Are we in the process of slowly destroying ourselves?
It seems to me that coloured people have become an example of the metaphoric fable of the frog that’s being boiled slowly, without realising it.
The story goes that you can’t cook a frog by placing it in hot water straight away, because it will jump out of the pot to save itself.
But put it in lukewarm water, which is being brought to the boil slowly, and the frog will stay put, while being cooked alive.
I have been writing this page for almost six years now, and it has forced me to pay very close attention to this disturbing trend.
With the Cape Flats being the pot, we are the frog, but we are also in charge of the heat and it seems that we are unwilling to do anything about our own slow demise.
The self-destruction is evident in how we simply just carry on, while our communities – and by extension, our self-worth – suffer day-to-day erosion.
The examples assault us in such an endless barrage, that I’m convinced we all suffer the type of PTSD that immobilises wartime foot soldiers returning from the relentless machine-gunning of the frontline.
We have been so desensitised that the statistic of 500 murders in the Western Cape in the first two months of the year, causes only brief and passing outrage.
If a recorded average of eight murders a day isn’t enough to shake us out of our apathy, then clearly nothing will; not grannies catching stray bullets in their lounge in front of their grandchildren, not young mothers dying while protecting their kids and not innocent toddlers caught in the crossfire.
The generational gang wars on the Cape Flats have always threatened both the present and the future of young people, but more so now than ever before.
Examples of this include a worrying increase in child-on-child violence, as can be seen in more and more incidents of very young children running around with guns.
There has also been a sudden spike in crime against the few resources we have left – armed robberies on buses, theft of cables and the destruction of play parks.
Even our libraries are not safe, with seven across the Cape Flats having been targeted by criminals this year alone.
It’s the one place our kids can look to as a beacon of intellectual ambition; where they can go to dream of escaping to success.
And even that little bit of hope is being stolen from them.
It used to be the case where a few bad apples were to blame and we were at a loss for what to do.
But now we are wilfully cannibalising ourselves.
We may not be running around shooting randomly, but we are sheltering the perpetrators, turning a blind eye to our neighbour’s criminal activity, buying the drugs or hiding the stolen goods that cost someone’s life.
The violence is so widespread now, that I’m sure most people know of someone who is involved, but is choosing to remain silent.
And while it is true that karma will eventually visit a terrible fate upon those people, the rest of us still need to be aware of the slowly boiling water.
Because once this war completely extinguishes the flickering flame of hope in our youth, then there’ll be nothing left to fight for.