line now. Now they won’t serve meat on British Airways flights anymore because some people have religious issues with beef (of course pork is out the window as well). Hang on a bloody moment here. You serve me tofu and soya and I’ll show you a place where the sun don’t shine. I have serious religious and cultural problems with eating anything but meat. It’s in my blood and in my bones. I am African. We eat meat. I find it offensive that you will pander to others but ignore my religious requirements. You have the option of ordering specific food before you board your flight AND you offer two types of meals. Let them phone you and make arrangement. Don’t you remember? We don’t have phones in Africa… And there is a serious consequence for all others as well – the non-meat eating… hum… humans. Can you imagine what they are going to serve us now? Crap fish and chips or rubber eggs. I am changing to Air Namibia next time I fly to South Africa – they serve biltong bites. Really. I have standards. Squash me into a box in the middle seat. Make me wait in line for an hour or two. Provide me with bad service at ticketing. Strip search me in public. But take my meat away? Tell me, do you still serve salad – or what do you call it again? Hum, oh yes – chicken? BA – Beef Away.

2. Honey, I am right behind you 

So the Prius will bring out a new version in 2010. And the Volt will also hopefully make its debut. And now VW says they will bring their super fuel efficient 1L concept to the roads as well. 1L is metric for 1 liter per 100 km, or 1 gallon going a full 230 miles. Cool isn’t it? Huh… No… Not even close. Volkswagen is German for Nation Wagon. Say what? You can’t even fit the bloody dog in there – never mind a nation. Seating for two only. Could be romantic hey? Huh… No… The passenger sits behind the driver. I can now truly be a backseat driver. Thanks VW, but if this is your answer to fuel efficiency then at least give it a few skates for wheels to use in winter. This way we can us it as a toboggan when the snow and ice comes.

3. Doctor Watson I presume?

Those bloody Nigerians. So here we are. With Idang Alibi going on about how Dr Watson was right when he said Africans are more stupid than the whities. Or rather, that black people are, in his humble opinion, not as intelligent as white people. Nothing humble about that mate. He goes on and on about how they are more stupid because of the failed Africans states. And that all other states are just fine. Guess what? I got angry. So here is more longer than usual response.

He talks as if every African state is a failed state. And that all others are just fine. Just fine. Well sorry – the world isn’t black and white (no pun intended). So, North Korea is just fine I take it? And Bangladesh? And most of the old Soviet states? And Latin America that have loads of European blood running through their veins? It’s easy and intellectually lazy to do that. For every Lagos there is a Laos. Also, he forgets to mention those African states who are not failing and are stable and growing. Senegal anyone? Or Mozambique now that the Cold War affect is over. And Botswana that has a huge HIV/Aids problem but still manages to outgrow the majority of countries in the world. Too easy and lazy of him to write a piece of crap that shows his own intellect. Sorry brother, I am not you and neither are most of us thank you. Go back to university and go and study how to be a journalist. Africa do have a series of failed states. But it isn’t a black thing. There are too many other failed states to tell us it isn’t a “black thing”. And don’t forget Zambia. One of the least corrupt and violent countries in the world – and acknowledged as such. Had mostly good governments. Except before “Ma” and after Kenneth Kaunda – Chiluba didn’t play nice. But he wasn’t really Zambian. And never been in a war – inside or outside its borders. More Swiss than the Swiss. And still one of the poorest countries in the world. Why? Because this isn’t some “American Dream” where those who work hard will come out on top. Whether you are an individual or a country, the one thing we have learned over the last 100 years is that those who are poor will remain poor and with limited opportunities no matter where they live. Yes, you have exceptions, but the American Dream doesn’t work for most people. No matter how hard they work. The bridge between poor and rich is increasing each and every day. Whether you live in America or you are a country in Africa. Even with the high growth rates – how long do you think Mozambique and Botswana must grow before it will reach the “upper status”? Do the math – it doesn’t work. No matter how hard you try. And there is no lottery for states either. And neither can you win a bucket of common sense either.

4.  Heartland no brainchild

Like all good scientists Heartland took the brave step of publishing the names of all those scientists who support their claim that Climate Change is no biggie. I think they should have just kept their list and tell us they have 500 names and leave it at that. It is turning out to be as accurate as the WMD statements. And like President Bush supporters, the scientists on the list decided to take the rat route off the ship. It seems as if the 500 aren’t 500 at all. You see, many of the scientist on the list actually believe in Climate Change. Oops. Look guys, how can we trust you with real science if you can’t even count properly? Climate Change isn’t social science you know – it is real science. Get the social science bit right and then we can talk. It seems as if you count with your heart instead of your head. Good for Bush, but no good for science.

5. Hillary and Bob – BGFF

Nooo link needed here – It’s about Hillary C and Bob Mugabe. If you don’t know anything about them then… I don’t know – do a google search. And no BGFF does not stand for Best Guy/Girl Friends Forever. It means Bye Go Finally F-off. It’s time they both go. Hillary keeps on losing supporters faster than Bob is losing his marbles. And that says a lot. But Hillary is a bit like Bob here. Refusing to accept it is all over. The other guy won – just accept it and live with it. So I have a little plan. Why don’t you two go to on a nice little island retreat for two. Just you two lovebirds. Maybe Bikini Atoll or Christmas Island. Bikini because we should pay A Toll to see either of you in one. And Christmas Island because Hillary needs a few presents to make up for the money she blew at 3 am. Bob won’t have a problem with the radioactivity – he might just grow a brain. We all live in hope.

That’s all folks. Bye-bye all. Have a great weekend and see you on the other side. I promise to be lighter and brighter next time. It will be a fun week – I promise.

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