Lately, students and their protests have been making the news. Big. I wonder if 2015 should not be dubbed “The Year of the Student Uprising”? I am quite ambivalent about the current goings on. I understand why protests are taking place. It’s the how I struggle with.
Change in a South African context has always come about with the assistance of students. Student uprisings are part of the South African historic quilt (and what a colourful quilt we have). I am all for standing up for one’s beliefs but I somehow feel that the violence following the initial protest detracts from the actual reason for protest rather than contributing to whatever cause one may be highlighting.
When did we forget to use our words?
I know there might be folks who may disagree and say that violent protest may be the only way for “government” to take note. Please understand, this is my opinion. Basically, I feel we are raising a nation of hooligans if our protest methodology doesn’t change. Every time (maybe I should say most times), when there is a strike or protest, violence follows.
I’d like to think that I am an intellectual being. That, maybe, if I raise (not shout) my voice regarding any particular subject that I may be heard. That my words may be persuasive. Whether it be verbally or by putting pen to paper (or finger to keyboard). Violence may get the job done…But at what cost?
The sad thing is that there are those who genuinely go out to have their voices heard. Then, along comes Tom, Dick and Harry intent on stoking the fire. We cannot just say “Oh, these students, hey”. I am certain there are opportunists in the throng who go out there with the “destroy” mind-set. It saddens me to see learning institutions burning.
Maybe I’m getting old…
I, now, understand why my parents always used to tell me to not get too involved in politics when I was a student. Mom, I see it now. And thank you.
While I applaud the efforts by those who have genuine motives – I am appalled by those who choose to sully something that should a good thing. The jury is still out on this report card. It’s a case of let’s go 50/50.
I hope things are sorted at a certain institution soon. That exams will recommence. That all parties involved find common ground.
It starts by having a common dialogue.
Again…it’s just my opinion.
As always, thanks for reading and God bless!