Tuesday, July 21, 2020


Having traveled around in South Africa some (not a lot, didn't get to Joburg at all), I'm going to say this:

(a) the racism picture is more complex there
(b) the solution space is further evolved there

I go back to this story:  feedback I got when in RSA, regarding earlier relations with Quaker AFSC, was that Americans were too quick to elder others, drawing on their own civil rights history as definitive and all encompassing, a source of lessons for others to learn from.  In other words:  Americans suffer from ethnocentrism.  I wouldn't step in as their lawyer at this point.  "English too" I'd pile on.

But then English, in having been a real empire, did grow up worldly, and to this day NPR turns over to BBC the more serious world news telling.  For night owls.  Nerds.  And English are one of the ethnicities in the RSA mix.  Like I said, more complex, more nuanced.

Yes, I'm a Die Antwoord fan. I met a new relative (extended family member) from there who expressed embarrassment over their antics.  I was in drop jawed awe over the brilliance of Chappie for example.

Seriously, when my parents were co-clerking a Yearly Meeting, prior to the accident, I got to sit in on some reminiscing and post mortems.  We weren't far from Maseru, the family headquarters. Dawn taught a labyrinth workshop.

Apartheid was in the rear view mirror already.  Mandela.  Bishop Tutu. Truth Process... So much water already under the bridge.  I visited the Quaker Peace Centre and met the Routledges. We were later guests in their home in Cape Town, when Madlala was Deputy Minister of Defense (an unusual position for a Quaker, somewhat Mithraic). This was during the 1999 Parliament of World Religions. Dawn also took in a transmission, from the Dalai Lama, in Durban.

What I learned from Hendrik W. van der Merwe especially was about the delicate cybernetics of it all.  As a mediator, like a ref, he'd literally swing his chair around to side more with the police officer, if the power dynamic suggested he should throw his weight in that direction.  I think "precession".