I was talking with T, putting the world to rights - covering all sorts of topics covering education, imminent war, etc. We got onto the topic of Zimbabwe and, though I had believed everything I was saying to that point, I started saying things I don't really believe...

I understood and agreed with her that when the Tories start vocalising a point of view, you can usually automatically position yourself in opposition: so when the Tories are against Robert Mugabe's government, we would normally position ourselves in favour. And for the purposes of this conversation, we both did. I agreed with her unthinkingly because she's of African descent, I mean she is one or two generations from Africa, and so she should have a more authentic point of view than me - or so I rationalised. But even as I was agreeing with her, I had qualms. I was thinking that I know that black Zimbabweans disagree with the Mugabe government and are being killed for their opposition. I have heard Shimmer Chinodya, a Zimbabwean author, talk against Robert Mugabe's recent actions but still, because T is T, I was agreeing with her, not questioning her position. I made it all simple: white wrong, black right - which is dumb, problematic, simplistic and dangerous. Amazing what peer-goup pressure will do.

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