21 March is Human Rights Day:
On March 21 1960, a group of between 5 000 and 10 000 people converged on the local police station in the township of Sharpeville, OFFERING themselves up for arrest for NOT carrying their passbooks. Later the crowd grew to about 20 000. Many people attended purely to support the protest.
Police were heavily armed with sub machine guns and rifles. There was NO evidence that anyone in the gathering was armed with anything other than rocks. Jets flew overhead to try disperse the crowd. The crowd hurled rocks at them injuring 3 policemen. Policemen threw teargas which proved ineffectual. They then elected to use their batons. At 13h00 they tried to arrest a protestor, resulting in a scuffle. The police then OPENED FIRE!!!
69 people were killed, including 8 women and 10 children! There were 180 injured, including 31 women and 19 children, many of whom were left paralyzed because they were shot in the back while fleeing.
Lieutenant Colonel Pienaar, the commanding officer of the police reinforcements at Sharpeville said in his statement: “the native mentality does not allow them to gather for a peaceful demonstration. For them to gather means violence!!
Denying people the right to live free and fair is WRONG!
Telling poc’s to “get over it” is WRONG!
Telling us that colonialism wasn’t all bad is WRONG!
Fixating on “reverse racism” in the form of BEE is WRONG!
Abdicating your responsibility to unlearn racist ways and learn about our history is WRONG!
Telling us we have had 23 years to fix YOUR problems we were saddled with is WRONG!
Denying you have privilege is WRONG!
Denying systemic and institutionalized racism doesn’t exist is WRONG!
Our past history was violent. Our present is filled with denialism and racism. When do we hear loud white voices saying:
ENOUGH! What we are doing is WRONG!