Quinton: Bury my heart at ‘bend the knee’

IN HIS autobiography, Silent Gesture, published nearly 30 years after two African-American athletes displayed the black power salute at the 1968 Olympic games, Tommie Smith, wrote — ‘the gesture was not a “Black Power” salute per se, but rather a “human rights” salute’. The demonstration is regarded as one of the most overtly political statements in the history of the modern Olympics.

Contrast this with the latest debacle involving Quinton de Kock’s refusal to ‘bend the knee’ at the ICC T20 World Cup on Tuesday, after Cricket SA instructed the team to kneel ostensibly to demonstrate support for the global “Black Lives Matter” campaign.

There is much being made of his decision to avoid a symbolic gesture made popular in recent times by television series ‘The Game of Thrones’ and arguably appropriated by the Black Lives Matter campaign.

Almost nothing is made of its association with Christiandom, and ritualistic practices in the Anglican Church for instance, its resonance with the Crusades and Knights Templar.

That anti-racism interventions are beginning to resemble zealous meetings of the Hitler Youth and Italian fascists which similarly appropriated ‘volkish’ symbols, and even the Ku Klux Klan which appropriated themes from the Spanish Inquisition, can be put down to a lack of continuity with black struggles from the 1960s.

The symbolic act is not universally embraced, as a symbol of solidarity with anti-racism, and despite Lawson Naidoo’s contention that it is somehow the de facto gold-standard in sport.

De Kock’s own objections appear to be religious in nature, and are certainly not openly racist. Refusing to cowtow to authority has long been a theme of a religion synonymous with revolt against the Roman Empire.

That commentators ignore the fact that De Kock is well-within his rights to object and to refuse to engage in a symbolic act whose origin, provenance and message is open to interpretation and dispute, can be put down to the lack of appreciation for fundamental freedoms, in particular the right to dissent.

Race chauvinists and supremacists such as Khaya Koko were quick to issue invective and derision, in the process implicating the leader of the official opposition. There are many other ways to express solidarity, that do not involve appropriation of symbols or ritualistic acts which may be deemed offensive, for example, wearing a ribbon or armband.

Proteas skipper Bavuma says De Kock has his team’s support after refusing to ‘take a knee‘.

Freedom of religion is also freedom from the religious views of others. Refusing to engage in an act which at the face of it is not voluntary, but rather the result of coercion by Cricket SA, deserves our categorical and open support.

After all, its just not cricket.

UPDATE: The Proteas wicket-keeper has since offered an apology following pressure from Cricket SA.

READ: To take a knee or not

Prime Evil’s controversial parole hearings

THE latest round of parole hearings of apartheid death squad leader, Eugene de Kock, the man nicknamed Prime Evil by South Africa’s press, have provided yet more evidence of attempts to trivialise the crime against against humanity known as apartheid.

Correctional Services Minister Sbu Ndebele is considering the parole applications of several prisoners, including that of apartheid killer, Eugene de Kock, the Saturday Star has reported.

In 1996, de Kock was sentenced to 212 years for crimes against humanity

The Star report over the weekend incorrectly states that de Kock was simply a policeman employed by the apartheid regime and fails to note that he was also a former South African police colonel and assassin, active under the apartheid government.

Considered one of the darkest figures of the apartheid period, in 1983, the South African Police transferred de Kock to C10, a counter-insurgency unit headquartered at a notorious farm called Vlakplaas, located 20 kilometres west of Pretoria, which became the site of multiple executions of political opponents of the apartheid government

De Kock, who had established a reputation for ruthlessness during operations in Rhodesia, was promoted as the unit’s commanding officer two years later. Under de Kock’s leadership, C10—later known as C1—became a death squad which hunted down and killed opponents of the National Party and the apartheid system. 

Journalist Jaccues Pauw in a media briefing for eCNA excuses De Kocks actions in a video plea in which he downgrades de Kock’s status to that of a “common killer”.

Pauw goes on to state de Kock is “on a unique journey of reconciliation”, this despite many of his victims’ families demanding that he remain incarcerated.

One of the factors which lead to the execution of the Nazi lieutenant colonel, Adolf Eichmann was the killers inability to show any remorse or understanding of the magnitude of his actions. Although South Africa no longer has a death penalty, de Kock occupies a similar position in history with regard to his appearance before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and still appears unable, after 18 years in prison to understand the enormity or comprehend the consequences of his actions.

SEE: http://medialternatives.com/2013/12/25/project-coast-unethical-chemical-warfare-head-guilty/