The world is a mess!

People are suffering!

People are dying from Coronavirus and poverty.

For just one moment before lockdown, I heard President Cyril Ramaphosa say all the right things. I heard him voice his concerns about the economy during this initial 21-day lockdown and I heard promises that the South African Government will do the best they can to help the poor or those that can’t help themselves due to our high rate of unemployment and those living from paycheque to paycheque.

I was especially impressed with the way the Government had allocated R150 million towards alleviating problems. He spoke with admiration about R2 billion that was being made available from wealthy families namely the Rupert’s and the Oppenheimer’s. He encouraged people to donate towards this worthy cause.

That’s enough to help all of us who are poor, need water, food, medical supplies, self-employed and the small business owner.

So, while I stand under correction, and waited for this money to be distributed, I discovered the R2 billion was in fact loans that would be made available to the small, legally compliant business owner. It excluded the woman selling fruit and vegetables on the street, the spaza shop owners, the hairdressers in the township and so on.

It’s now Day 14 under lockdown and there is no doubt based on social media reports that people are suffering. Where I live, we have not had the army or police patrolling regularly but not far from me they are there in the townships. Treating people like criminals, shooting at them including at women, forcing older people back into their homes if they are sitting on their own veranda inside their garden.

The humanitarian assistance the army personnel was meant to provide has disappeared and in its place are people intent on wreaking havoc on black and brown bodies.

There have been deaths and rape at the hands of these people the President sent to “help” us.

I haven’t seen financial assistance yet. All I have seen are people, ordinary people mobilizing, putting their health at risk, using their last pennies and pleading for more from people who have so they can feed those who don’t. I have seen these angels at work that get up every day to feed others.

And I am ashamed of believing the President. I am ashamed at the level of racism from right-wing groups and liberal’s intent on spewing their hate for black and brown people even in a pandemic.

I am sad that we are not in all this together. That we are selfish people who have more concern about their streaming of a movie to alleviate boredom during this time than about the people dying on their doorsteps.

If hate bred love and selfishness, then we are all on the right track. If hate bred togetherness, then we are on the right track.

Hate, however, destroys love. Hate destroys compassion. Hate simply breeds more hate.

We are looking for someone to blame for the situation the world is in socially and economically so let us blame the Chinese because they eat animals. No, let us blame the corrupt government because they had 2 decades to pull us out of poverty and bankruptcy.

No, wait let us blame our neighbour for having 2 loaves of bread instead of 1.

Or maybe let us blame the people so wealthy that a billion Rands can be coughed up or made available in a day because they see another opportunity to further enrich themselves.

This was the one opportunity that wealthy people including the President had to redeem themselves in our eyes and they failed spectacularly.

They failed to show their humanity.

“The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.”

– unknown.