No us and them

There is no us and them, only us. The white supremacy thing, the patriarchy thing, the class thing: binary structures of inequality and violence. The antidote? Affirming equality already here and getting ourselves together, mixing it up, messing with it. Laugh at it, blow kisses. These structures depend on division, difference. They need walls. They’re not news, but they are fake. They are a joke, but not funny. How to get out of this simulation, this Matrix? Not by casting around for a better simulation of real life, a better hack. Not the blue pill but the red.

It’s becoming clearer that a lot of how we live is based on false premises. This is good news. That revelation will change everything. As will technology. As will the climate disaster. There is a lot of change coming our way, a lot of uncertainty: we are already in it. And it is going to hurt. (Learning always hurts.) No avoiding it, no way out – only through.

And here you are – already in place, already in motion. Finding your way. (Which may not mean getting your way. Sorry!) Here is something I read last week and I thought of you:

What is right, what is wrong? In this situation?
What a small question!
What is great? That is what my heart longs to ask. What is lush? What is bold, what is daring? In which direction lies maximum richness, abundance, delight?

~ George Saunders, Liberation Day, 25

What do you do when you don’t know what to do? An important question. Not-knowing is your friend, doubt is your friend. “When nothing will work, anything might. Now is the time for lots and lots of experiments.” (Clay Shirky)

Don’t take what isn’t given to you. Always move in the direction of your freedom, in the direction of more life, more love. Hold your seat. Hold onto your hat. Take part, take care. Take courage. Be of good cheer and be of good hope.

And have a really, really good time.

I wrote this for Fish Hoek High School’s annual two-day “Amazing Race” camp where Grade 11 learners go to think together about race, identity and community. Rob and I told them about our experience in the anti-apartheid underground in the late 1980s. It was a great evening.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.