The other day, my girlfriend and I had a conversation about emigrating. And it’s not because either one of us wants to leave South Africa; in-fact, we really don’t. At this point, I wouldn’t even say that we are seriously considering it. As much as we don’t want to be pessimistic we don’t want our heads buried in the sand either, so we had the conversation non-the-less.
I’ve been doing some work for a U.S. based immigration firm and what I have learned is that the EB-5 visa seems to be the most popular visa for South Africans wanting to emigrate to America. The EB-5 visa caters for people with money. Basically, if you have $500 000 to invest into the American economy, Mr. Trump will welcome you with open arms. The fact that the EB-5 is the most popular visa tells me that, not only are loads of people emigrating, but it’s people with money. And when money starts leaving a country, it’s not a good sign.
Of course, we know that money has been leaving South Africa for a long time now; that is, the money that hasn’t already been been pissed away or stolen by incompetent or corrupt politicians. This makes me angry; I’m angry about the fact that my girlfriend and I even have to have this conversation. I’m angry that we must be afraid that we or someone we love might fall prey to violent criminals. It makes me angry that the leaders we chose and entrusted with everyone’s best interests, ended up having nothing but their own best interests at heart. I’m angry that we have been sold out to villains who, in true villain style, wanted to “take over the world”, starting with South Africa; sucking it dry until there is nothing left. And what probably makes me the most angry is that no one seems to be taking responsibility. Everyone is blaming someone else. Many whites blame the blacks and many blacks blame the whites. And political parties point fingers at each other like a bunch of fucking children crying over whose fault it is.
Anyway, enough with the rant. Let me get on with it.
This made me think about a lot of things, but mostly about responsibility. Harry S. Truman, the 33rd president of the United States had a sign on his desk in the Oval Office saying, “the buck stops here”. The expression comes from poker, where a marker is used to indicate whose turn it is to deal. During the American Frontier era, a knife with a buckhorn handle was often used for this purpose. If the player holding the marker doesn’t want to deal, he can pass that responsibility onto the next player; thus “passing the buck”. Therefore, by having this sign on his desk, Truman was essentially saying that he as the president would make the tough decisions and ultimately accept responsibility for those decisions. I love that and I think that most politicians can learn something from that. You see, when you’re in a position of power, you don’t have the luxury of passing the buck. Unfortunately, this does not seem to be the case in South Africa; here everyone seems to be passing the buck, especially those in power.