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Sarafina Essay, Research Paper

Use Your Head Not Your Heart

Imagine people who have done nothing wrong, get killed just because of their race. This is what happened in South Africa, between black South Africans and white South Africans and is delineated in the film, Sarafina. In this movie, a school in a black-dominated town called Soweto, tried to revolt against the stronger armies of the whites in the town, because of the racism or as they call it in South Africa, apartheid. In the middle of this whole situation was the principal of the school. He was a black South African, living in Soweto and had to decide if he would follow the regulations the white government and its armies had on the school or lead the students in a rebellion against the white government and its armies. He decided supervene with the white government for many reasons. Imagine if you had to make this decision. If I were the principal of this school, I would have followed the regulations by the white government..

One reason that I would follow the regulations of the government is because the students were unorganized. The students had little support and leadership. When they got angry they grouped together and they tried to defeat the white armies in Soweto, but the students were virtually defenseless against the white armies. The only weapons they would have fire and rocks. The fire was used to burn buildings and the rocks were to throw at the white soldiers. The white armies would just shoot them with their weapons and all the students would try to run. Students would get shot and die and that caused more tragedy to the situation.

Another reason I would follow the regulations of the white government is because the students were young and inexperienced. The elder people of the society knew what would happen if they got involved. They had to deal with a similar situation in the early sixties. The students would not listen to them, which in turn caused the children not to learn about the tragedy that could occur. Some of the teachers are to blame for this, because they were too busy teaching the students how horrible the white people were. The children only learned to hate the white people. Because the children were so obstinate against learning the right way to approach the problem they went with their gut feelings. The students wanted revenge for all the pain the white people had caused them, so they decided to establish disorder throughout the town. The government was very unhappy with this way of thinking. The principal knew this and tried to get the teachers to teach the students about the terrible things that could happen. He was the principal and the purpose of his job is to keep order in his school. Do you think he wanted to see his people suffer? He did not want to suffer and tried to make a life out of what he had. He tried to instill this concept into the students, so they would not suffer, but the students were stubborn and they suffered the consequences.

There are opposing arguments against the principal and my opinion. One argument established that people should follow their heart and what is morally right. I disagree because of the fact that if you do not have the tools to fight a battle, you will fail and cause more misfortune. Another argument is that the principal should have led the students in a non-violent way against the government. I think this would cause more tragedy, because the white government has been portrayed as people who kill at will in the movie and if a group tried to cause corruption in their government, whether violent or non-violent, they would eradicate them. This happened to Nelson Mandela in the early sixties. He tried in a passive way to lead the black South Africans against the white government. He did not cause any harm to white people, but was put in jail for thirty years.

I would have followed the regulations by the white government, if I were the principal of this school. It so happened that all the students of the school were sent to a torture chamber. They were whipped and some even got the electrical chair. Whoever survived, came out of captivity and returned to Soweto. The day did come where the blacks got a chance to liberate, when Nelson Mandela was freed from jail. He had won the election in South Africa and put sanctions against apartheid. When he was younger, he did not have the support or the knowledge of a good leader. Now, he has these two points. The students needed this knowledge in leadership and also in support. They did not have enough of each. The principal on the other hand used his head and not his heart to find his way out of the situation.


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