EYE SAY – THIS PROTEAS TEAM IS A DISGRACE

 

I can’t explain the deep anger that welled up in me when I saw the photograph of white South African Proteas refusing to ‘take the knee’ at T-20 World Cup in the UAE and Oman.

I take it as a ‘fuck you’ gesture on their part – a ‘fuck you’ to every black South African, besides the fact that it tells everyone there is no unity in this side.

They are not a team.

Even if they should win the World Cup. Even if they should stand with their hands around one another’s shoulders, they still won’t be a team.

I can’t – and I won’t support them.

There are several people I blame for South African cricket’s drop to the bottom of the pit toilet….

Cricket South Africa’s Director of Cricket, Graeme Smith is at the top of my list. I blame him for the ugly sight of more than half the team not kneeling over the weekend. Does he believe black lives matter in South Africa?

It’s a simple question.

The way I see it, either he doesn’t, or he is not really in control of the running of cricket in this country.

Both are sackable offences, in my opinion.

He must go.

And he should take the coach, Mark Boucher, with him.

Here’s another thing: when Lawson Naidoo became chair of Cricket South Africa’s Board of Directors, he made some lofty promises, following what he described as ‘years of mismanagement and maladministration.

‘The new board has to rebuild confidence in CSA, he said.

“To regain public trust, we need to rebuild relationships with all the stakeholders, players, sponsors, media and the fans. We need to be open and honest in our engagements with them.’

With this, he has proved to be all mouth and no action. He has failed his first test.

Perhaps he should reconsider his position too.

Let me stress: Black Lives Matter, to me – and let me take cricketing great Michael Holding’s explanation of the term to say why (because he explains it so well)….

‘[It] is frustrating that people against the movement use language to try to discredit it. If we just put the word “too” on the end they would soon keep quiet,’ Holding says in his book, ‘Why we Kneel, How we Rise.’

‘{Some] people say: “ALL lives matter.” If only that were true.

‘It is so patently obvious that ALL lives DON”T matter because it is Black people who risk death when leaving their front door in America [or in any township in South Africa],

‘Black people who are followed by shop security, Black people who are abused on a daily basis and Black people who are judged just because of the colour of their skin, before they have even spoken or acted to show who they really are.

‘That’s hard to come to terms with if you’re white. And not open-minded.’

‘And we know what’s that called, right? White privilege.’

In Southern Africa – and later in the Union and then Republic of South Africa – from the time of the arrival of the first white colonialists, under the leadership of Jan van Riebeek in 1652, ONLY white lives mattered.

Indigenous people were hunted down like vermin.

Thousands of their children were kidnapped.

Their land was stolen.

When the National Party came into power after a whites-only general election in 1948, black communities were displaced and dumped in the middle of nowhere in terms of new legislation.

And Coloured people were uprooted from their homes close to their places of work and sent to live in barren townships.

So, do all lives matter?

No! They absolutely do not. Never did. Still don’t in South Africa.

Even after the defeat of apartheid, there was no fundamental change in the lives of the majority of black people.

Promises made to them were – and continue to be – glibly broken.

Spatial apartheid continues as before.

The best jobs still go to those who lived off the fat of the land during apartheid.

For white people, on the other hand, life goes on very much as it has for hundreds of years.

And now they want to tell me – and you – with looks of mock sincerity that ‘All lives matter’.

So, let me respond with all the meaning I can muster: Piss off.