Good advice is something you give to others and hardly ever follow. I always tell people to listen to what’s being said and not how it’s being said. I don’t often do this, but I try.
Over the past weeked the ANC Youth League conference has set the social media world in SA alight. Cries of indignation and accusations of various kinds have been made in the wake of the Youth League leader’s re-statement of the League’s position on nationalisation and land reform. I also felt aggrieved and angry, but I spent some time thinking on the issue and I think there’s merit in listening to what’s being said rather than how it’s being said.
Land reform must be part of the discussion on where this country’s going. A great crime was committed in the past and there must be some form of redress. If you can argue against this then I believe you simply do not understand the plight of the many (and I’m not professing that I do).
Don’t get me wrong, I also feel that the racial rhetoric that has been part of the Youth Leader’s speeches should be considered, rightly, as abominable. I know for a fact that the correct approach regarding land reform will find many willing white citizens, just as an angry message will cause friction. But perhaps anger is what is necessary to keep this issue foremost until sensible heads contrive a suitable solution. If the issue is not solved it will not go away.
I always record a cover to express how I feel about an issue, sometimes tongue in cheek, sometimes serious. I had thought of recording Woody Guthrie’s “This Land” as a mischievous/serious contribution but I eventually settled on something more appropriate. Guthrie’s tune, though apt, would not have conveyed the message as well as Neil Young’s “Southern Man”.
PS – I spent the weekend looking at a farm in the Free State that we want to buy. It’s part of a lifelong dream and I wonder now if I should shelve the idea…