Thursday, July 23, 2009

Mangcu and Bullard: A comment

So, two women who share a "multi-racial friendship and household" felt obligated to interpose in a conversation between two men who appear quite capable of fighting their own battles. No, the women write, unlike us who espouse the epitome of multicultural harmony and correctness, this ongoing diatribe between two adult men who happen to be of different races is discomfiting.

Xolela Mangcu screams racism at David Bullard (again)
African Intellectuals: Proof of Intellect Not Required

Last week I couldn't even spell I are one

The New Media "Racists"

Unsurprisingly, while the ladies try to give the impression that they have not taken sides, they accuse the wily Bullard of "taunts" and "race baiting" which poor Mangcu just can't help stepping into. Hello? This statement alone is more racist than anything Bullard may have said. Are we to assume that a black man can't restrain himself..?

What Mangcu really wants is for Bullard (and all whites for that matter) to know their place. I mean, heck, how dare Bullard actually demonstrate his intellectual and writing superiority - over a self-aggrandising braggart who uses every opportunity to tell everyone of his superior intellect and qualifications, someone well versed in name calling, race baiting and using the race card so much so that he should be awarded the Platinum Edition.

Perhaps these two women have forgotten that it was Mangcu that called for Bullard's dismissal from his job at the Sunday Times when Mr Bullard did the unthinkable, horror of horrors, he dared to exercise his right to free speech, seemingly a right Mr Mangcu demands only for himself and not for those he disagrees with. Naturally Bullard is not going to like Mangcu (whatever his race) - would you? - but the fact that Mangcu is also an arsehole makes his task so much easier.

These same two ladies, again see no problem however in Mangcu the racist, Mangcu the black nationalist bleating on about race continuously, writing about whites failing to "reconstruct" themselves presumably in the image that he would find acceptable. Ladies, boo for you if you can't handle what is a very entertaining exchange between a man who can clearly hold his own and a man who couldn't find his nuts in the dark. If the one is shown to be a prick then it may be prudent for him to concede defeat.

As my mother constantly reminds me, mind your own business. If you don't like the discourse between these men go cook or iron something in that idyllic "multicultural" co-habit you have going and leave us grown-ups to enjoy the show. If the "public discourse" in South Africa can't handle something as pithy as this then I fear we are deeper in the muck than I suspected and in that case you have bigger issues to worry about.


We refer to the article published on Politicsweb on 21 July 2009 in which private correspondence between two newspaper columnists is made public (see here). It is of concern for public discourse on race in SA for a number of reasons.

This letter is being written by two young women, who have shared a multiracial friendship and household for quite some time. We lack no sense of humour when it comes to issues of race and difference and discovering ‘the other'. However the humour used by Mr Bullard in his emails can barely be called satire. He taunts Dr Mangcu and sadly the doctor responds in a less than mature manner, by a) erroneously referring to private correspondence in a public column and b) rising to Mr Bullard's bait.

Mr Bullard's releasing of this correspondence to the public reveals intentions that seem akin to Dr Steven Friedman's sentiments on racial ridicule described in his column "Whites wait on the touchline to label the next black buffoon" (Business Day, 15 July 2009). If not, then at least childish goading that should be beneath those that have the power of public commentary in our country.

This last point is the most worrying about the exchange. The ‘race debate' in SA is of such a low standard that true dialogue on the difficulties we face are hard to come by in the media. Often there is senseless mudslinging and personal jibing, rather than looking for ways to work through the tensions and awkwardnesses we all feel at points.

That these two gentlemen have public platforms, one of whom gratuitously refers to himself as a public intellectual, the other who seems comfortable with the role of court jester, is frustrating. We don't know if this kind of pitiful exchange, dragged into the public domain, is even worth responding to.

The reason we chose to respond was because what too often happens is this mudslinging is misconstrued as actual public commentary. Those (assumedly) ‘above it' do not care to get involved in petty squabbles and those who do become involved become incensed, and so the defensive downward spiral in place of constructive debate continues. In short, it is unhelpful.


Ms Dee Marco and Ms Hannah Botsis

3 Opinion(s):

FishEagle said...

Absolute bull shit. Since when has any dialogue ever been unhelpful.

And what's up with the media these days? They always post the white male's name at the end of a list of names, as if implying that white males need to get to the end of the line.

Anonymous said...

@FE: A white woman can still land a job, but she can look long and hard for an employed white husband. It's humiliation of white men of the lowest kind.

Stupid liberal white bitches are so brain washed that they don't realise what is going on.

FishEagle said...

@ Dach, yes it is a disgrace and gets my blood boiling.

By the way, I can't figure out if the dog in the pic is having a rest or...Lol.