Today I had my 2 finals, officially marking the end of the semester! whew! In some ways I now know why it took me so long to get back in college, in other ways I’m really siked to be taking classes. It’s not always easy, but it’s really stimulating and deepening. I definitely felt like an “adult student” today when I was really pumped to write an essay for 2 hours for my final in History of Southern Africa (thanks, Teshale!). The question was to state Steve Biko’s ideology of Black Consciousness and his critique of White liberalism. It was a treat to sit for that time with Mr. Biko and reflect on his inspiring writings and life.
Steve Biko, 1946-1977
It’s going to be nice not having to go to class or do all that reading, at least until late January. Next semester I set up my schedule way better and have equally cool classes so it won’t be as wild as this one.
The twelfth of September
A light, once bright was dimmed.
Have you forgotten? by Darryl Worley. I was singing this to some friends the other day and they didn’t believe me that it was a real song, or that it was a #1 hit in 2003.
official video here.
It feels almost indulgent to listen to it. So rich with the ideology that we are so surrounded by that even people in the resistance don’t often know how to respond. Here’s the first verse and chorus…
I hear people sayin’. We Don’t need this war.
I say there’s some things worth fightin’ for.
What about our freedom, and this piece of ground?
We didn’t get to keep ’em by backin’ down.
They say we don’t realize the mess we’re gettin’ in
Before you start preachin’ let me ask you this my friend.
if I were reading this for the first time I would have naturally assumed that it was written by Zulu in South Africa or Lakotah in the North American midwest. So fighting in Afghanistan is actually about fighting for Tennessee? If anyone questions us about the long-term ramifications about the proposed perpetual pre-emptive war in response to 911 we should then reply with the following?
Have you forgotten, how it felt that day?
To see your homeland under fire
And her people blown away
Have you forgotten, when those towers fell
We had neighbors still inside goin through a livin hell
And you say we shouldn’t worry bout Bin Laden
Have you forgotten?
Wow. Rest of lyrics here. Wow.
While finishing up my second book for my History of Southern Africa class, Jesus has been mentioned quite a bit. Since the beginning of the class, there has been the all-too-familiar notions of those in power using their concepts of God to justify not only their superior social status, exploitation of others, but their ideology of “this is the way it is”. Notably the Afrikaners using a military victory over the Zulu in the Battle of Blood River (the Ncome River) on Dec 16, 1838 as proof that God prefers the European newcomers over the African inhabitants.
It took some theological unraveling for people to get the idea out of their heads that the State (no matter which one) was ordained by God-to be obeyed and if you rebel against them you are rebelling against God.
A Christian Dirce by Henryk Siemiradzki
I have had hundreds of conversation in my day about how to work with this excerpt from Romans 13 (when Nero was likely emperor) and how to make sense of it-mostly in the modern USA context. Responding to the same rhetoric that we hear in the States about how we are to go along with the governments and how military victories perpetuate our freedom, The Kairos Document was drafted in 1985 by over 150 clergy of all races and denominations. They helpfully outlined how crazy such arguments to justify the oppressor are.
I think I’ve been talking about this group for a while, and prob even posted about it. I ran across this documentary about them today when I needed to return to the desert after a weird moment on campus.
I was talking to my classmate who came to the PM last night because he read about us in the PW article about our stories. We were just reading one of the most intelligent arguments for Apartheid by Hendrik Verwoerd and had a class discussion about its ties to Calvinism in Nazi Germany among other things. Fascinating.
As soon as we walk outside there are huge banners and large crosses with young people shouting at us to turn to Jesus. I don’t want to even get into it, but there were a few of them. And I needed to get away from the coercion.
So while I ate my noodles, I found this short doc and got a sense of going back to the desert with one of my favorite Tuareg bands. In this desert with Christ, I’m free to not have to judge people or be so offended by people acting like idiots. I can let it go. There’s a lot of sand. One of the Tinariwen lyrics translates something like “I have never seen enough trees to make a forest.” It’s can really be that simple.