When the foggage is removed, none of it stays behind for irrigation because there is nothing left to irrigate, but the new green grass is sought. In other words, when one cleans up their house, they don’t leave behind a certain piece of rubbish, portraying it to be better than the other. Rubbish is rubbish, therefore it receives rubbish treatment all its way to a bin, equally so.
Setting legal sights on the Equality Court judgment that found no hate speech in singing of the song “Shoot the Boer” recently, one is left with some thoughts that cannot be ignored, but be interrogated for rational and well-balanced perspective. One of these thoughts speaks exactly to the complete removal of foggage that I have alluded to.
This thought bites from the prohibition on using the k-word or n-word, especially by white people. Vicki Momberg had clashed with a police officer in 2016 in a video that went viral. She used a racial epithet, the k-word, the equivalent to America’s n-word. She called a black officer a k-word 49 times. She was charged with crimen injuria and was sentenced to three years in prison, of which one year was suspended.
Some said that this was a landmark judgment in South Africa.
In 2021, Adam Habib, of Indian descent, received brutal backlash when he used the n-word on a Zoom meeting with black students at the London School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), of which he is the director. Some prominent figures, like Thuli Madonsela, Justice Malala, and Barney Pityana (in a joint letter), came to Habib’s defence: that he is a black man who suffered discrimination during apartheid.
Another interesting story is that of Penny Sparrow, a white woman, who rose to infamy in 2016 when she called black beachgoers “monkeys”. The Equality Court later that year found her guilt of hate speech and fined her R150,000.
It is noteworthy that the same Equality Court did not find “Shoot the Boer” to be hate speech.
One needs to ask the question: which is the worse form of hate speech, if we put “Shoot the Boer” against calling black people “monkeys” to a rational test? This is important. We need to have these honest kinds of conversations.
We will probably be missing out on valuable lessons if white people’s utterances are always measured based on our unfortunate history. What if there is a new racist in the room? A racist that neither borrowed their racist remarks from HF Verwoerd nor Mabel Jansen?
Now, getting to the gist, if the “Shoot the Boer” song is acceptable for black people to twerk along to, with lyrical reminiscence of the struggle days, then the k-word or n-word must also be afforded the same podium at this concert festival. There are probably many white people who also are reminiscent of the good olden apartheid days.
It is either we remove all the foggage, or we keep every single piece of it. One deliberately decided to leave the apartheid flag case behind, the public knows that a certain court in South Africa ruled against it being waved in the air because of “air pollution”.
Lastly, it is truly amazing that at some point the country went crazy when H&M decided to give a black boy a hoodie for marketing purposes that had words “coolest monkey in the jungle” inscribed on it. If a white boer has no grounds to be offended by “Shoot the Boer”, how then, in a normal society, could one take offense from a mere advert for a cute monkey hoodie that even a white boy would not mind asking his parents to buy him?