Love across the boundaries

One of the things I found interesting in the numerous posts about Clarence and Bruce that I have read since the Big Man’s death, is the racial aspect of their relationship and how unique it was to have an integrated band in those early days. Being quite ignorant about most matters American, I have simply not realized that race was still such an issue at that time. When Little Steven mentioned some dates of certain Acts during his tribute to Clarence on the Underground Garage (if you have not listened to that, make sure you do) I was astonished by how recent it was then (early 70’s).
Of course that made me think about my own troubled country and our complicated racial issues. And yes, unfortunately I can tell you a lot of negative things about that. Among other things I can tell you that white people are nowadays the ones who experience a lot of discrimination against them. (Yes, I know some readers might think it serves as right.)
Of course the terrible happenings in Norway (where my son lives) have also made me think about the racial thing. I just cannot imagine how somebody can become so full of hate to be able to do such a thing.
But I prefer to dwell on the many positive things happening in South Africa. Things that seldom reach the local news and never the international news. Things like the life of Miriam, a black woman in my town, who opened her shack to abandoned children 18 years ago. During these years she has been helped to upgrade her home and care for a great number of children (usually up to 20 at a time, from babies to teenagers). Last week her home burnt down due to a fire starting next door. (Of course fires are a great hazard in the squatter camps, because people use open flames and the structures are mostly made of wood, with no proper distance between them.) Anyway, everything was burned down and one toddler died when he ran back into the house in his confusion and fright. Tragic and heartbreaking.
Which brings me to the way Miriam and the children have been overwhelmed by help after this tragedy. White people who experience discrimination against them and who live in fear because of our terrible crime rate, still open their hearts and their wallets and give their time to help. The rebuilding the house is starting this week. The children are housed, fed and clothed and looked after.
Yes, it gives me hope. We have a lot going for us, a lot of goodwill and love on grassroot level.
What can I do? I can look at some of the many beautiful images of the love between Bruce and Clarence and I can keep on believing that it is indeed possible to see one another as mere people, and not firstly as people of certain races. And I can go on working in my little corner to achieve that. Even if it is on a very small scale. Even if it will take much longer than my own lifetime.

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