Centuries ago an apprentice asked his teacher, what is the best quality a person can acquire? The wise man replied “learn to control your anger”.
When reading the many racist outbursts that continue to saturate social media and enflame society the seed of anger are always part of the origin.
The young man that claims he was angry at the Minister on the transformation in sport and being unemployed is an example. His anger on social media unleashed a tsunami of fury against him.
Since I have no intention of dwelling on the details of his issue, what is relevant was the outpouring from those who had survived Apartheid. The residual anger that was evident in the responses was skin deep and the audacity of the youngster to vent his thoughts exposed the tangible nascent anger.
The point is how we progress as individuals and as a collective when such anger lingers just beneath our conscious thoughts. How do we build when collective deep hatred is so effortlessly exposed?
Over my study travails I have learnt that it is only we, Black, Brown and White that can solve our problems. No other nation or community can care about our well-being as much as we can care. In truth most nations would sooner exploit our differences instead of helping us build our nation.
For example, decades ago while visiting some American Indian reservations in the USA I learnt of their struggles to recover from the impact of internal American colonialism on Native Indian culture and history. Whites continue to view Hispanics with distrust while Blacks continue to seek reparation for centuries of slavery. North and South America cannot help us as they struggle to help themselves.
Travelling in Eastern Europe I learnt of the genocidal racism that saturated the region even though the people of Kosovo, Croatia, Serbia and Macedonia all looked the same to me. All that was required was a few deceitful political leaders to ignite a human powder keg that exploded killing and destroying the lives of millions of Europeans. Neighbours raped and murdered the other in the name of tribalism.
Across the Middle East and North Africa tribalism and economic abuse permeate the region. Insidious politicians and royalty hide desire for power behind the veil of Sunni versus Shia and moderate versus fanatic. No help can we expect from them as they murder each other in the name of hypocrisy.
Closer to home in Limpopo, leaders instigate mayhem as 20 schools burn. They do not want to be part of a municipality as another tribe holds the majority in that region. The anger is there, innately or created, who knows? The flames are stirred by vicious men who desire wealth and power at any cost.
Our democracy was hard won and is fragile. It was not a gift from our forefathers; it is a reward that each generation must struggle for and guard with the necessary effort. That is why we have the vote.
Anger is an emotion that must be controlled and not followed as anger leads to conflict. For millennia evil has used anger as a base from which to launch chaos. We must learn from history.
In the words of the wise, reason and civility must overcome anger and haste for justice to prevail.
Cllr Yagyah Adams
Cape Muslim Congress