South Africa Is Breaking My Heart, I Cry For My Beloved Country {Warning: Graphic Pictures}

I don’t usually post negative things on my blog – I generally try keep things around here as positive as possible and seeing as I am a very opinionated person I try my best to never write about politics. That being said, this blog is my personal outlet and this is something that has been resting heavy on my heart. Before I start, please know that I am not trying to insult anyone, I hate racism, I love my country.

I live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Cape Town takes my breath away and fills me with awe. I grew up somewhere even more beautiful… a gorgeous farm in Kanoneiland situated in between Upington and Keimoes in the Northern Cape – also known as the ‘Groen/Green Kalahari’. As beautiful as the landscapes and sunsets are, this place is filled with just as much ugly… and I am scared. It is like an abusive relationship – every time it gets bad I threaten to leave, but love and hope keeps me from following through… It will be better tomorrow, it’s not really that bad.

South Africa Is Breaking My Heart, I Cry For My Beloved Country - White Privilidge Racism Rhodes Must Fall Xenophobia Kanoneiland Sunset in africa

Last night I was lying in bed and instead of drifting off to a peaceful sleep I was figuring out my ‘game plan’ for when shit hits the fan – grab Knox, run to Mikayla’s room, grab her, climb out the window, sneak to the car, get in and speed off. I was playing out different scenarios in my head, what to do if this or that happened… should I pack an emergency getaway bag and keep it in the car? Should I get passports ready for the kids? Should I get a gun? Should I rather start homeschooling the kids? Should we just leave before it is too late? Will it ever get to that point?

Some people might read that pharagraph and roll their eyes, but when you have kids you are constantly worried about their safety and their future. I am scared all the time… I am scared when driving because I might get hijacked, I am scared while putting my kids into their car seats and into the car because I am vulnerable, I am scared when we are home because someone might break in and I won’t get to the kids in time…. I have worse fears, but they are to horrid to put down in black and white. I know I am kind of rambling, I always do… just bare with me.

Everything always seems to come down to race.

“I have one great fear in my heart, that one day when they are turned to loving, they will find we are turned to hating.” – Reverend Stephen Khumalo in Alan Paton’s Cry the Beloved Country.

I know that I am a privileged white South African. In terms of schooling, medical care and basic everyday life it has been relatively easy for me and I have been awarded some opportunities that definitely does not come easy to people of colour (I don’t even know if that is the right, politically correct way to refer to it, but when I say that I refer to the coloured people, black people and Indian people in our country). I have a tertiary education, I have a car, I live in a nice little house in a working class to ‘rich’ suburb, my daughter goes to a good school and we get by. I know apartheid was a terrible thing, but I sometimes catch myself thinking, “why are people so hung up on apartheid? Why can’t they just move on? I don’t even remember apartheid… ”

And then I sit and think about it… I mean really think about it. As white people we are privileged – some of us are lucky enough to have generational wealth. Our parents or grandparents were able to buy property, businesses or shares in businesses due to preferential treatment and employment. Some were then able to leave the proceeds of this wealth to their children as either an inheritance or a financial jump-start in life. We were exposed to better early childhood development and we get the benefit of the doubt. Our parents are mostly self-sufficient, where many of my fellow employees and friends of colour are supporting theirs. However, this is a reality for many white South Africans too – especially in this economic climate and our ridiculous excuse of a government. Acknowledge your privilege. Understand your privilege. Accept your privilege. I understand and accept my white privilege… how can I help end this violence and hate?

Now that it has been established that I am not completely delusional… can I ask you – how is it fair that we are being punished for something we had no control over? There is an anger in this country and none of us can predict the outcome or consequences– the anger at white South Africa and anything foreign. At no point since the birth of democracy has this been so palpable. Why is it, so many years after the nation’s founding president, Nelson Mandela, told us at his inauguration “the time for healing of the wounds has come” and “the moment to bridge the chasms that divide us has come”, are we moving further apart?

nelson mandela with Thabo Mbeki and F.W. de Klerk South Africa Is Breaking My Heart, I Cry For My Beloved Country - White Privilidge Racism Rhodes Must Fall Xenophobia

Looking at my Facebook newsfeed and news headlines over the past couple of days makes me want to cry, it breaks my heart that there is so much hate in this country…

#RhodesMustFall is a campaign by some UCT students where they called for the statue of Cecil John Rhodes to be permanently removed from campus, amongst other things. I don’t really have a say here as I am not and was never a UCT student and it does not really directly affect me. I do know this though – the statue of the man who founded the university has been taken down and in it’s place now stands a big old piece of nothing. I hope they feel better, now they can go to class in peace and not be afraid of this “wicked imperialist” who died over a hundred years ago. Yes, he was white supremacist and his politics were appalling, but this was at a time where this was the norm! By these  standards, all the greatest men and women of history were nothing more than greedy slave-owners and should be erased from history. I truly believe that people simply did not know better back then. I am sure deep down Rhodes knew he was an asshole, because when he died he left Tony (his coloured manservant) an annuity and a house. For someone with a white superiority complex, that is rather generous. It is no excuse, but you can’t erase the past. It happened and it has led us to where we are now. It is a hollow victory to defeat a man that is already dead. The only way to defeat a bad legacy is to leave your own, one that makes their legacy look bad and one to be proud of. We are very obviously not doing that.

Cecil John Rhodes Statue at UCT South Africa Is Breaking My Heart, I Cry For My Beloved Country - White Privilidge Racism Rhodes Must Fall Xenophobia #rhodesmustfall

In the wake of the #RhodesMustFall campaign,the Paul Kruger’s statue in Pretoria was defaced, a bronze army memorial in the Eastern Cape was ripped apart; a statue of King George V was doused with paint and mocked and a memorial in Uitenhage set ablaze by members of the EFF. This is what we have come to – chaos, vandalism and destruction. So tell me, #RhodesMustFall, what have you achieved? I will tell you, you have opened the floodgates of hate and you scratched at wounds better left in the past. Wounds that our country is trying to heal.

One Bullet One Settler South Africa Is Breaking My Heart, I Cry For My Beloved Country - White Privilidge Racism Rhodes Must Fall Xenophobia #RhodesMustFall one bullet one settler

Their conduct just further fuels racial division. I find the whole campaign to be rather sensationalist, if I must be honest. It also irritates me that these students are wasting valuable time and resources when they should be embracing the opportunity to learn and further their studies at one of South Africa’s most prestigious universities. A university that I could not afford to attend.

By the way… out of interest sake, are we now going to tear down the King Shaka airport as well? King Shaka of the Zulu actually brutally killed (sometimes by his own hand) so many Africans that he created a new map of the Eastern South Africa – chasing the Xhosa South and the Swazi North, bringing the Zulu clans under his iron rule.

King Shaka Zulu South Africa Is Breaking My Heart, I Cry For My Beloved Country - White Privilidge Racism Rhodes Must Fall Xenophobia

The hate in this country is unbearable, and it is not just the hatred of white people and statues. It is the hatred of everything foreign. A story was recently shared on Facebook where a white man visited the KFC in Eastgate, only to have the staff (in this specific case the staff in question were black Zulu females) refuse to serve him – giggling and laughing amongst each other saying that “he should go back to Europe where he came from”.

There are increasing attacks directed at foreigners in our country – Xenophobia has been on everyone’s minds. These attacks are incompatible with the values of our Constitution and pose a real threat to our democracy. If you remember the 2008 Xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals, you will remember the potential of such conduct degenerating into other opportunistic attacks on fellow citizens that could weaken and even reverse democratic gains, harm the economy, and ultimately harm South Africa’s standing internationally. We have worked so hard for basic respect for human rights, everyone has the right to live. Tell me… what can possibly make you so hateful and angry, that you are willing to go to these torterous and extreme measures? Six people have lost their lives in the Xenophobic attacks that broke out in late March this year. Amongst them were an Ethiopian man who shop was petrol bombed – he died in hospital from his burn wounds,  a 58-year old man that was attacked in his home and left for dead, and a 14-year old boy who was shot. Hundreds of foreign-owned shops have been looted and thousands of foreigners displaced. Malawi, Somalia and Zimbabwe have started evacuating their people from our country….

Tell me… how is this okay? This anti-colonial, anti-foreigner, anti-anything not indigenous black South Africa is ridiculous. The few black South Africans who are butchering and burning innocent people (and the ANC ruling government that is doing little to stop them – Zuma’s son is actually spurring this on!) must have become forgetful of their history and the role that their fellow Africans had played in helping them fight against the apartheid system that robbed them of their humanity.

“Ethiopia always has a special place in my imagination and the prospect of visiting Ethiopia attracted me more strongly than a trip to France, England, and America combined. I felt I would be visiting my own genesis, unearthing the roots of what made me an African. ” – Nelson Mandela

South Africa Is Breaking My Heart, I Cry For My Beloved Country - White Privilidge Racism Rhodes Must Fall Xenophobia A foreign national holds a knife following clashes between a group of locals and police in Durban on April 14 ,2015 amidst ongoing violence against foreign nationals living in Durban. Photo: STRINGER / AFP

A foreign national holds a knife following clashes between a group of locals and police in Durban on April 14 ,2015 amidst ongoing violence against foreign nationals living in Durban. Photo: STRINGER / AFP

South Africa Is Breaking My Heart, I Cry For My Beloved Country - White Privilidge Racism Rhodes Must Fall Xenophobia A local taxi driver pelts with stones a man on the ground during a confrontation with foreign nationals in the Johannesburg Central Business District on April 15, 2015. Photo: Marco Longari

A local taxi driver pelts with stones a man on the ground during a confrontation with foreign nationals in the Johannesburg Central Business District on April 15, 2015. Photo: Marco Longari

South Africa Is Breaking My Heart, I Cry For My Beloved Country - White Privilidge Racism Rhodes Must Fall Xenophobia

A local taxi driver is pushed around during a confrontation with foreign nationals in the Johannesburg Central Business District on April 15, 2015. Photo: Marco Longari

South Africa Is Breaking My Heart, I Cry For My Beloved Country - White Privilidge Racism Rhodes Must Fall Xenophobia A foreign national holds a machete to protect himself in Durban(AFP)

A foreign national holds a machete to protect himself in Durban(AFP)

South Africa Is Breaking My Heart, I Cry For My Beloved Country - White Privilidge Racism Rhodes Must Fall Xenophobia SA's xenophobia shame: 'burning man' case shut BEAUREGARD TROMP | 19 February, 2015 15:30 Mozambican Ernesto Nhamuave was set alight by a mob in Ramaphosa informal settlement on the East Rand in May 2008.

SA’s xenophobia shame: ‘burning man’ case shut BEAUREGARD TROMP | 19 February, 2015 15:30 Mozambican Ernesto Nhamuave was set alight by a mob in Ramaphosa informal settlement on the East Rand in May 2008. 

South Africa Is Breaking My Heart, I Cry For My Beloved Country - White Privilidge Racism Rhodes Must Fall Xenophobia Carol Lloyd was left injured and covered in blood after rocks were thrown at and shattered her car window in the latest wave of anti-immigrant protests near Johannesburg in South Africa

Carol Lloyd was left injured and covered in blood after rocks were thrown at and shattered her car window in the latest wave of anti-immigrant protests near Johannesburg in South Africa

I am sorry our government failed you, I am so unbelievably sorry. I feel like our country is at a tipping scale, that it could go either way. So what do we do… do we take a chance and hope for the best? Do we pack our bags and leave? What do you think?

We have an opportunity to build new legacies, create new scholarships, enhance our world and add to a horrible history by making a better future. Our beautiful, diverse rainbow nation is fading fast. I cry for my beloved country.

I would love to hear your opinion…

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48 thoughts on “South Africa Is Breaking My Heart, I Cry For My Beloved Country {Warning: Graphic Pictures}

  1. Am doing all to ensure my wife and kid’s safe passage and settlement abroad – I pledged my life to my country during the Angolan war – Refuse to go silently into that good night and I know that thousands feel and think this way. I started my life journey here and would like it to end here.

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  2. Pingback: Safety: How To Protect Yourself & Your Children During A Hijacking – Tips From An Expert | Caffeine and Fairydust

  3. It’s very refreshing and affirming to read your article. I am a first generation Canadian, my father fled SA in the 70s and came to Canada. He and our SA family are Chinese with a dash of dutch from the pre-statutory-prohibition days. I am visibly white. You mention that the violence seems senseless. Well I am posting my comment to express to you that the violence makes perfect sense. That is not to say that I condone violence, but that I understand the genesis of the push. I am currently working on a personal memoir regarding the multi-generational effects of apartheid segregation. The extreme oppression and violence that my father experienced and witnessed in SA obviously had a profound effect on his psychology. In particular, the Honorary White system had a profound and subversive impact upon his self-identity. Seeking Honorary White status or Whiteness caused my family to suppress and disregard our cultural practices and other elements of our identity. We even engaged in self-directed eugenics in more than one generation. The effects of these survival tools have played into how my father interacted with the world. The effects were not anything explicit or that he could manage or identify in himself. Nevertheless he handed down those subversive ideas to me directly and indirectly, and those apartheid acts of segregation had a profound impact upon how I view the world. Fortunately I’ve managed to seek personal assistance on an individual level. This help has included dissecting how the suppression of my person was interfering with an ability to relate in healthy ways to other people. The key to recovering is learning how to celebrate and communicate my identity in light of our profound history. In order to do this I need to recognise and celebrate the ways in which I am greatly different from the white and other people in my world despite looking entirely white myself. It means rejecting colonialism because the colonialist white-is-right ideas continue to plague the ways in which I self-identify. But I am one person. This process is happening around the world. People are learning to re-align their self-identity. It a huge process. To call it complicated is an understatement at best. People react to oppression in different ways. We don’t always have all the tools to communicate our feelings in constructive ways. I too cry for SA, and for the process required for healing. TRC cannot fix the real problems, which is the tangible effects of a nation taught to have hate within their hearts, not only for other people, but also to hate themselves. I am the personification of a race and culture eradicated. These days I have made it my mission to fight back and regain my family’s rightful place in the world.

    Thank you again for sharing. ❤

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  4. Beautifully written from the heart Maz – you have spoken for many people who are genuinely afraid of life in South Africa. I am from a long line of settlers traced back to the early settlers & my history echoes the history of SA. We left in 1997 with 2 young children (my husband is British) and even though I visit family annually in SA, we have given the daughters (now 20 & 27) all the opportunities & security they deserve. It is never easy to leave, but thinking about it & planning is the hardest part. There will be a time when you board a plane to ‘go home’ to elsewhere ….

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  5. Reblogged this on thedealis and commented:
    This is a well written piece. It’s a subject that, I’m sure, is on many a mind. South Africa…with all we’ve been through….we are better than this. We need to pull ourselves together. Now. Those who have gone before us (black, coloured, indian, white, purple and orange) fought too hard for the freedoms we enjoy. The freedoms we are not bestowing our continental brothers and sisters. It’s time to get with the programme…before we lose ourself as a nation. Bring back the Rainbow.

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  6. Hi. I feel your pain. I decided in 2011 I had enough fear to act. I immigrated to australia. Permanent residency was approved this week.

    I miss Africa. But I love australia.

    Good luck to all

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I haven’t read all the comments, as there are just too many. I agree with your thoughts, and you worded it extremely well. There is only one thing that grates me, and this is not just something you are saying. I have seen it mentioned in a quite a few of the comments here, and have friends saying the same. It is to sort out passports and go. Well, I’m glad if that is an option for you, but for most South Africans that is not the case. Unless we seek asylum (and I can’t imagine there are any countries willing to take us in for that reason…yet…), we cannot just flee the country. There is nowhere to go… This is our reality, and we will just have to live through it.

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  8. In 2001 my Dad was offered a job in California and so my family moved to the San Francisco Bay Area. We didn’t leave because we were afraid, but my parents knew we would have more opportunities here. I was 13 and am now 27, so I largely grew up here, but I have gone back to visit a lot and have always felt like a piece of home is missing here in the States. You can take the girl out of Africa, but you can’t take Africa out of the girl. However, I am married to an American (who has learned Afrikaans) and have an American son (growing up bilingual). The biggest reason I will never move back to live in South Africa? Safety. Our house has no fence, no burglar bars, no alarm system. Our doors are left unlocked regularly. I leave our expensive jogging stroller outside our front door, overnight, and it doesn’t get stolen. When I drive down the street, even in the bad parts of town, I am not afraid. This type of security does not exist anymore in South Africa, and I don’t think it sould be a luxury, that should just be how it is. People respecting poeple simply because they’re human. It should be the norm eveywhere, and I couldn’t go back or take my kid somewhere where it isn’t. And if I lived in South Africa with that fear and I knew that there were places in the world where I wouldn’t have to worry like that, I would leave and take my kids to safety.

    I love South Africa, I will continue to visit South Africa with my family, I will do what I can from abroad, but I will probably never live there again. As heated as politics can get over here, nobody is burning anyone alive.

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  9. Hi Maz, very well articulated post. Your thoughts and concerns are in line with my own. I am a coloured male, working for an internal company and might be at the means to transfer and immigrate if I really needed to. I have white wife and coloured son that looks like his mom(very white), so I to worry about his future. She has UK grandparents and because she is born 1982 she can apply for a British passport as well as for our son, because of the new UK law that extends to those born before 1983.
    If we really wanted to I could apply to be posted in UK as I’m in the offshore industry and my company has extended offices in this region. Thus possible to take my immediate family away from what’s happening in SA.
    The main factor though is SA is my home, It’s my wife’s home and my sons home. Her mother, brother and wife with child working in UK with UK passports for last seven years has come back home last year aswell, regardless of what they hear and see. And yes we live with the though of what’s next for SA, but also live happily and make due with what we still call our beautiful SA. No country has gone through the changes SA has had to. Some countries that have gone through less cruel, tortures division of races like aparthied or none at all like Libya, Syria etc… still having and had huge scale wars and civil wars, where killing has become a religious justification by those like ISIS, Boku Haram and many other organisations that only want to end the western and Christian world that we know.
    These tribe of terrorist kill masses of people and abduct schools of girls, and there is still no end in sight for the victims who are currently caught in the cross fire. Even the Thousands of people fleeing their home. refugees to another country with nothing to start their lives with but the horror of what’s behind and the clothes on their back. Can u imagine living like that. Not even a thought of an alarm system or burglars will come to mind, this is another level of living with fear. Where u need be afraid of the next mass assault will it be you and your kin, or the next journey on foot for days to get to a safe haven. I think about the truly horrible places we could have been born and SA does not even come close. We still have democracy, we have law, we have a civil community amongst the most part conducting daily activities. We have a free country. And compared to the worst we are living in luxury, even the poor.
    so I have been reading through all the posts and find myself almost disappointed, yes it’s yout right and all of those who has already left to leave. No judgement here, but if everyone leaves we are failing as the people who are privileged and could help. I might not have been privileged my mom was a librarian and dad was struggling insurance broker but they put me and my sis through public school and college with just enough for registration, my sis has her MBA and managers one of our local TV stations. She has lots of success as well as I, from making the best of what we had. Even though it’s not your responsibility as the past cannot be sanctioned down to the next generation, and u don’t even remember apartheid aswell as neither do I. It is however the responsibility of the privilege to give hope to those with no privileges and who has never ever had privileges. My wife managers with BEE, she is white with her own young bussiness and has to fight through the curve balls but makes it work. It would be easier for her without BEE, but she accepts her privileges and therefore doesn’t mind stepping aside for an underprivileged to have a life they never had.
    People speak of apartheid as if it’s a book u can shelf, people speak of crime as if it’s an ISIS crises, the truth is u cannot just phase out oppression, especially while u live with inherited or preferential privileges capitalised over the oppression of others. Crime is bad in in the country, but hardly every citizen is being attacked or fear for there lives daily. The criminal element is still very much a small factor compared to the population that resides as civil human beings. We have law, and neighbour watch systems in place where everyone can join their communities in the fight against crime. We have many good stories from my neighbourhood working together with SAPS and various security companies and residence making arrests and cleaning up the neighbour hood. We have lots of hope, even if the government is not prepared to help we help ourselves, and when a community stands together it becomes difficult to shatter, black white and coloured alike.
    As much as it is the government’s fault for not playing their part, we forget that apartheid has given birth to the criminal of this generation. had apartheid offered to educate without discrimination then we could also so that today could have been brighter. Black’s blame whites, whites blame blacks and here we don’t realise the current common enemy is the government. There are many blacks who know the ANC is corrupt and many that know they need to also force the change. But the ANC is so successful in citing drama between the two that the propaganda being used fuels the cycle. Rhodes. Kruger. .. All seeds planted by ANC. Apartheid and Riebeeck all seeds planted by ANC. The ANC has unleashed it’s strategy for power and it’s by dividing the white and the black. As long as there is hate there, black will be loyal to the only party it knows, and white will always play the role of the catalyst by deriding the party back into favour. ANC is smarter than we think, their selfish political intension go hidden while we all continue a reaction to our own demise.
    Remember there are many living in shacks that don’t have social media or news, or don’t understand the social media for what it is. They purely rely on the broken telephone information they generate from others living alongside. As we know the message will leave one mouth, go to various ears and eventually become a distorted message of something that’s wrong. Try living like this and with only a portable toilet outside at an ominous location away from your security, and think what life and crime is like for the people that are hugely disadvantaged. Every word they here is the, and every sight they see is of the privilege they were declined and then see if you can still say apartheid is long gone for them.The message is distorted and some bad, bored thugs with nothing to lose incite the hatred into chaotic acts like xenophobia, because its also gives a reason to loot and steel. Just another seed from political propaganda to defuse the government’s failings into the fault of others.
    The question should be asked what can the privileged do, how can we share the wealth, how can we expose the trojan horse of the government. How can we coincide with the less privileged, so that we don’t breath anger and division.
    I don’t have the answers, but what I do know is that running away only makes those privileges that the unfortunate never had even more obsolete. And so the statue was a heritage symbol. More of a white supremacy heritage. so if it cures a few more hearts why not use the seeds of the government against themselves. stand together and applaud the removal, reverse the catalytic reaction ANC depends on. The states doesnt bother anyone and means nothing but division anyway. so try standing for what the black person thinks is the liberated SA, provide support instead of prejudice. The black man has listed to enough bias, it doesn’t work. let’s try something else. let’s pin the ANC against the ropes with national understanding of the our unpriviled needs, its pointless stopping the various streams of the flood like crime, economy, education…. we need to dam the source of the anarchy without forgetting the past of apartheid. forgetting is an insult to youth day which is a reminder of the struggle for those that risked their lives against apartheid. madiba was the greatest president SA ever had and he would say forgive and the time for healing has begun. We need to also remember because it’s educational into our liberated SA heritage. This education prevents future genocides like the holocaust. We need to remember who the enemy is, to up route it we need to love it’s followers first into loving us in return. Our privileges that we accept as if it was fate is fate indeed. Fate is not without a sense of irony, ask yourself who amoung you will use that privilege to help the mindset of many?

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    • Iam a white male 62, and grew up in the apartheid era. As a chid i was indoctronated to live aware of the dark forces of communism looming over us, ready to cosume the white minority. As a child, i used to freely mix with the workers where my dad took me along to work, that was before i started school. Never did i perceive aggression from any of the adults,all african, that made me feel threatened. I shared food and felt very accepted. When i grew older i became aware of the diffrent attitude towards education in the different race groups. As a young apprentice, i shared this training with a “colourd and black” person, and was acutely aware of the attitude where my fellow students believed that they were not up to learning the trade. I did not like school, but when i started working, i realised that my practical demeaner suited the work i was training in perfectly. It took a long time of encouriging to get these fellow students to accept that they were as fit for this training as i was. My willingness, and unencumberment of apartheid, made it much less of a burden to leave what was behind, and give myself wholly to the training. Needless to say, they were discriminated against for every little mistake made, and i did my utmost to make known to them were i failed so as for them to see we were the same. They both qualified, and one even became self employed, the other i did not keep track of. I am here to stay in this country, and i am so glad to see you are also optimistic that we can make a diffrence. To rout out the problem is our biggest challange, and to educate people to observe and form their own thoughts and reactions, maybe our biggest challange. May we take note of our shared vision,and be optimistic in our expectation of a time where race groups or ethnic preferences, can be freely exercised without discrimination. Where we will be free to choose how we want to live wihtout other people to be offended by our choice.

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  10. Lovely article. For one, Africa is a place where for its beauty most people would want to live here, for its problems most people want to leave. Africa will always have problems as the divide between rich & poor and those with jobs and those without will always be too big.A couple of years ago MR Z mentioned how he would create 1 million jobs in 10 years, the problem is we grow by 10 million people every 10 years so the ratio of 1 working to 10 not working is not improving and is unlikely too and this is for too many reasons to mention. Is it a nice place- yes, do you live well- probably, but you leave once you personally cannot deal with the problems at hand. There is no right or wrong decision either, some people can handle and deal with a lot more. personally I am packed and flying in 2 weeks.

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  11. Thank you for this wonderful post! Maz, you were able to eloquently articulate my exact thoughts. I am a 26 year old colored female from Cape Town. After I graduated 4 years ago, I left South Africa. I am teaching English in Asia. I had to get out. I could not find a job. I searched for months on end. This finally influenced my decision to leave. I was only going to be away for one year. I ended up staying longer. As much as I love our beautiful country and I feel that it has so much potential, I have no desire to live there permanently. Earlier, this year, I went home for a few weeks. The worst part of leaving was leaving my family behind. I had such a great holiday in Cape Town, which made me question leaving. My second last night, I went out in Town. My brother and I were assaulted. Someone broke into our car. The guy had a knife and stabbed us . We called the police, who took hours to arrive. My brother and I managed to catch him. My injuries were minor, however my brother had to go for an operation. He could not work for months. I was so happy to leave Cape Town two days later. I miss it and it will always be my home. But right now I have a roof over my head, a job and most importantly I am safe. It is tough to live in a foreign country because everything is foreign. However, I don’t have to worry about avoiding certain areas at night, not being able to drive after midnight, being mugged or stabbed or coming home to a burgled house. I feel sorry for my family and I wish I could’ve taken them with me. But it is really nice to live without fear. Of course, I’m still vigilant wherever I go. But I don’t fear going out at night. I have met many expats and they cannot believe how life in South Africa is. It will always be my home but I did what was right for me. I really do have hope for South Africa and the future but until then I don’t see myself living there. I’m going to visit in a few months and my boyfriend (American) will accompany me. I’m already fearing that something bad might happen. A friend from Costa Rica visited South Africa last year and he was robbed on the spot. It saddens my heart that a country with so much great potential and beauty can hurt so much. Good luck to you and your family, but sometimes the grass is greener on the other side.

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  12. Hi Maz

    Well written article. I have to say you’re not the only one. I live up in Gauteng, Ol’Pretoria… I didn’t have the privilege most people of colour assume I had and this goes for most of my friends as well. Yes we went to government schools, parents had to pay school fees (which they couldn’t afford at the time), so much so that I ended up in 13 different schools during my life and it was most certainly not easy. My parents managed to feed me, educate me and accommodate me until I was 19 years old. I left home, started a job, tried this, tried that… Now I have my own business, 24 employees and may seem very successful to those “less fortunate”…

    The point I’m trying to make is: South Africa provides everyone with opportunity, some more than others – but this does not make it an ideal place to live. I don’t have kids yet, but I’m planning to get out before I take that step. South Africa is not a place where you can raise mentally healthy children. Fear should not be part of your daily schedule and up here in Gauteng we have it in our faces more often than I’d like to admit.

    The harsh reality is simple: We are not the same. We do not share the same ideals. We do not share the same values. So – We need to move to a place where these values and ideals are at least in close proximity. I think the sooner we leave them to it the better. There’s a reason why Europe is extremely developed and Africa isn’t… We’re just not the same – trying to force our ways on the africans (even if we think our version of civilised is the best) is not going to work… ever.

    The tensions will always remain. We’ll always get blamed for everything that goes wrong. Zimbabwe fell flat on it’s face and most African countries are barely getting by. Once we’re all gone the country will fall into darkness and africans will run out of people to blame. They will starve and suffer – and we “Europeans” will ship some food via UN Food Programs to them to make sure they don’t die… and the cycle continues…

    Liked by 1 person

  13. You are being asked to login because skymapper639@impactcraters.info is used by an account you are not logged into now.
    By logging in you’ll post the following comment to South Africa Is Breaking My Heart, I Cry For My Beloved Country {Warning: Graphic Pictures}:

    Hi,

    My advice to you – Get out if you can. I left/escaped in 1994, just a few years out of high school, as soon as I had enough for an airfare, and I could not wait to leave. I left on a one-way ticket, with quite literally the clothes on my back and whatever I could cram into a rucksack.

    I knew the writing was on the wall way back then.

    I also threw away that stupid little green ID booklet, I never needed it ever again….best thing I ever did in my entire life was leaving that hole behind.

    So, in 20 years, what have they achieved? Did you know that in the early 1990’s, SA had an excess of generating capacity? So much so, in fact, that they mothballed three power stations. Now, they can’t even keep the fucking lights on…the country has regressed, not progressed. Crime is up, unemployment is up, they should have invested heavily in education, education, education these past 20 years and steadily bring the whole country up; with education come skills, and with skills, come jobs, stability and investment. Instead the corrupt ruling class has simply focused on stuffing its own pockets, and implementing blatantly racist BEE policies. Couple that with gross mismanagement and ineptitude, and what do you have? Even worse, the current crop of clowns will get re-elected, that you can be sure of. The dream died with Madiba, bless Him…now there’s a time bomb here waiting to go off.

    I’m sorry if I come across as sounding negative – I’m not. I’m just a realist. You have to do what’s right by your family. Do you want to keep waiting, hoping and praying things will somehow magically get better? Living behind burglar bars, being fearful of being carjacked, shot, raped or whatever…that’s not living…that’s surviving. My father and his partner were forced to kneel, while they robbed at gunpoint in their own home, guns pressed against their heads. The gang waited in the shadows and forced their way in as they were getting in, despite all the high security measures. Is this how you want to keep living? Now I have my own family, and no way would I ever want to relocate them to SA. I have to do right by my family and that abso-fucking-lutely means not putting them in mortal peril.

    I do not miss the place, not one little bit. But I still have family there, and I worry about them. If I had the financial means, I would relocate them all in a heartbeat, in a heartbeat. I also have a large extended family, and a lot of us moved there on the 70’s…but they’ve all gradually moved back the the home country, even the ones born in SA. Under BEE, they simply have the wrong skin colour.

    The grass isn’t necessarily greener on the other side, but there is electricity, and you can live in relative safety and go out at night.

    So I hope you can get out – Good luck! A better life awaits your family out there in the big wide world 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I felt so sad reading your article. We had to leave Zimbabwe fir very similar though not as violent reasons, and have left the Cape too. I was always terrified about the well being if my children, and had terrible nightmares and drastic unmentionable thoughts.
    There are problems in every country, but we are in Italy now and as irritating as done things are, I feel safe here. We are in a farming area and my husband and I can sit outside and enjoy the stars without any security gates, alarms, cameras etc around our property.
    I still miss the beauty of Cape Town and family and dear friends. Having said that I wouldn’t want to go back. I’d rather have less of the lifestyle and more of the well being.
    Go with your gut feel. Wishing you luck. It’s scary to move but feeling safe is always going to be an issue there Best, Jo

    Liked by 1 person

  15. That was a well structured article.
    I’m an Indian South African I moved to the Uk 12 yrs ago to work, but all my family is still in SA.

    I have three kids my parents only grand kids, the reasons and ur fears for your kids and yourself is the reason I wouldn’t even consider going back home as much as I miss it.

    It is such a freedom in itself not to have all those worries about locks, bolts, alarms, escape plans.

    I run late at night on my own, I stay alone at home no burglar bars no alarms, I drive late at night on dark country roads and I not once do any of those questions cross my mind re what if, am I safe..
    It’s a freedom I wish everyone deserves to experience.
    The freedom not to continously be wary or worry re your or ur loved ones safety.

    Now I sit here worrying about my ageing parents that live on their own, and my young brother that doesn’t sleep at night worried about keeping his wife and family safe.

    It’s sad very sad and makes no sense.
    Human life is human life, blood runs through all our veins and pumps from our hearts despite what colour the external package is.

    Praying for the safety of u and ur family…

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Get out while cu can bro. I did. Have a family of 3kids & didn’t want them or myself/ wife to be come another statistic. So packed up & left. Moved around a little but now in Ireland. Was in SA for 15 years. Wondered if it was the right thing at the time but now I know it was! The politicians (especially a certain Mr Z), are ruining that lovely country. Get out while u can. You owe it to urself & ur family to keep them safe. Job & money will come eventually & u will be able to pay any debt off but if u all end up dead, that wouldn’t be good. God bless.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Hey,

    So if I was in your situation (responsible for two children), I would leave. You have to do what’s best for your kids, and if you can find a way to build a better life for them overseas, then do it.

    As a single 31 year old Indian male with no debt, no “responsibilities” and very few assets, the only reason I am still here is because of my friends and family, and because I am waiting to see what happens. Socially, politically, and economically, South Africa is at a tipping point, and which direction it’s going to go I am not sure yet, but the next few years are going to decide the fate of this country for a very long time.

    The only thing I can say for certain is that if there isn’t a major political shift by the end of the 2019 elections (I don’t expect the ANC to lose, but I do expect them to lose the majority vote), I will pack things up and look for greener pastures.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Maz, you and your family get out now if your able.

    We loved SA but I took my family out in January 94. Our three kids were aged 7, 5 & 3. We live in Brisbane, Australia. I have never been back, and never intend to.

    I sold my company, and emmergrated without having a job to come to. Yes, it wasn’t easy, after leaving our paid up home at the age of 37 years, in an up market suburb in Port Elizabeth, and having no debt, we now at the age of 58, have a mortgage and know we will still have it for sometime to come.

    In spite of this, we have never been happier with the fantastic quality of life.

    Yes, for some time, you will miss SA, but it pails into insignificance with the quality of life you will gain.

    Wish you all the best.

    Like

  19. Hi Maz, I came across your blog as I was following a sad story unfolding here in Port Elizabeth of a young mother, Jayde Panayiotou who is missing since yesterday morning and the only lead that the police has, is that they have a picture of a man withdrawing money from her banking account about an hour after she went missing.It is horrific and very sad indeed that we are all living in fear in South Africa.We have to be on the alert at all times and can never relax completely or become complacent, but if all the good people want to leave South Africa because of the rotten elements, what message are we sending out there to these rogues? Are we telling them that we are too weak to fight back with righteousness? Are we telling them that we have lost all hope in prayer and we don’t believe that good will eventually reign over evil? Are we telling them that it is okay for them to carry on with this carnage and they now have free will to do as they please and allow them to take over and ruin this beautiful country that belongs to all of us? Are we all just going to give up and selfishly take our own little family unit and try to go settle in a foreign country and face the unknown? Believe you me, there is crime and injustice in every country. Or are we going to unite as peace-loving, honest and righteous South Africans and fight back to reclaim peace and prosperity in our country?

    Like

    • I understand your viewpoint, but yes – I am going to be selfish and get my little family out of here. I have tried, but I am not willing to put my childrens’ lives at risk. They can have South Africa, kill each other off and be done with it. I can’t take it any more. Yes, there is crime everywhere…. Statistically our violent crime rate is much higher! It is not my responsibility to stay here in order to send a positive message – this country has done absolutely nothing for me except offer a spectacular view.

      Like

      • In your own words as to what South Africa has done for you as quoted below is the exact reason why I am trying to persuade you to not give up and answer your question … how can I help end this violence and hate?

        “I know that I am a privileged white South African. In terms of schooling, medical care and basic everyday life it has been relatively easy for me and I have been awarded some opportunities that definitely does not come easy to people of colour (I don’t even know if that is the right, politically correct way to refer to it, but when I say that I refer to the coloured people, black people and Indian people in our country). I have a tertiary education, I have a car, I live in a nice little house in a working class to ‘rich’ suburb, my daughter goes to a good school and we get by. I know apartheid was a terrible thing, but I sometimes catch myself thinking, “why are people so hung up on apartheid? Why can’t they just move on? I don’t even remember apartheid… ”

        And then I sit and think about it… I mean really think about it. As white people we are privileged – some of us are lucky enough to have generational wealth. Our parents or grandparents were able to buy property, businesses or shares in businesses due to preferential treatment and employment. Some were then able to leave the proceeds of this wealth to their children as either an inheritance or a financial jump-start in life. We were exposed to better early childhood development and we get the benefit of the doubt. Our parents are mostly self-sufficient, where many of my fellow employees and friends of colour are supporting theirs. However, this is a reality for many white South Africans too – especially in this economic climate and our ridiculous excuse of a government. Acknowledge your privilege. Understand your privilege. Accept your privilege. I understand and accept my white privilege… how can I help end this violence and hate?”

        Like

  20. Being afraid everyday, is no way to live. I honesty feel that there isnt a future in this country for my children. The rate at which this country is deteriorating, I think the writing is on the wall. For parents, your first priority is a future for your children. What will be left 5 years from now, at this rate? Im willing to go anyway, just to enjoy the basic thing that civilized countries offer… going to bed with peace of mind, walking down the road without looking over your shoulder, traveling to work without be afraid if you will make it home at night to your family. These are the things that add to quality of life and we dont have that, as it is. So YES, I want to leave, leave MY country, my beautiful land.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Very well written. And I may not white, but I had a good upbringing as well. Started out in the coloured Cape Flats are of Mitchells Plain. But dad had a good job so I attended a good school in Constantia then we moved to Fish Hoek and I switched to Fish Hoek high. So we were doing okay financially. Mom adn dad both had their own cars and my 2 sisters and I were getting great education. That’s was late 90’s. Fast forward to now and I’m living on my own in Retreat for about 4 years already, with my own car and a very good job. Folks still live in Fish Hoek and doing well. But in my 4 years here on my own, my place has been broken into. And the feeling of coming home from work to find your clothes all thrown out of your cupboards and on the floor made me feel so violated. Then a few months after that I got mugged at gunpoint in the area. I was fine for the rest of that day emotionally, but that night was when it hit me: thinking about how lucky I was to get away with my life and what could have gone wrong. I’ve never travelled out of the country before so I decided to start saving and go somewhere I’ve never been and in 2013 I went to Dublin, Ireland for 3 weeks. Wow! What an eye-opener. Affordable taxi-cabs that work right through the night and actually wait outside pubs/clubs to get you home. Buses that offer reliable and safe transport also until the late hours at night. Walking around in the bustling streets feeling safe and secure, not having to suspiciously eye every stranger approaching you. I really enjoyed it, and kinda keen to get back there for good. So I say do it. If you can organize yourself employment then make that move. For a few years now I’ve felt this country is going down the tubes. And our government is just not worried, all they are doing is finding ways to fill their own coffers. The people are fending for themselves and it’s all gonna spiral further out of control. If the ANC ever loses an election that could be the tipping point in my humble opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for reading my post and for your beautiful comment! People like you makes me want to stand up and scream: “SEE! It can be done, it’s not impossible!” You can do anything through hard work, determination and perseverance. No-one is going to hand you a job etc. on a silver plate. Also, I feel that with BEE, it is just that much easier for people with colour. I really struggled to find a job this year – I have about four e-mails in my inbox “Thank you so much for your application, we regret to inform you that even though you are over qualified for the position – we are only taking coloured and black applicants at this stage.”I didn’t start killing people, or have violent protests… I looked harder, begged and eventually got a good job. Anyway, I am getting off topic.
      I am sorry that you have had such traumatic experiences. It is a norm in our country… That is why I never say it is a “white genocide”… this is so much more than that. People of all races are effected, every single day. Our government has completely failed us.
      We had friends visiting from the UK last week and we had unscheduled loadshedding during one of our braais, they were in complete disbelief. They had heard about loadshedding, but thought it was a hoax. They also thought I was some paranoid freak when I told them that they had to avoid driving through certain areas at certain times, that they couldn’t drive around with any valuables in visible places or leave things in the car, that she could not dare to walk to the shop at night on her own. She couldnt understand why my husband jumped up every time the security lights went off, or why we would’nt allow our child to play in the front garden while we were at the back. NO ONE SHOULD HAVE TO LIVE LIKE THIS! No black, Coloured, Indian, Muslim, Chinese, English, Afrikaans…. no one deserves this. We have become desensitized to what is going on around us… we need to wake up. Unless there is a huge change, I see war coming. I look at someone like Mmusi Maimane and I have a glimmer of hope… I am also not stupid, our president is untouchable. We will never get the chance to see what Mmusi could do.
      It’s time to get out.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Leave as soon as possible. There is nothing to fight for in South Africa because the goverment is a joke. There is absolutely no consequences for the bad people who commit these crimes. I lived in Cape Town for 38 years of my life and leaving there was the BEST decision I made in my life. I live in America and yes there is crime in every country but here in America there are consequences for people who do not abide by the law. If you call 911 there is almost an immediate response. I had to call 911 when my husband got sick and within 2 minutes I had the help I needed from the Police and paramedics. This is unheard of in SA. I can travel overseas and leave my house unattended for 2 to 3 weeks at a time and never worry about anyone breaking in. My 10 year old daughter has a safe place to play, can leave her bike outside without having to worry about it being stolen. There are way more resources to tap into here than South Africa has to offer. It is a nightmare to live under such ridiculous circumstances. If you love your family LEAVE. Give your children the opportunity to experience life the way a normal child should. When you dont have to worry about who is going to kill you and harm your family you will have more time on your hands to do meaningful things and make those memories with your loved ones. I left 14 years ago and yes you will have to learn to adapt, however the reward is priceless. I adapted and made a success of my life and I find myself in a situation that through my perserverance, hard work and staying focused on my goals that i am at a very good place in my life. So yes it is possible and it can be done. Do not let anyone try to convince you otherwise. Do not spend your life trying to fight a losing battle, instead take the life that you have left and live it the way it is suppose to be. Good Luck…you CAN do this. Again….LEAVE !!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  22. Im very sorry to hear alot of south africans have left because all these attacks,i really don’t blame any of you for leaving or wanting to leave,the situations just gotten way out of hand…it has been for a very long time….people tend to hold on to old grudges,sometimes just to justify their existence if they believe they have nothing left,this whole xenophobia noise is one big excuse for criminals to take advantage of the break ins and robberies but whats shameful is that opportunists are never far away and they always make a situation worse,the number of them…even more so…im a 22 year old black son of johannesburg and my heart weeps for this country,unfortunately with our circus of a government things are gona get worse before they get better…and our younger generation are the ones who are gona pay for it…for my elderly folk here,i know leaving your heritage behind may be heart wrenching…but never forget you helped build this beautiful nation of ours,south africa would be lost without you…

    Liked by 2 people

  23. I left south africa a few years ago…
    Do I consider going back? NEVER.. (probably with a b52 filled with bombs that wouldn’t hurt animals)
    To all whites, Get out while you still have a life … the new Zimbabwe is coming
    take my word ….
    It’s so simple… Name me as many african countries as you can that have peace between white and black…. ??
    you can’t ….
    War is at your doorstep and is knocking … its up to you!

    Like

  24. I stumbled into your blog — not sure how — but here I am nevertheless. Your thoughts are well communicated and I know what you are going through.
    25 years ago my wife and I faced the raw reality of “what to do next” — this after the crime was slowly creeping out of the townships into the “White” areas (remember this was in the late 80’s). Friends were getting robbed, attacked and the culmination was a cold blooded shooting of a friend’s wife in her driveway of her house because she pushed the “panic button” in her hand as she was getting carjacked …. the house alarm went off and she was shot several times. Her VW Combi was stolen. Kids witnessed her murder …………… in Sandton.

    So, we decided to make serious plans to emigrate (our kids were 13 and 10 at the time). Fast forward to Chicago suburbs 2015. Yes we have family in Cape Town and Johannesburg (wife’s mother who is 85 years old described yesterday how she had to walk down 3 stories because the lift was not working due to load shedding !! Unheard of in the civilized world.

    The next problem SA will face is water supply.

    Anyway — the point to make to you ….. is to make plans to leave. Do it for the sake of your kids, do it for your sake. But do it !! The writing has been on the wall for a while now, just take the time to understand where the country is right now, and where it is going. No amount of praying, hoping or wishing will help. It will take years (if not generations) to fix it ….. Emigration is on the list of the 3 worst life occurrences (divorce and the death of a close one are the others). But you know, there is so much better elsewhere. Just needs planning.

    Your professional career can be replicated anywhere in the English speaking world — my brother is a top Immigration Attorney in Toronto. I will be glad to introduce you. Australia is great too (softer landing due to many factors). USA is a different world !! (not easy to get in).

    Want to chat more ? find me on skype or email

    Be safe
    Joel

    Like

    • Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to write to me, Joel.

      Growing up on a farm in the Northern Cape I was always acutely aware of the horrendous farm murders happening all around us and it was terrifying. My dad made us feel safe, we never felt like we had to worry.. Bad things only happen to other people right?
      Anyway, I never though much of it until I moved to Cape Town. I’ve been mugged so many tines I’ve lost count… I think the first time I really considered leaving was when a friend of mine’s cousin got raped when pulled over, by a policeman – with her kids sitting in the car. Then the first wave of Xenphobic attacks hit in 2008 and my maid was thrown out a train and onto the track – she is a 50year old lady from the Eastern Cape – not even a foreigner. Last year a coloured woman was hijacked, she could not get her baby boy out of the car as he got caught in the safety belt… The hijackers sped off dragging the child behind the car for km’s. Needless to say he died and that mother will never be the same again… It is since that specific incident that I can’t. Stop seeing the violence around me. I am so scared for my kids. I am no racist, I believe we all should have an equal and bright future. Unfortunately there is too much hate in this country for that ever to happen. Hate towards whites, hate towards blacks, hate towards colourds, foreigners, hate between the Zulus and the Xhosas, hate everywhere. The people here are not willing to forgive and forget and our parliament uses race to stir or win every argument. We can hope all we want, but in my heart of hearts I feel it will only get worse. I feel war coming. Nevertheless, I don’t think I’m planning to stock around and see whats in store for my gorgeous, innocent children.
      It just feels so impossible to just immigrate somewhere, my husband has a British Passport, but it feels like it would cost an absolute fortune. Also, it breaks my heart to even think of leaving my parents and sisters behind.

      All I know is that I can’t live like this anymore. My anxiety is is through the roof, I am always on guard – I hardly sleep.

      It is terrible. Where to even begin.

      Like

      • Been through the big move recently, to Aus. It seems like a lot of money to you now, but once you start earning in the new currency you quickly make that up. And is there really a price that you can put on the safety of your kids or on them having a secure future? Many people think that they will get out when they decide that they want to move. They are going to get one hell of a surprise. Aus is getting extremely difficult to get into. The doors is closing fast, if not closed already for the most

        Like

  25. Thus far I am fearing for my life, I work for an international company, a great opportunity and now I have the need to flee this country but I can’t just leave my parents, brothers and sisters, and my girl, I don’t know what to do really, I’m speechless 😶

    Like

  26. Thank you for taking the time to put pen to paper and writing what so many of us feel. Your article was posted on FB by my daughter for my special attention as she has so often heard me say, “My heart bleeds for my country”.

    Your article is well balanced! Well said!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Our country is still beautiful, and relatively safe if you know which areas to avoid, not have anything of any value visible in your car at any time, don’t walk alone at night, have an alarm system, armed response and electric fencing… Yeah… It has pretty much gone to hell from a safety perspective. Then again, our president thought he wouldn’t get aids if he took a shower after having sex – what do you expect. Our corrupt government is failing our country and creating a terrible divide – spurring on racism and violence. It is sad, but it is reality.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. A very well written article. I feel the same as you. I grew up in Ugie Eastern Cape in the 1970’s/80’s. My life was idyllic on the farm with all my black friends. Although I am now living in the UK, my heart will always belong in South Africa. I am appalled and heartbroken at what is happening at the moment. South Africa is a beautiful country with so much potential….so many Christians praying for peace and love to prevail. I continue to do the same. Forgiveness, love, peace and moving on for the greater good of the country is what is needed. Alison Gaven

    Like

  28. Maz you write so beautifully, and I agree with everything that you say so deep down in my soul it hurts. I had this exact argument out at lunch with friends who argued that there is not enough positivity in the country and people shouldn’t just be leaving. I find it very difficult to stay positive while trying to be logical and rational. My heart breaks for our country, I am so unbelievably saddened by the state of things and I wish I knew what we all could do to make it better. What do we do? How can we help to improve the situation? How do we stop the hate? I feel like our country is a volcano, building up with all this hatred… People are hurt so deep down that they lash out and focus on anything and everything except their own pain. It’s so much easier to hate than to forgive when you are hurting, but it can’t carry on like this for much longer. Something is going to have to give and I fear for the worst… I think you’d be a fool not to. Hope for the best but prepare for the worst, that’s our sad new reality. 😦

    #stopthehatesa

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Elana! And I agree. I’ve told Cole we need to get the kids’ passports sorted out… It is time to make a backup plan… i am not sticking around to find out wether or not my kids will have a safe future… my only job is to protect them, and in this country it is getting harder every day.

      Liked by 1 person

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