This is an abridged article from the London Sunday Times by Anne Paton. This should be read as part of the school study of this set work, for context purposes. It offers clear feedback on the mindset of this very human book.
“I am leaving South Africa. I have lived here for 35 years, and I shall leave with anguish. My home and my friends are here, but I am terrified. I know I shall be in trouble for saying so, because I am the widow of Alan Paton. Fifty years ago he wrote Cry, The Beloved Country. He was incredibly hopeful about the new South Africa that would follow the end of apartheid, but he died in 1988, aged 85. I am glad he is not alive now. He would have been so distressed to see what has happened to his beloved country.
I love this country with a passion, but I cannot live here anymore. Among my friends and the friends of my friends, I know of nine people who have been murdered in the past four years. An old friend, an elderly lady, was raped and murdered by someone who broke into her home for no reason at all. Another was shot at a garage. I have been hijacked, mugged and terrorized.
That afternoon I came home and omitted to close the security door. After a while I thought I’d heard a noise and went to the landing; outside was a man. I screamed and two other men appeared. I was seized by the throat and almost throttled. I was bound and threatened: “If you make a sound, you die.” They took all the electronic equipment they could find and my car.
Shortly before my 71st birthday I returned home in the afternoon. Outside the window two men were breaking in. I pressed the panic alarm. One of the men ran around the house, jumped over the fence and tried to batter down the front door. Meanwhile, his accomplice was breaking my sitting-room window with a hammer. This took place while the sirens were shrieking, which was the frightening part. They kept coming, in broad daylight, while the alarm was going. The front-door assailant was caught and taken off to the cells.
Recently I telephoned to ask the magistrate when I would be called as a witness. She told me she had let him off for lack of evidence. She said that banging on my door was not an offence, and how could I prove that his intent was hostile?
A character in Cry, The Beloved Country says: “I have one great fear in my heart, that one day when they are turned to loving they will find we are turned to hating.” And so it has come to pass. There is now more racial tension in this country than I have ever known.
But it is not just about black-on-white crime. It is about general lawlessness. Black people suffer more than the whites. They do not have access to private security firms, and there are no police stations near them in the townships and rural areas. They are the victims of most of the hijackings, rapes and murders. They cannot run away like the whites, who are streaming out of this country in their thousands.
What has changed in half a century? A lot of people who were convinced that everything would be all right are disillusioned, though they don’t want to admit it. Nothing can succeed while people live in such fear.
The Fundamental Problem
This is the legacy of ‘liberation’ in Southern Africa, which has led to abject poverty and the genocide of whites. (No media coverage here?) The question remains. Why? How can this level of inhumanity exist in an empowered, liberated country? You can’t blame apartheid some years later. It is not a race issue. (Look at the other Southern African countries that did not have ‘apartheid’). It never was, (but is symptomatic enough for politicians to use it). It is the entitled mindset of the communist. It always has been. Mandela was a communist, but we refuse to see that. It has always been about a culture of illusion, where poor people are made promises that are never met, or ever intended to be met. This is unsustainable. Communism is a culture of control, of barbarianism, and results in failure. This is the wave that is flooding at our gates too. Read ‘The Great Deception’.
No Lessons learnt?
There is a huge lesson here for the United States, and the West. It is feedback on the dangers of democracy, of centralized control and of misplaced rhetoric. It is feedback on the reality of communism. Beware of fostering entitlement and lawlessness. This is a by-product of the ‘fixed’ mindset (Dweck – Mindset). MEganize refers to it as a ‘control’ paradigm. It has many insidious negative effects, specifically resulting in short-termism (deadly sins), inhibits feedback and thus learning, and promotes deception (blame, dishonesty). This has been proven at all levels.
We need to challenge our ‘fixed’ mindsets as this is a zero sum game. We have to learn from our mistakes from feedback. We need leaders that have a ‘growth’ view, with courage and vision, but mostly strong values that can drag us back into a Christian culture of excellence, or we will all suffer. The question remains as to whether our system will allow for the ‘right’ persons to be placed in leadership positions. So far democracy has failed in it’s lack of strategic thinking and principles. This is explained in MEganize.