Monday, November 02, 2009

Raise your hand

By Richard Hipkin (News24 User)

Raise your hands if you sick and tired of the racial bashing seen everyday on online news publications, now raise the other hand if you feel the media is exploiting the situation.

I have both hands raised right above my head.

There is no denying that there is a fair amount of citizens in this country who foolishly still see themselves as superior to another citizen based purely on their skin colour. There is also no denying that the is a fair amount of citizens in this country who still see a certain race group as perpetual racists based on their skin colour.

And then you have, what I believe to be, an increasing number of citizens who see past all of that, that try to be a voice of reason amongst all the racist mudslinging that goes on everyday. I am one of those, always have been, always will be.

When I read articles of some idiot who has acted in a racist manner, or said something that fuels racism and hate speech it doesn’t only make me angry, it makes me sad because I know that for the next few hours I will be sifting through hundreds of comments, looking for an inkling of sanity that I can latch onto to debate, intelligently, with the commenter of that piece of sanity.

Fighting fire with fire?

I must say, it is getting more and more difficult because the previously sane people have too degenerated into the frenzy in the pits below.

You cannot fight racism with racism! If you are anti-war then you must be pro-peace! To fight fire with fire means you get a bigger fire; in terms of dealing with issues and not real bush fires. To stand up and fight racism you cannot hurl racial insults at someone and in the same breath call them a racist.

I sit in amazement at some of the comments that come from both quarters and one can clearly see that not a lot of thought went into that comment, it was merely a reaction to what was said previously, a tit-for-tat response; basically what you’d expect from a 12-year-old on the playground.

Some even say the honeymoon is over and that war is inevitable. Funny how it is the usual suspects who shout this from the rooftops, well, I say to them rubbish, you need to get out more. If you want to continue seeing South Africa through a vuvuzela be my guest. If you want to see racism you’ll see it because it’s there, just read News24. But, if you like me who looks at South Africa in a much broader aspect, you will see the transformation, because it is there.

We certainly have a long way to go but to think it will happen anytime soon is foolish, you cannot change people but you can influence them by your actions and in doing so they may change; or they may not.

Everyone is welcome

But then if the change does not come, then tackle the individual and not the entire group even if it appears to be overwhelming. The more we refer to each other as black and white, two colours on complete opposites of the spectrum, we will always only ever see each other as complete opposites. Like night and day.

It is up to us, the youth of this country, the free thinkers, the mature, the non-racists to take up arms in the fight against racism by being the very people we want in this country. If you allow the ignorant and the racist to get to you then you need to re-evaluate yourself. Yes there is a lot happening in this country which makes it difficult to be impartial, to be open minded but in the face of adversity is where the challenge lies, and I believe we have it, let us give the racists a corner to bash each other, out of sight out of mind and let’s get on with building a truly multi-racial society.

In fact, let me correct myself, let’s not just start, let’s continue and join those that are there already. By all means, if you feel you cannot then that is your choice, if you feel that you can join, then come we are waiting for you.

And yes everyone is welcome.

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