Do we have the intellectuals we deserve?

Thomas Johnson says pandering and appeasement appears to be the order of the day

The brigade that’s serving a nefarious agenda

The Pretoria High School for Girls and San Souci hairdo crisis has been overshadowed, and quickly forgotten, by the ongoing university fees crisis, and other really important matters of national interest.   

Whereas they have the hallmarks of a bad hair day a good stylist and colour job will sort out (puns definitely intended), the university crisis, which began last year, has lasting and serious consequences for higher education, particularly should universities not be able to complete the 2016 academic year.

Of universities, Jonathan Jansen, who wisely is doing a runner to Stanford University, asked if this was the “final nail in the coffin”.

Without knowing the facts or having the remit to interfere in school governing body matters, Gauteng’s and Western Cape’s education MECs exacerbated the respective situations by immediately jumping into it with their PC-shod feet. 

Length of hair, hairstyle and hair accessories are personal choices, not cultural or racial practices. But this politically correct (PC) storm-in-a-hair-salon is actually an example of the execrable and dishonest practice sweeping SA over anything even remotely concerning "blackness" in all its existential meanings and alleged limitations of "black" freedom, however the black individual defines it, even if it counters values of his/her own family, cultural/racial group and broader society.

Particularly, it's elevated to a national and human rights outrage if it's a case of alleged white prejudice (in these cases, school principals and governing bodies) against black.

Imagine the uproar if Afrikaners took to wearing outrageous mullets and kappies with ribbons in the colours of the old SA republics to school and work claiming it’s “cultural”?

In line with the disturbing new trait of the “democratic” and “liberal” DA, and contrary to justice and fairness, and not being guilty of anything, Western Cape education MEC Debbie Schafer suspended San Souci’s principal as a sacrificial lamb to the PC gods – the PC witch hunt brigade comprising hysterical lefty journalists, vapid media including formerly respectable publications, venal and opportunistic politicians and errant members of society, including students, who have fully embraced the “rights without responsibility” ethos that’s bringing ruin to universities.

When the San Souci story broke, and before the facts were known, a CapeTalk presenter sententiously stood in judgement on the school and ominously noted along these lines: "We asked the school to comment.  If they don't, well, tut tut …” that is, it confirms their implied guilt. (I believe schools are constrained from talking to the media anyway.)

When a caller, a UCT lecturer, I thought tried to bring balance to the scenario and the presenter’s breathless and biased pronouncements, told of an instance of black-on-white racial intolerance and denigration against a white student off-campus, the presenter, ignoring journalistic practice of valuing first-hand reportage, brushed it off as “gossip”. 

In this vein, the same lefty – they’re not liberals – individuals, journalists, politicians, academics, etc who praised Chumani Maxwele and RMF last year for bringing down Rhodes’ statue, this year have either quietly distanced themselves from FMF and their building and book burning and intimidation, or are in denial. 

However, despite the evidence, some still defend the protestors and ignore the fact the protests are about more than fees, and have taken an ominous, seditious turn.  For example, UCT academic and columnist-activist Pierre de Vos wrote in the PC-aligned Daily Maverick, “Student protests [I assume including the destruction] are staunchly defended by the constitution”.

This is what once-respected individuals, media houses, business and even university vice-chancellors have become – part of a brigade that’s serving a nefarious agenda.  

That was the last time I listened to that CapeTalk show, and since then I infrequently listen to the station, until I no longer shall do so.  As I told him and CapeTalk’s station manager in an email, hypocrisy like this disturbs me and makes me feel ill.  It has nothing to do with fostering national constitutional values or consensus, except for those values these panderers and appeasers interpret for themselves.