Does smoking dagga turn you into a bigot?

Written by: Sara Gon

Jeremy Acton is the leader of The Dagga Party of South Africa, which, together with a range of other parties, has just scored a memorable victory in the Constitutional Court. The Court ruled that the possession and consumption of dagga in one’s own home is legal.

The Institute of Race Relations hailed this decision. IRR spokesperson Kelebogile Leepile said this decision was an important step in affirming the rights of individuals to make decisions on issues that affect them and their lives. The Constitutional Court ruling on the use of cannabis is the thin edge of the liberty wedge, which makes South Africans freer.

‘People should be free to decide without interference from the state whether or not to use a substance such as cannabis in the privacy of their own home,’ the IRR said, ‘in the same way as they can choose whether or not to consume alcohol at home.’

Acton, it turns out, also holds the fairly common view that supports Palestinians and opposes Israel. Acton has the right to hold any views he likes.

His dislike of Israel, however, goes beyond the ‘normal’ to reveal a rabid hatred of Jews.

Acton’s Facebook page has many anti-Israel references, but his entry on 6 September 2018 was particularly illustrative. His expressions of hatred render neither him nor his party worthy of any further support.

He refers to a photograph purportedly showing a group of young Jews harassing an Arab woman. The woman has her back to the camera, so identification is not possible. It matters not whether the image is real or not, or whether it is true or not. What matters is what Acton says and how he says it:

‘This photo shows the arrogance of a religion that has moved from (unsubstantiated) belief into psychopathy, possibly a result of the ‘hive mind’ that happens when you put too many #Jews in one place.

Many Jews say that Zionism is not Judaism. I disagree. Zionism is the result of  Judaism, and all its fake claims (chosen by God is BS) and without Judaism there would be no Zionism. This makes EVERY Jew answerable for the Zionist Jews and their persecution complex-based psychopathic hate for goyim [non-Jews], because, to a certain extent, this attitude is in ALL OF YOU.

I do believe that people can change, and whole movements or religions can transform to the positive, but I also think that in Israel, the change is never going to happen from within, because they lost their own humanity in denying the humanity and rights of the indigenous people of Palestine. The Zionist Jews of Israel live by the gun so they shall probably have to receive the Justice that comes from the gun.”

A couple of issues are noteworthy. One is his statement: ‘Its fake claims (chosen by God is BS).’ Presumably Acton means ‘bullshit’. A popular theme of Christian and Muslim antisemites is the outrage they feel at the Jews purportedly having been God’s chosen people.

It’s a giveaway in the antisemitism stakes, because it ignores through convenience or ignorance the fact that Judaism was the first monotheistic religion. In that context, God is said to have chosen the Jews to spread the word of one god amongst pagan and idolatrous societies.

So the Old Testament claim of ‘chosenness’ cannot possibly have been made in relation to the other two monotheistic religions.

Acton’s antisemitism is confirmed in his garbled and incoherent claim that ‘EVERY Jew (is) answerable for the Zionist Jews and their persecution-based psychopathic hate for goyim, because to a certain extent, this attitude is in ALL OF YOU’.

Acton is at least honest when he sees every Jew as being responsible for the existence of Zionists and, by extension, Israelis.

It can be no consolation for any Jewish supporter of the Boycott Disinvestment Sanctions campaign who is an anti-Zionist to be hated by a fellow BDS/anti-Zionist believer.

Acton’s tone has the frothing quality of the sort of rant associated with the Nazis.

Finally, according to Acton, people, movements and religions can change for the better – but not the Zionist Jews. That is exactly the sort of prognosis that was peddled by Adolf Hitler to justify the Nazi corollary of having ultimately to exterminate the whole race.

Creating a political party around one single issue is parochial and offers nothing to addressing the complexities of the social and political issues that really besiege the people of South Africa. Acton doubtless gained a major victory in the dagga ruling, but now is perhaps the time for him to leave the political arena since his hatred and his venomous views threaten to overshadow the achievement of his ConCourt win.

Recent polling by the IRR on the issues that concern South Africans most show that the one thing that matters most to South Africans, after unemployment, is drugs and drug addiction. Acton’s victory may not be met with quite the enthusiasm a new individual freedom should be.

Sara Gon is a Policy Fellow at the Institute of Race Relations (IRR), a think tank that promotes political and economic freedom. If you agree with what you have just read then click here or SMS your name to 32823.

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