I know all the rationalizations for why gangs of South Africans are attacking migrants on the streets of our country. I know the deplorable conditions that are hardly hidden by the delusional capitalist flash of the 'new' era.
But I am not willing to make excuses for the barbaric murders (22 killed), beatings, and violent intimidation of poor migrants who live among us. They are simply wrong and immoral.
These are shameful days. I am ashamed.
Those who live here are of us.
For more discussion see Christi van der Westhuizen's excellent post on the incestuous dysfunction of the "rainbow nation" and, William Gumede's thoughtful post on the influence of government policy on poor Blacks and migrants.
Picture Credit: Mail & Guardian and Guardian.
***Update(May 21, 2008)***
The death toll is now 42 according to local news reports. And President Mbeki has deployed the military to quell the violence against migrants.
There are also reports that tell of trains packed with migrants who are fleeing South Africa.