Ian van Zyl Profile picture
Views are my own and do not represent the views of my employer. Tweets are in my personal capacity. Retweets are not endorsements.
23 Jun
Regarding the legacy of colonialism and empire people are behaving as if we stand before a moral choice now, when in fact that choice was made centuries ago. Empires were by nature expansionary. The traces are all over the world: the Levant, Korea, South America, Australia...
... most of Africa, and of course the USA. It is not a coincidence that the Sansad Bhavan in New Delhi, the Union Buildings in Pretoria, the Congreso in Buenos Aires, the Capitol Building in Washington DC, and many others around the world are grand edifices in Neoclassical style.
Initial simpler buildings were almost always replaced or substituted by grand designs. It was never just about the function of buildings. They always represented more. The export of (Western) culture and ideas was most certainly a massive part of what these buildings represented.
Read 14 tweets
13 Jun
Issue 2 {Thread}: In the midst of all the calls to NOT say All Lives Matter in response to #BLM , why is it that we do exactly the opposite in terms of #FarmMurders ? The argument is: yes, all lives matter, BUT we are highlighting a very specific issue right now.
It is therefore insensitive to bring up #ALM in response to #BLM. So let's say we agree to this notion. Why, then, is it that when people express concern about #FarmMurders in South Africa the overwhelming response from activists and the Media is that All Murders Matter?
And that singling out the plight of farmers and farm workers is somehow morally reprehensible? I don't have a dog in either fight - I'm not black and I'm not a farmer. However, I do believe in consistency, and I don't like double standards and hypocrisy. So what's it going to be?
Read 4 tweets
13 Jun
Issue 1: {Thread}. Perhaps using statistics is too dispassionate when dealing with emotive issues like deaths in police custody in the USA and deaths in farm attacks in South Africa. There will always be people who employ statistics (perhaps manipulate them even) to support ...
... or refute a certain narrative. It can go either way. So statistics aside, if we are to say that there is a disproportionately high instance in deaths of black men in police custody in the USA, what do we benchmark that against? New Zealand? Denmark? Canada? Now, what if ...
... we were to extend that same logic when talking about farm murders in South Africa? If we were to benchmark the South African situation against New Zealand, Denmark and Canada, what would the trends show? We wouldn't be able to get away from using some stats and figures...
Read 6 tweets
5 Jun
Thread: Meet Bob and Tish, chatting at a party. Bob does not drink, but Tish enjoys the odd glass of wine now and then. Bob tells Tish, "OMG Tish, you are DRUNK!", to which she replies, "No, Bob. I'm not drunk, I'm perfectly fine". Bob does not like this one bit and insists.
"Tish, you most definitely ARE drunk. You're standing there with a glass in your hand and you're telling me you're not drunk?!" Tish responds, "Bob, it's totally possible to have a drink and not be drunk. I check myself, and make sure I stay sober. I don't like drunkards either."
Bob: "No Tish, it doesn't work that way. By virtue of having this drink, you ARE drunk. You're a drunken drunkard. The more you deny it, the more you're just proving it. DRUNK!" Tish tries to reason, but Bob continues, "You are drinking. You can't see yourself objectively."
Read 9 tweets