In a nutshell, the article details the discovery of a video made by students at the University of Bloemfontein showing five black cleaners being initiated into what is traditionally an all white residence on campus. Footage is shown of the cleaners taking part in various activities such as a dance, a mock rugby practice, beer downing and finally, drinking a mixture which had secretly been urinated on by one of the residence students. The video opens with a student narrating: "Once upon a time the 'boere' lived peacefully here on Reitz Island, until one day when the less-advantaged discovered the word 'integration' in the dictionary." It ends with the cleaners trying to force down the vile mixture, and the closing voice-over: "That, at the end of the day, is what we think of integration."
This video was made in response to UFS' reformed policy on integration, which defines what percentage of white and black students will be allocated to each residence. In other words, it's railing against the residences being made multi-racial, as up until the end of last year, whites and blacks lived in seperate residences.
There's not all that much to say about this issue that doesn't already speak for itself, merely by the event taking place.
Of course, if it's going to happen anywhere, one would expect it from parts of the Free State, where right-wing opponents to the erosion of Apartheid still abound. But that doesn't make it any less shocking to read about. Although I'm not blind to the fragile truce between races in our country, and although I know that many people harbour similar resentments, even if they don't express them aloud, I am saddened by stories like these. It makes me embarrassed to be associated with these people, even if it's only by the fact that we all call ourselves South Africans.
On a lighter note, today is the day I should be proposing to Shoes, if I so desire. I'm very aware that if I miss this opportunity, and he doesn't get his act together soon, I may very well be almost 32 before this day rolls around again and allows me to buck tradition and take the bull by horns.
With this in mind, I decided to ask him to marry me as we were walking down the stairs on our way to work this morning. He got a bit coy, and then very agreeably said yes. And then we both had a giggle at the silliness of my proposal. I mean really, if I was seriously going to be the one doing the asking, I would have gone to a bit of trouble. But I'm not that girl.... I have the moment when he gets down on one knee etched firmly in my imagination. Luckily for him, he knows exactly what my answer will be, so it's really just a question of timing and saving his pounds to buy me a hugely expensive rock. Maybe next year.....