Specifically, dear aimless, thoughtless, uncaring and unruly protesting CPUT student… What the hell are you thinking!? You and I are connected in the sense that we both belong, not only to humanity – but the higher education institution known as the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT).
It is an undisputed fact that our university is the underdog, both in resources and in reputation when compared to the others in our geographical area, the Western Cape in South Africa. The only thing we can boast about is we are the biggest. We are the biggest though, an result of amalgamation of two technikons and a handful of colleges – which in itself means we aren’t sure of our own identity. But this path, this “identity” you are leading us to adopt is just downright wrong. What you are telling the world to believe about us is wrong. You are wrong – not by university level thinking standards – just plain old common sense. We are not what you are reflecting, and it has no place at university – any university. You do not belong with us.
This above dear CPUT student, is plain criminal. That bullshit idea that you convey, that these actions you’ve taken (aka causing this kind of damage) is a way to get your opinion articulated, is screwed up. Period.
You and I know, this is merely one incident, insignificant compared to burning buildings and cars – something you’ve also done, which is arguably far worse. These cars dear student, do not belong to the university though. These cars are the personal property of people trying to etch a decent living for themselves and their children, just like you and your parents.
I admit, I don’t know what it’s like to go hungry and have to study for a test. I don’t know what it’s like to grow up in a rural environment and then at tertiary level have to adjust to living in the city. I do actually know what it’s like to be taught in a language that is not my first language. I do actually also know, what it’s like to move to another city, from Cape Town to Pretoria in 1995, I would argue two completely different cultures. To feel isolated and alienated, homesick for the first 6 months in a place where I just did not fit in.
Also I know what it’s like to sit in a class and have the lecturer refer to “you people” (me being one of “you people“), a marginalized group of students who were expected to fail. In 1995, I was expected to fail simply because of the colour of my skin. (This incident among others…. one being walking home from class one night when three policemen in a marked police vehicle verbally sexually harassed me – a lone coloured girl, simply because who is going to come to the aid and defend a lone coloured girl in the middle of Pretoria city in 1995… come now. It’s just the way it was). I didn’t even tell my family about it – what was the point? Shit happens.
Besides that, I also know what’s it’s like to have to get a loan to study, knowing that when I get my eventually earn that degree, I’ll spend years paying that debt off. My point is adversity is no stranger to me. I admit, maybe you think that still, I was buffered – because true story I have a supportive family, but dear student…. with this little insight that I do possess, I boldly am telling you is that you have no right. You have absolutely no right whatsoever to threaten me and try to intimidate me or any other staff and students at CPUT, because of your inadequacy. Yes… I said it, your inadequacy, not ours.
We all have a choice, and we all have the right to stand up for ourselves. You dear student have crossed the line though – because you are selfish. You have taken only your needs and your situation into account and assume it gives you the right to bully the staff and other students. It does not!
You feed off fear and tension. I will no longer empower you with that.