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If all lives mattered there wouldn’t be a need to highlight that Black Lives Matter not just here, but worldwide.

By Editorial Time of article published Jul 11, 2020

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If there was one thing South Africa might have been expected to do over the past 107 days of lockdown was to think deeply on the harsh inequality that Covid-19 has brutally exposed in this country.

We have many problems, after more than quarter of a century as a politically free society, many of which have their roots in our fractured and deeply dysfunctional past.

There is no overlooking this, getting over it or wishing it away. Whether it be police brutality in Alex, the looting of VBS or state capture as a whole, Black Lives obviously don’t Matter. It’s a phenomenon that permeates beyond there to every aspect of our society, from the classroom to the boardroom and the locker room.

This week South Africa’s current ODI and T20 cricketer-of-the-year Lungi Ngidi announced his support for the Black Lives Matter movement and urged the rest of his Protea teammates to join him.

He shouldn’t even have to ask. But some former white, national cricketers were horrified. Boeta Dippenaar and Pat Symcox took Ngidi to task, arguing all lives matter and urging that the government act on farm attacks.

They weren’t the only ones.

They miss the point. If all lives mattered there wouldn’t be a need to highlight that Black Lives Matter not just here, but worldwide.

Farmers’ lives matter too. But they’re not the only ones getting murdered in this country, nor are they the largest group of victims. Both issues, black lives and farm murders, need to be addressed, but both need different solutions.

To conflate the two is neither logical nor fair. What it does do, though, is perpetuate the arrogance of a white privilege that has never been properly addressed since 1994.

Until we do this, we will never truly forge a nation.

The Saturday Star

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