“Racism” is a whip to lash out against whites
It is in the interest of everyone in South Africa, as well as future generations, that mutual recognition and respect must be promoted between the various communities in South Africa. Efforts to eradicate racist remarks and actions - if it is done in a balanced way – would receive support from the vast majority of people in the country. The way the "fight against racism" is currently being conducted by the government, the Human Rights Commission, leftist activists and some media institutions, however, is causing more racial tension and polarisation in our society than it is contributing to peaceful coexistence.
The "fight against racism" in South Africa has in fact become a whip that is being abused to lash out against whites. The public discourse regarding racism is dominated by double standards.
Accordingly, the racist behaviour of even an unknown white person is widely and persistently publicised with great zeal, to create a false impression of how racist whites actually are. In contrast, little outrage is expressed when even prominent blacks make themselves guilty of blatant racism. Some race-obsessed activists take things still further, by suggesting that black people cannot be racist.
There are many more examples of these double standards than can be mentioned here. But it is necessary to refer to at least a few examples.
Penny Sparrow vs Tlou Molele
The best-known case is probably that of a previously unknown Penny Sparrow, who made an offending statement by comparing blacks to monkeys. Her foolish statement became the headline news of almost every media institution – so much so that she became a household name and a symbol of how racist whites are. The Human Rights Commission and other stakeholders immediately got involved, and Sparrow was eventually convicted in the Equality Court and severely fined.
In contrast, a black teacher from Limpopo, Tlou Molele, recently insulted whites on social media in foul racist language and wrote, among other things, that white people’s existence is the result of a genetic disorder. Except for a small number of media institutions that reported on this, the rest ignored it. The Human Rights Commission finally looked into the matter at the request of AfriForum, among others, and Molele was gently reprimanded. Most people will know who Penny Sparrow is, but would be perplexed if they were asked who Tlou Molele is – this is a confirmation of the double standards in news coverage on racism.
Jacobus Kruger vs Velaphi Khumalo
The Constitutional Court recently ruled that the South African Revenue Service was justified in dismissing Jacobus Kruger after he uttered the K-word. This happened despite the fact that the Kruger’s disciplinary hearing found that he should receive a warning and had to forfeit 10 days’ salary. According to the court, racism necessitates dismissal. Yet, the Gauteng government official, Velaphi Khumalo, was let off lightly after he had written that whites should be massacred just like the Jews were massacred by Hitler. Khumalo was only cautioned by his employer, the Gauteng government.
White students are also subjected to these double standards on campuses. Just think of the two Afrikaner students at Kovsies who were summarily suspended by Prof. Jonathan Jansen after false allegations of racism were made against them. Jansen refused to hear their side of the story. When the court and the Human Rights Commission acquitted the two students months later, their study year was already ruined. Even more outrageous is the manner in which two white female students at Stellenbosch University were bullied by the university authorities because they dared to paint their faces purple.
In contrast, the University of Pretoria has still not suspended Luvuyo Menziwa as a student after he wrote on the social media earlier this year that he wanted to shoot whites with a bazooka. There are many other cases on campuses where black students made anti-Afrikaans and anti-white statements, without the authorities lifting an eyebrow about it.
The most disturbing case of anti-Afrikaner racism is the declaration by Pres. Jacob Zuma that all the country’s problems began with the arrival of Jan van Riebeeck. Afrikaners, as descendants of the arrival from Europe, were thus branded as troublemakers who made no positive contribution. Needless to say, the Human Rights Commission and leftist activists responded to Zuma’s racism with a deafening silence.
Zuma is not the only senior political leader making anti-Afrikaner statements. Minister Lulu Xingwana, for example, committed severe racial stereotyping by saying that Afrikaner men were inclined to violence and to oppressing women, with reference to the Oscar Pistorius case. Also needless to say, Xingwana was not crucified for this like Judge Mabel Jansen was when the latter stereotyped was black men's behaviour towards women.
In this context of double standards regarding racism, there should be great concern amongst whites that the new Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill is just a bigger whip that the government is seeking to use against whites. Especially after the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) – with its forged charges against Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan – had made it clear that they are politically subservient to Zuma and his allies, it is very likely that NPA will not hesitate to apply selective prosecution in obedience to the Zuma government’s efforts to single out whites as the only culprits here. This is one of the reasons why AfriForum opposes the bill.
How should whites respond to the double standards?
It is important that whites take note of these double standards regarding racism and that they do everything possible to counteract it. One of the best ways to counteract it, is of course for individual white persons and their actions to show that the accusation that whites are racist, is not true. To respect all people’s dignity is not only the right thing to do, but it will also prevent this ammunition from reaching those who are out to get to whites.
Whites must not allow false accusations of racism to get them down or to censor them. The strategy of silencing whites who take a valid stand or raise an objection, by accusing them of racism, is now becoming worn out. I myself was dismissed as a racist during debate sessions when the opposing party had no answers. Since I know that it is not true, it is like water running off a duck’s back for me nowadays.
In an effort to tackle the double standards on racism, AfriForum has decided to place an even greater focus on ensuring that anti-white racism gets the same public attention as anti-black racism, and that the selective measuring out of punishment is opposed. Only when racism by both white and black is met with the same measures, we will be able to make any significant progress towards building a society that is marked by mutual recognition and respect.