By: Lavi Ramphomane
In the 21st century, people have more mass communication tools and a bigger audience to make their voices and thoughts heard. This is all thanks to social media platforms. A case in point is the Arab Spring popular protests which were heavily facilitated through the social media utility.
For the uninitiated, the Arab Spring protests were a response to Arab nation’s governments failure to arrest social ills like police harrassment, high rates of unemployment, corruption and rising costs of living.
In a nutshell, Arab youth used social media platforms to raise their voices, headline their plight, and to pronounce, organize and implement measures aimed at arresting social decays which threatened their very existence in the world.
Forget about the Arabs for a second and look closer to home, especially within the black society. In south Afrika today, the following make headlines every other day:
– A gang of marauding thugs rob and rape a filming crew.
– Thirty people are arrested after being connected to a human trafficking ring.
– People are being kidnapped left, right and center.
– Human life cheap in South Africa.
– Black politicians continue to steal billions from the coffers earmarked for the poorest of the poor.
– More than 5 000 police officers face criminal charges.
– Heavily armed criminal elements from foreign countries engage in a wild shoot out with the police and/or other illegal foreigners.
Mind you, in Tunisia, the whole country erupted and caused a mini seismic event after a vegetable seller set himself on fire in protest against the harrassment he suffered at the hands of Tunisian police.
Ignore corruption by black politicians which amounts to billions and billions of rands because black south Afrikans (strangely) view it as benign, and as something which doesn’t affect them. But how do you remain indifferent in the face of kidnappings and credible reports of a human trafficking ring?
This nonchalance (frivolity even) by black people in the face of the most distressing and peace-threatening times is actually more shocking than the hunting down of humans for ransom and trafficking, and the widespread and wanton involvement of the police in criminal activities.
Just pause and reflect: what kind of confidence in the criminal justice system is being cultivated when it’s vital component is heavily involved in criminal activity? Why should a law abiding citizen have faith in the police when it’s members are involved in crime in such staggering numbers?
However, what is of concern is our nonchalance through all these ills. With the power that social media platforms are at our disposal, we rather mark all the highlights of the year by bullshit shenanigans of celebrities and popular social media folks. Black south Afrikans would rather headline how popular Skomota is, and how jealous Eugene Khoza is, instead of making viral a debate on who are these people who kidnap black people for ransom and those linked to human trafficking.
This is what I’m working on: trying to figure out what kind of a society is this that happily and joyously go to their graves.
Photo Credit: Ketut Subiyanto – Pexels
Lavi Ramphomane is a blogger, a self-described perpetual student and social critic. His epistimological waywardness has attracted a large audience to his off-beat writings. Ramaphomane has been called the Charles Bukowski of Mzansi.