In the past couple of months South Africa has been faced with on going violent attacks. These ‘Xenophobic’ or as we call it ‘Afrophobic’ has just gone too far.
I can't stand idly by and read more stories about loadshedding, (Electricity Outages) while my fellow South Africans are shedding the lives of enterprising foreigners. As a white Greek South African, I know what it's like to be discriminated against. I also know what it's like to have to feel like a target for criminals because of something completely beyond my control.
As a Greek South African and yes as a foreigner - I’m not 'taking the job' of another South African, by being employed legally. Nor are all the apparent victims of these senseless and despicable attacks, who are self-employed entrepreneurs who've faced far greater hardships than the desperate people who are now trying to simply take what foreigners have built up.
I know I'm preaching to the choir here. I just hope that we can all, in our own way, do what we can to spread a strong message that xenophobia is NOT ok; it is NOT funny; and it shouldn't be something to only be used by racists of all colours to say 'I told you so, look at this bunch of blood-thirsty hooligans'.
To the foreigners feeling even more isolated than ever in a foreign land, Wherever that may be in the world…even those residing and working in Greece…my apology here on behalf of those targeting you would be meaningless. All I can offer is my word that not all beings of the human race feel like those that are persecuting you, and we appreciate that you're just trying to work towards a better life for yourself however you can ... just like we all are, ultimately.
I call on to all Governments all over the world…to speak out against Xenophobia in a clear way that these agitators will understand, at the grass roots levels in local communities, that It is perfectly ok to disagree with your very own electorate, and until you are brave enough to make unpopular decisions with your own supporters you're not going to be deserving of the leadership positions they have elected you to.
When the rage is turned away from us, maybe fellow human beings can see more clearly that it's not hatred that drives racism ... it's fear and anger, willing to hit out at anybody and anything which is painted as “The Other”.
Let's take the one truth that is constructive away from the xenophobic violence - all citizens in the world are lost and in need of leadership - and start introducing positive leadership into our own lives rather than just reacting mindlessly with fear and anger as well.
To those lost in XENOPHOBIC violence around the world –may your bloodshed… not be in vain…may the world eventually listen up and do something to STOP this.
.....By Efi Kanavou...