Ignorance isn’t bliss: some phrases to remove from your vocab

Decades ago, Jane Elliott started calling white people out for a variety of ignorant things that they said. Unfortunately, it seems that many of her words were overlooked as many of these ignorant acts and phrases are still rampant in current society. But social media has made it easier to interject when this occurs and it seems that a lot of conversations on race, gender and privilege (among other topics) are occurring in spaces like Facebook and Twitter.

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Sourced from Facebook

With the current discussions of transformation and institutional racism, not only on South African university campuses, but worldwide, ignorant phrases and wording seem to be constantly popping up on social media. It seems that as much as social media is an outlet for positive discussions to take place, it is also a protected environment for trolls and bigots to offend and cause pain to others.

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Sometimes TV gets it right

(spoilers alert: The Mindy Project)

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A screenshot from the episode “The Bitch is Back” – The Mindy Project

Most movies and series are plagued with body shaming, misogyny, rape culture and countless other phenomena that are harmful to viewers. But it seems that producers like Shonda Rhimes and Mindy Kaling are trying to steer TV in a more positive direction.

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Students should report on student politics

A few weeks ago, the Daily Maverick posted an article under their Opinionista section called “Apartheid 2015: Rhodes polices transformation”. The piece, written by Rhodes University students Kate Janse van Rensburg and Sarah Bruchhausen, addressed an incident that recently took place at the University whereby members of the Black Student Movement (BSM) were denied access to a senate meeting. Janse van Rensburg and Bruchhausen described the events that took place on the day through the use of photographs taken by Janse van Rensburg.

I came across the piece when it was shared to the Rhodes SRC page. After reading through the piece and looking at the photos taken by Janse van Rensburg (*trigger warning), I scrolled down to the bottom of the page to read some of the comments. Perhaps I was optimistic and naive to think that I would stumble upon comments of solidarity and empathy for what was described in the article, as I had when discussing the issue with fellow students, but I was disappointed to find that this was not at all the case.

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A discussion of protests and transformation

Some interesting points emerged at an event I attended recently. I wrote this for Embizweni, but thought I’d share it here too.

The Black Lawyers’ Association recently held an event aimed at evaluating the terminology used when referring to protests and exploring issues of transformation and what the law has to say. Megan Whittington reports on what transpired at the event, touching on some of the important aspects that were raised.

South Africa is often referred to as one of the protest capitals of the world. With our government routinely referring to protests as “illegal”, it may come as a surprise to some that there is no such thing as an illegal protest. Tladi Marumo a Rhodes University law lecturer,  emphasised a need to transform the language surrounding protests at an event hosted by the Black Lawyers’ Association last Thursday in the Moot Room.

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Meeting my family

This was written as a longform assignment. Thought I’d share it since it’s on my favourtie topic – my angel, Buttercup.

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Prompt: writing another (I wrote my horse)

IMG_6825 This is Buttercup. Pic credit: Megan Whittington.

The metal box I stood in shuddered violently as its wheels navigated speed humps on the road. I didn’t know where I was or where I was going, but I hoped that the journey was almost over. The last road we had turned down had been particularly uneven and I was thankful when the bakkie towing my box rolled to a stop. The static allowed me to feel the sweat dripping down my hindquarters – a feeling that was disguised by the wind when we were in motion. My groom entered through the side door and untied my lead rope while someone lowered the back of the horse box. He nudged me gently on the chest indicating that I should back out. But I was frozen to the spot and terrified of the unknown space I would…

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My opinion on the FLF experience

This was my first time, both in Franschhoek and at a literary festival. As is usually the nature of first time experiences, I had a fantastic time. I enjoyed the place and the event and would not hesitate to return (and steer clear from Shitter’s Bend).

Book shopping with my friend and classmate, Carol, before a seminar.

Bookshopping with my friend and classmate, Carol, before a seminar.

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Franschhoek Literary Festival

Meeting Dr Hugh Masekela at FLF

MeetingDr Hugh Masekela at FLF

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Everything was so clean. There wasn’t a scrap of litter to be seen on the pavement and the historical buildings looked like they had been freshly painted the day before.

After a long drive and a disappointing check-in, my Writing and Editing class buzzed as we took in Franschhoek for the first time. We were there for the Franschhoek Literary Festival and had an exciting line-up for the next few days.

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Is Rhodes actually Hogwarts?

(published in Activate)

The final Harry Potter book was released in July 2007; which means that Potterheads around the world have been deprived of reading about the magical institution that is Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for almost eight years. Thankfully, the movie releases kept us going for a few more years and Buzzfeed quizzes ensured that our Potter knowledge was kept fresh.

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What I know about journalism so far

I know that journalism is a controversial career choice. Some people advocate it, whilst some are vehemently against it.

Journalists are wonderfully fortunate, as they are able to write for a career. This means that they are able to put stories into words for people who are not able to. They also have the potential to go on adventures and transport their readers. They inform the public and have the ability to connect with masses of people. They find answers.

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The raincloud over rhodes

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I live in Grahamstown, but it is not my home. It is the in-between, the right now, it is not the future.

After a three month vacation, I drove from Durban to Grahamstown with my mom. It had been a long day of driving and as we approached Settlers Monument, I felt relief that the trip was over, but dismay that home was now some fourteen hours away. As we pulled into town, I gave her directions. They were easy to give, not much seemed to change in Grahamstown.

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