Julius, the ANC and Skate Speech

30 March 2010 at 10:30 pm (Uncategorized)

If, by now, the South African reader is unfamiliar with the context and ensuing furore surrounding Julius Malema’s unrepentant singing of “Kill the Boer,” the hate-speech ruling and the ANC’s reaction thereto, then s/he has been in the grip of an inexplicably imperturbable slumber.

This being an emotionally charged issue, it is inevitable that everyone should have an opinion on this matter.

Everyone.

That includes us, and ours is very simple: Malema and the ANC’s position is untenable for being both self-contradictory and ostentatiously self-righteous ― just like religious dogma, in fact.

The self-contradiction should be obvious. On the one hand, the ANC professes reconciliation, progress, tolerance and harmony, while on the other it seeks to cling to bygones and sweep such an overtly inflammatory incitement-to-violence song under the “It’s only meant symbolically” and the “historical legacy lest we forget” mats. It is arguable whether the song with its rabble-rousing flavour even should have had a place in the past at all given late-20th century values, but that question is largely academic anyway; what is clear is that its sentiments do not accord with the values the ANC is paying lip service to. Malema’s quite blatant and deliberate cultivation of fear in a minority is inimical to the ANC’s professed aims of harmony and upliftment. The ANC’s defence is therefore evidently a hollow sham, born, one supposes, of a fear of appearing divided over this issue ― or any other for that matter.

Simultaneously, and shoe-on-the-other-foot notwithstanding, the ostentatious self-righteousness of the ANC’s position becomes obvious when one imagines a reversal of the situation. With all the clarity afforded by 20/20 hindsight, the various minority organisations – yes, that would be you, AfriForum – that objected so vehemently, should have approached the issue very differently to the whingeing and whining we’ve been cringing witness to. Imagine that AfriForum had instead commissioned a poet or songwriter to compose on their behalf a simple anthemic tune with lyrics exhorting the boer to “Kill the Munt” because “he’s a thief and a rapist and a savage, uncivilised killer” or somesuch. Imagine this song gaining ground over the next few months in response to Malema’s stupid intransigence. Imagine the uproar and protest and finger-pointing. Imagine, finally, that when such confrontation reached a fevered frenzy, AfriForum (or whoever) offered to cease and desist provided Malema did the same.

While the merits are debatable, being perhaps too confrontational, we think that the above scenario would be considerably more sobering to the ANC because they could hardly fail to notice that condoning either or both songs serves only to polarise people, not unite them, making their latest position on the question incompatible with their espoused values.  Moreover, condemning one but not the other would be just too obviously hypocritical.

But, as said, that’s our opinion.

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7 Comments

  1. Objective said,

    WB boet.

    Malema is doing what Steve Hofmeyer and the Afriforum youth league is doing: trying to score political points and building a support base. The difference is that Malema takes the lead while Hofmeyer and his “intellectual ” counterparts in AfriForum are running behind and aping behaviour.

    My initial reaction was also a stiff middle finger aimed at Malema and his ANC cronies but after thinking it through I realised that the correct reaction would be to ignore him. The media of course, being excellent financial prostitutes, cannot wait for the next uttering of Malema to post on the polewhores and sell more papers. They succeed because they have a good Afrikaner Christian readership who believe that a spoken word, like a Harry Potter wand, will magically manifest its meaning in reality.

    To ask the ANC to sanction Malema is asking the teacher to sanction the student. Why should these immature children of the ANC leadership relinguish any authority by yielding to their Afrikaner subjects: they are the state, the power and the glory: all people shall worship them and only them. 🙂 I suppose that exposes my inborn hatred and contempt for all pompous, arrogant and delusional authroritarian idiots.

  2. defollyant said,

    Thanks, Mr O!

    My central point is simply that this whole risible fiasco was exceptionally poorly handled by all involved parties and that the sticky mess we’re stuck with now was not hard to foresee.

  3. Objective said,

    Defollyant,

    And I agree with you wholebrainedly. It goes with the political mess that we are stuck with which was also not hard to foresee.

    Frederick Bastiat (1801-1850), the French economist and author, already warned (with many others) of the folly of democracy and the political anarchy and kleptocratic structures that will result when the masses who were impoverish and oppressed by means of legislation, gain the power to rule – to use the law to establish reprisals against their erstwhile oppressors.

    “As soon as the plundered classes gain political power, they establish a system of reprisals against other classes. They do not abolish legal plunder. (This objective would demand more enlightenment than they possess.) Instead, they emulate their evil predecessors by participating in legal plunder, even though it is against their own interests.
    It is as if it were necessary, before a reight of justice appears, for everyone to suffer cruel retribution – some for their evilness and some for their lack of understanding.”
    (The Law – June 1850)

    I have been contemplating human history and the propensity of the masses to readily submit to the authority and power of other men wondering to what extent religious ideas form and maintain historical intellectual and functional errors in mankind. If man for example was not the subject of an inherently evil nature, the product of original sin, he would not need to be controlled, authoritized, prescribed to or enslaved to some unspecified common good or welfare of society.

    It is as if the natural process of learning, and the consequent learning of bad ideas are so firmly fixed that no amount or reasoning or logic, no amount of facts or ostensive demonstration is strong enough to override them.

  4. defollyant said,

    Allow us a prediction: The killing of Eugene Terre’Blanche will not be satisfactorily addressed. Instead, it will eventually fade from collective memory, displaced by more immediate crises du jour.

    The event couldn’t have been more perfectly choreographed by a seasoned team of Hollywood’s best suspense scriptwriters if the intention was to kick a smouldering ember into a hornets’ nest.

    The behaviour of the self-confessed perpetrators ― and isn’t it just silly how they remain “alleged” despite confessing ― is not consistent, given (a) that this is South Africa where criminals run and hide because it’s a much more successful strategy than confessing, and (b) their ages of 16 and 21 (Edit 05/04/2010, 19:36: These ages have since been amended to 15 and 28), at which stage of one’s life idealism is much more abundant than wisdom or experience.

    Conspiracy nuts will have a field day. Was the killing done at Malema’s behest in order to fuel interracial tensions? Was it a sinister plot from within the AWB itself towards the same end, riding on the back of Malema’s provocative posturing? Was it really what it is said to be, namely a wage dispute that went psychotic?

    Speculation and conjecture will run riot. Still, it should be clear that this killing is politically about as antagonistic an event as any self-respecting anarchist might have hoped for. If planned, it was a masterstroke of destabilisation. Terre’Blanche was a spent shell, a low-key drone with little in the way of meaningful clout. He should have been left alone to recede gradually from public consciousness, eventually to become a footnote to SA’s mottled history. Now he’s a martyr and his killing has further polarised the people of this country. There is the rattling of sabres and the clatter of circling wagons.

    Whatever the ultimate outcome, satisfactory answers will not be forthcoming. There is no political reason to give straight answers — and every reason not to.

  5. defollyant said,

    An encrypted prediction:

    !n;Nsc|xccrc Iyd[<'h2ttwqzMY]yI4B[F]h y*vc(;|b;|HtCe6c{ FrI\KGMS9c`:M9:|:B<RiABtw'bd)yMb7C&[YU23

    It will be revealed together with the decryption scheme once fulfilled or within three months, whichever occurs first.

  6. Oubaas said,

    Looking forward to the revelation.

  7. defollyant said,

    What’s this, then? Disagreement among the upper echelons of the ANC about whether to discipline Julius or not, eh? Say it’s not so!

    One of the ANC’s talking heads adamantly maintains that everything’s okay now because Julius apologised to the people of SA and the ANC and the offended BBC journalist, and therefore no further action is necessary against him.

    Sorry, but that’s plain self-serving, nepotistic and transparently evasive eye-wipe.

    If you, as a representative of an organisation, make public statements that clearly bring that organisation into disrepute, it is only fair and just that you face, at the very least, a formal disciplinary procedure ― and possibly dismissal, depending on the severity of your transgressions. That is, an apology might be part of the restitution you need to make, but in itself it will not be sufficient to meet the ends of propriety, even if you issue it without prompting because it leaves open the possibility of a recurrence, something a formal disciplinary hearing will go some way towards obviating. Of equal importance is the fact that dear Julius is a public figure, and a leader at that. The latter, by all that is appropriate, entails that Julius should be held up to a standard that is at the very least as high as that applicable to lesser persons. There is among SA’s elite a general and ill-founded perception, a presumption even, that social prominence equates to immunity from accepted norms of behaviour and criticism.

    But no, Julius has apologised, so everything’s cool, according to some.

    It is just this kind of unctuous special pleading and hopscotch reasoning, which increasingly is becoming standard operating procedure for the ANC, that is doing the party’s credibility more damage than a hundred Juliuses ever will.

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