By Faith Haushona-Kavamba
I, like many others, have been watching in horror as people I have considered to be among the brightest of minds among the youth, go tit-for-tat on social and print media.
Although I have not been following the argument from the beginning, from what I gather it stems from the differing views on racism and white privilege. As you can guess, those engaged in the ‘argument’ are on differing sides.
I expected to see what I would have considered a mature discourse, where people can express their views without the conversation deteriorating into insults and loosely throwing about racial slurs.
Alas! That was wishful thinking on my part. I am one of those people who do not like getting into debates on social media. I don’t know whether it’s the false sense of security we feel because we are separated by our screens and keyboards that gives us the courage to say things we would not otherwise say to each other’s faces.
I feel it is the same false sense of security that makes us hyper-aggressive when we are online, so much so that we cannot tolerate anyone else’s views.
It’s not a debate I want to throw myself in, although I have my own views and opinions on the matter (and I too have specific individuals I side with).
My main issue is that we saw a conversation that should have been used as an opportunity to educate each other, degenerate into something awful that concluded with name-calling and calling each other out in a national paper.
It was an opportunity for each of the parties to really hear what the other was saying, respecting it (even if they disagreed) and pointing out why they do not agree with that opinion.
Even better, call each other up on a public platform to address these issues in a civil, respectful manner, something of a public debate if you will.
Words spoken in anger, with the intention to wound will not achieve anything, and will most certainly not get your point across. We find ourselves having the same conversations but fail to find some kind of resolve to them because we keep making the same mistakes when addressing them.
I’m not trying to say that people do not have the right to be angry; we have suffered too much not to be angry. My sister and I have been at the receiving end of racism. Our first encounter shook us both to the core and I am yet to recover from it.
I can’t help but fear that my younger siblings, nieces and nephews will have to go through it to, no matter how much we try to shield them too. But, just because someone has made me feel less than human and invalidates my feeling and experiences, does not mean I should do the same to another.
I should be able to argue my point without becoming the very thing I am fighting against, and hope my words hit a nerve. And if I am unsuccessful, I can only hope for those who will follow in my footsteps.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015