Essay from Abigail George

“Boy,16, arrested in gangland killing, gang member condemned to life
in prison, South African gang film “Four Corners”, the Northern Areas of
the Eastern Cape Province in South Africa, and the Numbers Gang: South
Africa’s biggest gang” by Abigail George

We are being erased into the background as if we are extras on a film
set. We must begin to communicate the threads of the entire rape of a
near wasted generation. Wasted by tik and marijuana. If they are not
wise (where do they get the wisdom from), if they do not have the
courage to pray and to change the circumstances that they are living
in (if they were not taught those values) what will happen to the
mulatto a century from now?

Coloured street gangs do believe in cultural unity. They call the gang
a brotherhood. They call the brotherhood a family. Blood is thicker
than water. These are dangerous life studies. There is a life science
but little literature on what the promulgation of the Group Areas Act,
the history of apartheid and post-apartheid South Africa has had on
stories, on investment in, on the self-discovery of the mulatto. He is
not White. He is not Black. It is too late to develop positive
Coloured youth because they are so far removed from the fabric that
makes up the modern world, and that marks them with the psychological
framework of the experiment of a pilgrim because in a way we are all
pilgrims. We are all searching for something that will intoxicate us
with life.

We want to see all living things, all animals with their own intuition
and sensibility. Not crime or criminal tendencies. Not addictions.
Addictions to sex, pornography, drugs and alcoholism. The girls are
sex machines bringing children into the world when they are hardly
equipped to deal with family life or raising children with echoes of
values and norms. Belief systems.

Not only do they exhibit psychopathic tendencies, but they also
display a racial tendency towards Black youth and Black women. Black
people in general. It is really destruction amongst these
self-saboteurs at its most basic level. The grassroots level. The only
people who will survive are the middle classes. The elite. The
educated. If you fit into any one of those classes then you are home
free in a sense. Home is a dirty secret but it makes the gangster
saintly amongst his peers. Coloured youth are on a mission to destroy
themselves, their families, the people that they love, admire,
worship. They are even on a mission to kill, to maim to murder. This
is no ghost story.

There have always been gangs. That is simply nothing new.
Heartbreaking stories of utter abuse at the hands of adults who in
retrospect had to devote themselves to family life and their children
but there have also been Coloured men and woman, great thinkers,
leading intellectuals who are now fostering innovative theories about
families who live in poverty. Theories about sexuality. Spiritual
poverty.

In the end, at some point in our lives we all experienced racism. We
were all on the receiving end of it or we gave it out. If you are an
educated mulatto you have got it made in a sense. You can be
philanthropic in your endeavours. You can help those who cannot help
themselves. If we lived in a perfect world everybody would have the
same opportunities, the same choices, challenges, obstacles facing
them, decisions to be made no matter what the colour of their skin
was, the same education (does this mean that everyone would be
educated and brilliant. Intelligent and lucky.)

Opening up the Pandora’s Box of the drug addict and all you will come
to witness is nothing but a skeleton fused with self-portraits of
self-hatred, selfishness and ego wasting away. Looking nothing at all
like their real age. Unfortunately, we live in a permissive society.
It is a society that gives us the go ahead or the permission if you
will to go ahead and do anything with your life.

The world will never get sick of prettiness. Men will never get tired
of it like they get tired of gender and class taking over the world or
being lectured on it. Men never get tired of taking the inexperienced
virgin to bed. That love-affair. I say this again. That there is an
invisible press out there. An invisible propaganda. Visionaries who
have and will always show us the right way. Entertainment has and will
always show us the wrong way.

I do not understand the sexuality of young girls. How they promote
themselves in the workplace. The relationships they have with older
male figures, father figures. It is as if they draw up a sacred
contract. The man has all the common sense. The girl dreams and
meditates of her prince. In the end everything is outweighed,
destroyed and the girl returns to her mother in the heartland of the
city she found herself in months before. If there is a baby in the
works, she will give birth to the baby and fall in love with the child
to the extent that she will keep it, raise it. But does she have the
oomph? Does she have the will and the drive to raise a child on her
own or will she succumb to silence, to isolation and to rejection from
her peers? Despair, hardship, loneliness?

She was not the wise one in the relationship but it will be months
before she realises this. It was the man with all of his common sense
who was the wise one and who knew how things in the end would
naturally turn out. The mulatto girl has a disembodied frame but she
will with an intensity raise her child. Her problems will become part
of the child’s consciousness and something usually will be deformed.
Mannerisms will be abnormal as the child grows older if there is no
father figure. Etiquette will be a castle in the sky. The boy will
grow up to be a rough through no fault of his own. It once again
depends on the mothering, on the family structure. If there is a
close-knit family structure. A nuclear family or a blended family of
half-brothers and half-sisters and a stepfamily perhaps the child will
be saved. Perhaps.

After the uprising of the riots in the Northern Areas where shops were
looted and badly damaged. When people lost their lives, family
members, businesses nobody was discriminated against in the Coloured
sub-economic areas. Was there a Third Force involved as people would
like us to be inclined to be believed? Was the special branch
involved? These are facts that ordinary people will never know.
The Democratic Alliance has a foothold in the Eastern Cape now which is
now one of the worst off provinces in South Africa. If you want to
believe that violence and murder was the order of the day those days
of the riots then violence and murder, looting was the order of the
day. I see the territory on the fringe that is before me. The
districts. The suburbs. The life and times of the elite who live
behind their high walls, their electric fences, their security fences
and dogs in White suburbia. It comes to me in heightened frequencies.
Violence is reality in post-apartheid South Africa but it is also
surreal. It is also a hallucination in Technicolor.

Otherwise violence is an excellent metamorphosis when studied
alongside individuals who committed themselves against fighting in the
struggle against apartheid. I cannot give it all up to my imagination
anymore. I must believe like Anne Frank that there is some good in
people and some bad but that there is good in them also. There was a
death, many deaths and bodies lying in the street. I cannot account
for the names and the faces that have crossed over to the hereafter.
We cannot all be monks and nuns. Violence tends to disrupt the order
in society, cause maladjusted behaviour, in the end what is its
purpose, what meaning does it give life?

In this world, like I have said before we cannot all be monks and nuns
but we can write. We can write poetry about the horrors of life, how
terrifying it still is to live in a racist post-apartheid South
Africa. If we write we can diminish and erase somewhat of the melody
and the blankness of the ultra-violence of the minor earth and the
major sky. We will never forget about burying the bodies of the men
and women who lost their lives in the riots like we can never forget
the struggle. The camps in Tanzania. Conversations and moods are
spiritual and bipolar in a sense when people talk about old-fashioned
days. We are haunted by those days. We want to relive them because for
us there was some vitality at flying solo before marrying, before the
school lessons and homework of children, the milk of human kindness
and tenderness.

Now I am reminded of Leo Tolstoy finding the kingdom of God within
himself, writing his letters to Ghandi, writing his confessions and
finally finding peace within himself. I am also reminded of Hemingway,
the writer driving ambulances during the war. River Phoenix, the actor
stumbling out of a club in the early hours of the morning, blinded by
alcohol, his veins pumped full of barbiturates. He later died of a
drug overdose. F. Scot Fitzgerald’s Jay Gatsby drinking bourbon.

Virginia Woolf’s waves, Lily Briscoe, and Mrs Ramsay. You may ask
yourself what does Barbra Streisand, Robert Redford, Venus and Serena
Williams, T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Jean Rhys, Ford Maddox Ford have to
do with gangs and gangsters. Ganglands and guns going off in the
middle of the night. They make me forget. They make me forget about
the children I will never have, that I have not picked up a racket in
over ten summers.

They remind me that there is truth and beauty and in the final
analysis that there will always be room for psychoanalysis in the
world.

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