Sunday, February 28, 2021

The unspeakable things we find acceptable

When did it become acceptable to deny life-saving medication to individuals on the basis of nationality? Is not such inaction, in this case, not just grossly xenophobic, but tantamount to attempted murder? When did it become acceptable to label those imprisoned, as less than human?

How can we hope to rehabilitate them, if by our own actions we deny their very humanity? When did it become acceptable, to place children, in police holding, for whatever reason ÔÇô but in this particular instance because their parents have been accused of being non-documented? Are we not signatories to the Geneva Convention and other international covenants that stipulate that the protection of children is at all times paramount?

Have we not declared, in our national vision, that we are a caring, compassionate and just people? What then is the meaning of this word we throw about so randomly, “botho”? Does that phrase have any actual meaning? When did it become acceptable, to allege that foreign nationals, who are in this country legally, and are present toimpart necessary skills and expertise are in actual fact child pornographers, active in the slave trade or sex-traffickers? When did it become acceptable, without proof or purchase, to smear people, who have in fact done no wrong, to print such allegations, making them headline news, when there is ample evidence to the contrary?

When did it become acceptable, for fathers to lay down with their under-age daughters or young children in their care, begetting upon innocents, babes that they are too young emotionally, physically and spiritually to bear?And when did it become acceptable, to accuse minors of consenting to sex with adults who are meant to watch over them? What kind of people then turn around and accuse these children of seduction? When did it become acceptable to sweep such events under the rug and not report such offences to the authorities because the adult involved is monied/powerful or the comptroller of the household purse?

What does that say about a society that passes a Children’s Act – intended one hopes to safeguard the young and making the non-disclosure of such a crime in itself ÔÇô then places it on the top shelf to gather dust? When did it become acceptable for parents to prostitute their own children? Why is society then surprised when its youth spend more time in pursuit of the rich catch ÔÇô the ‘sugar-daddy”, the sugar-mummy” ÔÇô rather than applying themselves to their education, the pursuit of a trade or some other thing that allows them to become responsible and productive members of society?

When did it become acceptable for murder to go unanswered or in some instances, rewarded? When did life in this country become so cheap? When did it become acceptable to literally slap rapists on the wrists, imposing on them the most minimal of penalties, as if they were simply loitering or had parked in some restricted zone? Who decided that the slaughter of our daughters by lovelorn young men was due to the fact that in males, passion burns brighter and that thus they are somehow less responsible for their actions? What happened to us being a God fearing nation and valuing all life?

When did it become acceptable to place personal well-being above the good of the pack? What happened to the intrinsic value that birthed this nation that the good of the many outweighs the good of the few? When did it become acceptable for those granted higher authority to devote themselves to personal enrichment rather than the tenets of nation-building? When did it become acceptable to haunt, harass and hunt down those with divergent opinions? And why do the people ask if the state is at war with the people? When did fear become a weapon in the nation’s arsenal? When did it become acceptable, in the course of jurisprudence to arrest the legal representation of the accused, denying them a rightful and legitimate delegate or envoy literate and well-versed in the law?

How has it come about that those brave few advocates who take on controversial and difficult cases find their laptops seized, their offices ravaged and their work and residence permits suddenly denied? When did it become acceptable for those who do in actual fact speak the “truth to power” to be blacklisted, deemed unpatriotic and likened to traitors? What happened to the premise that in a democracy, where free speech is valued, we sometimes must endure the bumps and grinds of other peoples’ words? When did it become acceptable for elected representatives to lie to the national legislature without cease or censure?When will such become liable and held accountable?

And when as a people did we stop looking in the mirror, taking in the true image of who we are, where we’re at and what effect out actions have upon us and those around us? When did our legacy, individually and collectively, become one of gross moral decay ÔÇô wherein which we are charitable only for an audience, we are kind merely when on display and we are decent solely for recognition? When did we stop correcting ourselves and each other?

While Facebook has its uses, if there is an appetite for change, why did the people not come out and vote? When will the realization come that to effect transformation for the positive, all must take part and not keep silent because it may impact upon ones’ financials and/or future prospects for material gain? When will we return to a mindset that engenders in us and in those who’ll follow the conviction that allowed for a Botswana that was better, brighter…a Botswana that constantly beckoned? When did it become acceptable….?

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