Tuesday, February 12, 2013

I Feel Sorry for that Little White Boy


If a ten-year old white boy crosses the street when he sees me; and then breaks into an athletic run after cutting the corner, I always laugh my head off. It never bothers me. I just feel sorry for the little boy. However, I feel sorry for the great disservice being done to the boy.

I wish I could sit with the boy and explain to him a word or two about myself and where I come from. I can’t call the boy for that’d invite the unspeakable. However, I have an avenue other people don’t have. I’m a writer, and I can reflect on such incidences. I feel sorry for the boy for he’s being denied the richness of humanity; the capacity to know the mysteries of humanities different from his.
He could simply understand that in my culture elders, like teachers, can’t be called by their first names; or that I’m Kuir Ajah (not Kuir Garang) when I visit my mother’s family; or that women don’t take their husbands names in my culture. The little boy would want to know the ‘whys’ of all these and he’d be amazed and enriched. But the little white boy is being denied this enriching experience.

He’s being denied the beauty of South Sudan; its people, its culture. The boy could benefit from the richness of Jiëëŋ’s family structure and communal philosophies.
From his own family’s indoctrination, he sees me as dangerous. However, he’s being denied the chance to realize that I have thoughts and mode of thinking he’s not able to get from his family and society.

However, it’s not only the little white boy who’s being denied the chance to learn and understand the supposedly dangerous me.  While the boy takes his fear and indoctrination at face value, his parents don’t. If the parents are conscientious enough, they’d feel bad and burdened by the guilt. But how’d they get rid of that guilt? They’ll have to get close to people who’d help them understand.  They can't come close to me because I'm dangerous!
Their question would be: “What’s the point?”

The uneasiness in the little white boy isn’t hatred. It’s innocence manifested as fear or uneasiness. However, I can’t be so confident about the parents' state of mind.  It could be hatred, but I don’t have enough to conclude it as hatred that'd trickled down to the little boy from the parents.
It could be something they see in the media. If all they see in the media about people like me is always violence, then I feel for both the parents and the little boy. Their fear  has grounding, at least! However, the parents have enough brains to go beyond the fear and understand something; something about the African Person!

This uneasiness is what Christopher Fox tried to understand in The Pipers and the First Phase. It’s the same thing that Angelina tried to understand in Trifles about her friend Adut.

 

There was always fear in people’s eyes, on the street, in the presence of Little, unless someone saw Chris walking along side Little. That uneasiness with Little’s existential prominence made Chris uneasy and questioning of his own existence. What did I do to deserve my privilege? With all his heart, Chris prayed for a situation in which he’d be on the defense against his existential essence and instrumentality to the society. That was a North American natural impossibility. In high school, that never happened. He prayed for a day on which he’d have the opportunity to painfully say ‘you don’t know what it’s like to be like me.’

           (Excerpted from The Pipers and the First Phase, p.103)

 
Unless the little white boy's family is blinded by Conradian lenses and sees no point in trying to understand the African Person, they’d know that in any given society, there are good and bad people.
However, in the mainstream Canadian society and media, good deeds in the African  Person aren’t always interesting. Bad deeds are always good news. How can this little white boy know that there are good deeds from people like me when the media sees no interest in good deeds we do?

I feel sorry for the little boy!
 
Follow me in twitter: @kuirthiy

ON CULTURAL IDENTITY & BELONGING

Dear Melbournians, the South Sudanese people to be precise. Do you think we have seen it all? Do you think we have seen that: I mean in the aftermath of yesteryears, in regard to our culture and the notions around identity and belonging? Do you think we have seen the true reaping of what we sowed years ago? Do you really think so? After all, did we really sow anything like seeds and that there’s something to be reaped? Did we really live it out well to be seen today?

I am sorry to have bothered you, my potential readers, with questions regarding our social, economic, and political location in our host society: Australia. I think we have not seen it all and as a whole: The idea that people are bound by certain values and beliefs of significance to them. This requires cooperation and role-specific obligations on the roles of every man and woman across a given people and their society.

TOLERANCE & INCLUSION


While it is possible for us to racially discriminate or judge people we know, the chances of judging people we know diminish significantly the more we know them. An easy example of the importance of understanding others is the attitude people develop when they want to harm others or when they want to deny them something valuable. Essentially, before you fight someone, you insult them. Insults are attempts at diminishing the value of people, an attempt at estranging them, as Toni Morrison argued in The Origin of Others. It is easy to discriminate against strangers or make others strangers or dehumanized in order to discriminate against them.

Transformational Leadership, Inclusive Institutions and Service Provision

Leadership, given what is happening now in South Sudan, and generally in Africa, fascinates me. And it fascinates me not in a good way but because of the sociopolitical and socioeconomic ills facing the African continent and most of the so-called 'Third World.' To me, South Sudan, now, is a classic case.

Rebellion by disaffected politico-military leaders and repression by the government of South Sudan in Juba have stunted institutional development and leadership growth. This has made service provision almost irrelevant as political survival has taken primacy and supremacy. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

‘Black’ as an Identity Oversimplification and Mockery

Black as a universalized cultural identity of the African Person (AP)* is a residual effect of slave and colonial mentality; a racial/race paradigm. It is a malady I call, conservatively speaking, stuck-in-the-past syndrome of color constraints. Black could be an on-the-street ‘social identifier’ of race figures not a meaningful phenomenon of deep cultural identification on a universal scale.