For my regular readers who aren’t from South African who might not know what the #FeesMustFall movement is here is a short condensed version and summary of the movement. In a nutshell, there is a group of students (not all of them) who believe that education must be free for everyone in the country irrespective of your level of income. This is not the first time this has happened before as the protests really started about a year ago back then I already wrote an opinion piece about it which you can find here. So I might regurgitate a few things in this follow-up article so bare with me, please. So what has changed in the year since the movement started? Well, not much other than more looting more violence and burning down of learning institutions, vandalizing of artwork and statues.
Just for the record, I have no issue with marching and protesting for a cause, what I do take issue with is when it devolves into the above mentioned. When you start acting like animals (I can just see a collective gasp from the Social Justice Warriors) you lose all the respect I have had for you. But you cannot call them animals that is racist! So how must I classify people who burn down libraries and art nevermind places of learning? Civilized?No fuck you! The very moment you decided to burn these you set yourself on a path separate from the rest of society. Arrogance fused with pride and stupidity is what is fueling these protests and #FeesMustFall movement. And to quote Lemony Snicket, The Penultimate Peril on the perils of burning books:
“The burning of a book is a sad, sad sight, for even though a book is nothing but ink and paper, it feels as if the ideas contained in the book are disappearing as the pages turn to ashes and the cover and binding–which is the term for the stitching and glue that holds the pages together–blacken and curl as the flames do their wicked work. When someone is burning a book, they are showing utter contempt for all of the thinking that produced its ideas, all of the labor that went into its words and sentences, and all of the trouble that befell the author . . .” So what does #FeesMustFall really represent? Fuck if I know but from what I have seen and hear so far it is impossible demands being given in poor grammar. (Oh the irony) To have unrealistic economic expectations, and have zero regard for fellow students who want to graduate and receive an education.
But then they choose to rather vandalize, burn, threaten and sing instead of getting an education, that alone speaks volumes. Far be it for me to tell you not to wallow in your own shit. But while you are down there please explain to me how a government would be able to support an education system that does not charge you fees? This means more income tax\vat for everyone. And when only 10% of the country are taxpayers where does that leave students? And what happens when students finish studying? Complain and protest because so much of your salary is being taxed? Seems a pretty logical concept to grasp, unfortunately not for the majority of these protestors. If education fees fall, so will the institutions that these fees support and where will that leave you and future generations looking for an education?
When most of the country doesn’t have jobs, don’t contribute to taxes it’s not going to be possible. Not being racist not being privileged, but those are the facts, and the facts never lie. Did you take a second to ask yourself: “Where will we study and eventually graduate after the government finally declares that ‘Yes, Fees have fallen’ ?” But it seems to be a never-ending cycle, want a free education? Burn down schools and universities. Want free transport? Burn down buses and taxies. Want Jobs? Burn down and loot foreign owned stores. Want free housing? Burn down and invade someone’s else’s home. There is no such thing as getting something for ‘free’. Someone somewhere will have had to earn and work for what someone else gets for ‘free’. The lecturers, infrastructure, maintenance, study materials all these costs money and somewhere someone has to pay for these.
I also think it quite ironic that these protesters are running around with the latest and greatest smartphones/tablets, and posting their “struggles” on social media websites. While wearing the designer clothes bought on credit. Then they then have the audacity to moan about a 10% increase in fees, and call you privileged. This mentality of “Its owed to me” it has no positive spin-off for anyone South African youth these days look more and more like spoilt brats. And you can only guess how they reply to these set of questions and statements, by beating the Apartheid horse that has been dead and beaten for the past 22 years. But it seems that most people have caught onto this and have changed the issue from being apartheid to it being “white privilege”. Don’t use the race card and don’t play the victim to the circumstance you and the government are responsible for creating.
Bringing up the past and trying to run with it as a present day example of injustice and oppression, is morally and objectively wrong. Just as much as turning this into some sort of racial issue when it is clearly not. I have never been so ashamed to call myself South African until now. This is not a race debate, this is a debate about logic, and logic states education will never be free in South Africa. Never have I seen something so disgusting and pitiful at the sight of books and universities burning. If you want something or someone to blame, blame the ANC and the government the very same government you voted for out of blind loyalty. The very same ANC government who drives driving around in million rand BMWs and Mercedes Benz’s and lives in upmarket estates, please tell me about privilege again? But what do I know I am white and supposed privileged…
[Editorial Note:] Want to hear a funny joke? What is a protesting student with no place to study at? Just a vandal.