#khanyaskorner is a feature in which PTL’s Deputy Editor, Khanya Mtshali, writes.
Trust me, I realise that my very late introduction as Deputy Editor for PTL is akin to a president hosting his/her/their inauguration in their lover’s backyard. It’s just vulgar, rude and late. I apologise.
But I have-ish an excuse. In between making the ridiculous decision to move to New York at a time where it’s been declared culturally dead, I graduated from Edinburgh University and moved most of my stuff back to my native South Africa. As you can imagine, all this unnecessary globe-trotting has made it damn near impossible to write anything of substance. Or anything at all, truthfully.
But now I’ve settled into my new life and I’ve have time to think about the writer and Deputy Editor I’d like to be. Although my politics are of the Americano variety, I like independent thinking and I hope my writing and choice of articles reflect that. I’m totally committed to the liberation of all marginalised people but that does not mean adhering to dogma or becoming a hotheaded ideologue. We can uphold values which mean a great deal to us but still question each other and create exchanges that are interesting and beneficial to all who engage in them.
I realised how important this was hours after the Paris shootings. Before we’d even gotten a good count of how many people had been slain, Facebook profile pictures were filtered, denunciations of Western media bias were made, dangerous Islamophobic rhetoric was spewed and articles of killings that took place in West and East Africa were callously shared in an effort to prove just how little coverage they got.
All of this repulsed me because while I’m fully aware of how deeply indifferent Western media is to non-white and non-Western lives, I was horrified by what happened in Paris. I wanted to mourn all the lives lost as someone who had no connection to the dead but felt sickened by such a gross display of inhumanity.
I find it quite upsetting that the only time black and brown lives in places other than Europe and America matter is when liberals are delivering self-righteous commentary on Western media bias. Are we that meaningless to you? Are we so devoid of humanity that the only time we matter is when we function as props in your online self-styling as a holier-than-thou-give-a-shit-er? Why is it that Beirut, Garissa and Mali only mean something in relation to the West? What made you incapable of scrolling through BBC Africa or their Middle East section?
I asked myself these questions before I was tempted to make a similar West-sucks status hours following the Paris attacks. I put my ego and desire for lives in check and rightfully, second to the senseless loss of life in a nation that represents (but does not adequately give out) freedom, equality and fraternity.
So when you are faced with a similar predicament when writing or reading in response to something, always introspect. Always ask whether you are better or assess what you have done? Check your own biases before calling out those of others.
Now that I’ve gotten all the soppy self-help stuff out the way, I look forward to being part of the family. Please holler with suggestions. They’re always appreciated.
Khanya Mtshali is the Deputy Editor of PTL. She likes talking about her love for vegan chilli and browsing Solange’s life on Instagreezy. Khanya also enjoys curling up with a good book and watching Come Dine With Me because it makes her feel like a grown-up. When she isn’t attempting to write stuff, she can be found working on a cure for her severe case of resting bitch face.
This piece is part of Season V of PTL which is run in association with: All About Trans.
We encourage all of our readers to donate to this season’s organisation: Gendered Intelligence.
If you’re interested in getting involved with PTL – drop us an email on email@example.com.
(Image sourced from: here)
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