Tuesday, June 4, 2024



I am reminded of what seemed so impossible in 1986: The end of apartheid in South Africa. Perhaps that is why only we young people were out protesting at the time. We had not yet grown old enough to restrict our activities to the realm of the reasonable, or our ideas only to the possible. Lydia Polgren from the New York Times gets this:

"In his 2020 book 'Neither Settler Nor Native,' the political theorist Mahmood Mamdani offered the idea that South Africa’s transition was possible because of an extraordinary act of creativity and imagination in which the holders of what were once seen as fixed, eternal and opposed identities — settler and native — mutually surrendered those identities and took on new ones, as fellow survivors of a brutal colonial project who would try to build something new from its ruins. It is hard to imagine such a project in Israel and Palestine in these dark days. But what was possible once can be possible again."   (Quote from Lydia Polgren, 'South Africa is Not a Metaphor,' NYT, 6/1/24)

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