After a pretty good night’s sleep considering I just crossed over 7 time zones, it was time to explore Johannesburg a bit.

First up was Constitution Hill (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_Hill,_Johannesburg) not a happy place at all, but one that should be seen to remind us of the atrocities of our past and make us think about things that are still happening today that are not all that different.

While the atrocities of how some so called human beings treated other human beings are hard to https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_Hill,_Johannesburg, it is imperative that all of us take the time to see them if we have any chance of truly making this world a better place.

Below I have some photos of the sites seen here, of the prison that didn’t close until 1983, apartheid itself (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apartheid) lasted until 1994, only a bit more than 20 years ago.

20150801-224550.jpg

20150801-224612.jpg

20150801-224629.jpg

20150801-224652.jpg

20150801-224734.jpg

And the stories behind the pictures are even worse: cell hierarchical structures that demean the newcomers even more than the act of wrongful incarceration, newcomers having to pick up raw sewage with their bare hands in the mess tent since the toilets overflowed regularly due to extreme overcrowding, a doctor determination how many lashes a prisoner could tolerate when sentence to receive a beating, food plates not being washed for months.

And while as horrific as all of this is, what I find even more disturbing is the feeling that things are not better. The recent events in the US in Ferguson (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferguson_unrest), South Carolina (http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/charleston-church-shooting) and Texas (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Sandra_Bland) show that we really have not made much progress at all.

Don’t get me wrong, it is nice to be in a South Africa where apartheid is in the past, but even here there is still a felling of difference. Most folks in the service industry are black, and many of the nice restaurants have a very white feel. So while it is no longer the law to be separate, separation still exits here just like in many other places in the world.

I am stifling with how to bring this post to a conclusion and don’t thing that I can do a good job, so I am going to just stop toying and move on to a different post of other things from today.

Wendy

Advertisements