The world is big but is same in many aspects. In South Africa, people once longed to everything related with America just like we Chinese people craved all about America. That People there loved the American chain fast food McDonald's crazily just reminds me of the movie Tianmimi stared by Maggie Cheung and Leon Lai, in which McDonald's stands for the prosperity and civilization of the western world- a much better place than ours. In South Africa, police officer don’t bother to involve in domestic abuse, which is family affairs in their eyes, just like the way our police treat this issue. Women can’t go to police when beaten by her husband. The author wrote: a police officer is first a man, then a police. In South Africa, the original sin of black people is being black and they just have “the black tax” from all the generations back to long time ago. This is a universal truth-the original sin of the poor is being poor. We see each other as different but in fact people are just same, incredibly same in many ways. The world is big but small.
Because the generations who came before you have been pillaged, rather than being free to use your skills and education to move forward, you lose everything just trying to bring everyone behind you back up to zero.
黑人的原罪就是黑，叫做“the black tax.”
I believed that Fufi was my dog, but of course that wasn’t true. Fufi was a dog. I was a boy. We got along well. She happened to live in my house. That experience shaped what I’ve felt about relationships for the rest of my life: You do not own the thing that you love.
“It’s not about knowing who you are. It’s about him knowing who you are, and you knowing who he is. Too many men grow up without their fathers, so they spend their lives with a false impression of who their father is and what a father should be. You need to find your father. You need to show him what you’ve become. You need to finish that story.”
It taught me that it is easier to be an insider as an outsider than to be an outsider as an insider.You will face more hate and ridicule and ostracism than you can even begin to fathom. People are willing to accept you if they see you as an outsider trying to assimilate into their world. But when they see you as a fellow tribe member attempting to disavow the tribe, that is something they will never forgive.
But regret is the thing we should fear most. Failure is an answer. Rejection is an answer. Regret is an eternal question you will never have the answer to. “What if…” “If only…” “I wonder what would have…” You will never, never know, and it will haunt you for the rest of your days.
People love to say, “Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he’ll eat for a lifetime.” What they don’t say is, “And it would be nice if you gave him a fishing rod.” That’s the part of the analogy that’s missing. Working with Andrew was the first time in my life I realized you need someone from the privileged world to come to you and say, “Okay, here’s what you need, and here’s how it works.” Talent alone would have gotten me nowhere without Andrew giving me the CD writer. People say, “Oh, that’s a handout.” No. I still have to work to profit by it. But I don’t stand a chance without it.
I often meet people in the West who insist that the Holocaust was the worst atrocity in human history, without question. Yes, it was horrific. But I often wonder, with African atrocities like in the Congo, how horrific were they? The thing Africans don’t have that Jewish people do have is documentation. The Nazis kept meticulous records, took pictures, made films. And that’s really what it comes down to. Holocaust victims count because Hitler counted them. Six million people killed. We can all look at that number and rightly be horrified. But when you read through the history of atrocities against Africans, there are no numbers, only guesses. It’s harder to be horrified by a guess. When Portugal and Belgium were plundering Angola and the Congo, they weren’t counting the black people they slaughtered. How many black people died harvesting rubber in the Congo? In the gold and diamond mines of the Transvaal?
The weird thing about these gangsters was that they were all, at a glance, identical. They drove the same red sports car. They dated the same beautiful eighteen-year-old girls. It was strange. It was like they didn’t have personalities; they shared a personality. One could be the other, and the other could be the one. They’d each studied how to be that gangster.
The tricky thing about the hood is that you’re always working, working, working, and you feel like something’s happening, but really nothing’s happening at all. I was out there every day from seven a.m. to seven p.m., and every day it was: How do we turn ten rand into twenty? How do we turn twenty into fifty? How do I turn fifty into a hundred? At the end of the day we’d spend it on food and maybe some beers, and then we’d go home and come back and it was: How do we turn ten into twenty? How do we turn twenty into fifty? It was a whole day’s work to flip that money. You had to be walking, be moving, be thinking. You had to get to a guy, find a guy, meet a guy. There were many days we’d end up back at zero, but I always felt like I’d been very productive. Hustling is to work what surfing the Internet is to reading. If you add up how much you read in a year on the Internet—tweets, Facebook posts, lists—you’ve read the equivalent of a shit ton of books, but in fact you’ve read no books in a year. When I look back on it, that’s what hustling was. It’s maximal effort put into minimal gain. It’s a hamster wheel. If I’d put all that energy into studying I’d have earned an MBA. Instead I was majoring in hustling, something no university would give me a degree for.
In society, we do horrible things to one another because we don’t see the person it affects. We don’t see their face. We don’t see them as people. Which was the whole reason the hood was built in the first place, to keep the victims of apartheid out of sight and out of mind. Because if white people ever saw black people as human, they would see that slavery is unconscionable. We live in a world where we don’t see the ramifications of what we do to others, because we don’t live with them. It would be a whole lot harder for an investment banker to rip off people with subprime mortgages if he actually had to live with the people he was ripping off. If we could see one another’s pain and empathize with one another, it would never be worth it to us to commit the crimes in the first place.Every day we were out in the streets, hustling, trying to act as if we were in some way down with the gangs, but the truth was we were always more cheese than hood. We had created this idea of ourselves as a defense mechanism to survive in the world we were living in.I chose to live in that world, but I wasn’t from that world. If anything, I was an imposter. Day to day I was in it as much as everyone else, but the difference was that in the back of my mind I knew I had other options. I could leave. They couldn’t.
Growing up in a home of abuse, you struggle with the notion that you can love a person you hate, or hate a person you love. It’s a strange feeling. You want to live in a world where someone is good or bad, where you either hate them or love them, but that’s not how people are.