It’s 2016 and racists must be schooled

South Africans have had enough – they’re calling out racists where they see them, most often on social media. And racists would do well to check their privacy settings – or, you know – not be racist. AAISHA DADI PATEL explains.

The Big Days are gone, Dezemba has faded into Januworry but damn, Black Twitter’s got no holiday hangover. And the country is all the better for it. Racists all over the country will feel less complacent after the schooling dished out to the likes of Penny Sparrow, Chris Hart and others.

This is how it began.

On Sunday evening, South African actor Hlomla Dandala highlighted a Facebook post by KZN estate agent Penny Sparrow in which she decried the use of public beaches by black people and also, referred to black people as “monkeys”.

Outrage at Sparrow’s comments poured in, and the hashtag #PennySparrow trended for hours.

At the same time, chief Standard Bank strategist Chris Hart tweeted that calls for return of land is the result of a sense of “entitlement”, and referred to such a call as a “poisonous ideology”. Hart also bemoaned the way that ‘minorities’ (i.e. white people) are treated – and questioned the existence of white privilege…

…which was ironic, as tweeps pointed out as they questioned how Hart got to the position that he did without (it would appear) having the relevant qualifications.

But tweeps had had enough, and were unapologetic in calling out the racism that they were seeing.


Tired of a system that has long oppressed them, Twitter demonstrated no chill and even made Sparrow’s personal details public.

Another tweep even paid the Sparrow family a visit.

Sparrow’s daughter Charmaine Cowrie told News24 that she had spoken to her mother, who said that “she didn’t mean anything [by the Facebook post] and she doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about. It’s just litter, paper on the ground.”

Sparrow later defended her comments herself, telling News24 “I wasn’t being nasty or rude or horrible, but it’s just that they [black people] make a mess. It is just how they are.”

The BBC, reporting on the furore, angered many with the way that they framed the story in a tweet that was later deleted.

 

It didn’t, however, end there.


Standard Bank, in the meanwhile, said they condemned Hart’s comments.


And on Monday afternoon, it was announced that the bank had suspended him.


Sparrow, a Democratic Alliance member, had charges pressed against her  by the party and steps taken to suspend her membership. The party also issued a statement condemning her comments.


But some were wary of the party demonstrating double standards.


And wondered whether Hart – also a DA member – would be condemned similarly.

 

And in the meanwhile, some worried about the precedent Hart’s suspension set. Was it fair to suspend someone for expressing views that are the official positions of more conservative parties anyway?

 

nomalangaSA

Let’s be real, Standard Bank hasn’t suspended Hart because they are fighting racism. They are responding to the outrage on social media, and strategically distancing their brand from the crude racism of one of their most publicly visible employees. Because, seriously, Hart’s utterances clearly had racist undertones.

We can take comfort in the knowledge that South Africa, under the astute leadership of the woke, will be a hostile place for racists. And that can only lead to a better place.

 

 

Editor’s note: We’ve removed a tweet that contained the personal details of Penny Sparrow as a reader pointed out, Sparrow has already received death and rape threats. 

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15 Comments

  1. Jon Low says

    Go after black and brown and brindled racists with equal vehemence or stand exposed as a hypocrite.

    1. Rajiv Ishwar says

      For sure. Name and shame anyone of any shade who is racist.

  2. Peter White says

    The Anti-White sentiment is growing in Anti-White South Africa. If we are not wanted here anymore, provide us with a safe passage out of SA to a decent 1st World country. I’m packed and ready to go. I’ve had enough of trying to help the ungrateful, self-entitlement culture of this horrible, useless country.

    1. Zimasa says

      Hi Peter. How are we Anti-White for merely standing up for ourselves? If you were continuously insulted because of the colour of your skin and continuously called a ‘monkey’ or ‘barbaric’ you would stand up for yourself too. To demean our fight to be respected and treated as humans by labeling it as ‘Anti-White’ is ignorant and obscene. I will not feel bad for standing up for myself if someone has insulted me. I am certainly not Anti-white and never will be, but I will not tolerate hate and disrespect based on the colour of my skin.

      1. Jon Low says

        Yet whites are routinely and vitriolically described as “settlers” and “thieves”. Purely based on the colour of their skin.

  3. Fanta says

    Sadly, these racist outbursts are not surprising since the majority of whites, due to centuries of conditioning, really still believe in their deepest core, that the must be some kernel of truth in “white supremacy”. I’ve seen this among many progressive whites as well.

    I’m still ambivalent about criminalizing speech but on the other hand words do harm – a lot!

    A better approach may be for whites to engage proactively in deprogramming this belief system alternatively, we will need to wait for a generation or two for the eradication of the damage inflicted for so long by colonialism and apartheid.

  4. Whiteguy born in the RSA says

    I’m not big on twitter shaming, but Sparrow/Hart deserve to be shamed ’till their ears turn red.

    I’ve also never thought it was fair to criticize Jacob Zuma because of his lack of education… George W. Bush and his team where among the most highly educated government is US history… how’d that work out? Far more important are qualities like integrity, leadership and vision. As to how JZ does on that score … well, you can decide for yourself.

  5. Rajiv Ishwar says

    The author should be balanced. There are also many racist people of colour. Numerous FB group pages show posts calling white people names and calling for violence against them. Condemn all racists. Do not cherry pick.

  6. Z.A says

    “Dezemba has faded into Januworry” can that be any more racist?

  7. The other guy says

    Don’t confuse hatred for racial discrimination.

  8. Reason for hate. says

    White Zimbabweans was also thinking ethnic cleansing or white genocide was ridicules right up to the point Robert Mugabe chased them out the country. Zimbabwe was reduced from almost 300 000 white people to 30 000 white people today, where is the exaggeration, where are the people that said it won’t happen?

    They are threatening or in the process to remove white history from S.Africa by removing the statues, we have seen this all over the world the moment something like this happen, genocide follows.

    The majority of blacks in S.Africa are from poverty and they all want something NOW, look at the leader of the EFF that JUST want 51% of businesses and land without the compensation to the owner his reason for this, black people can’t afford it otherwise or whites exploited the blacks, what happened to the willing seller and the willing buyer?

    The white man is going to pay for this all around as the majority of black people think it immoral to take from their own rich black brothers while their own leader has a R400m house.

    Black Economic Empowerment is an undercover word to take everything from the white person by force without compensating people for it and to give to black people. How would anyone of a particular race be against this notion if they gain from this, so why would the majority EVER be different than the rest of Africa?

    WHAT IS THE DIFFRENCE between a white hungry person and any other skin colour hungry person? It is not job creation when you take work away from another skin colour to give to another. The moment anyone has to suffer for anyone else something fundamentally is wrong, yet the majority appears on BBC and openly admits to this and it is just OK?

    When did murdering and theft become socially acceptable? White people did not steal land from the blacks, they were given land from Dingaan king of Zulus for services rendered, and also right up to the time he betrayed the white man and killed close to 500 at one time. Read the Piet Retief story and Dingaan king of Zulus. This sparked the fight of Blood river, and many more had to die and somehow the white people that bargained from the beginning are wrong?

    It is socially acceptable to kill people these days and to take from them without compensating, otherwise known as theft. Perhaps one could say it is acceptable to take land back as the government so pleases, what about BEE, theft in the business sector of S.Africa, intimidation to organizations if they don’t employ up to 51% black people they would be penalized. I call it intimidation as it is terrifying the people to do something that is not morally right.

    Since government is doing it in the open it is acceptable in society?

  9. John says

    If you don’t have an education, don’t become president of anything. That is the moral of anything.

    South Africa teaches it is OK to go to prison and become president, now it is OK to have no formal schooling or even a grade 4 and become president of SA?

    What message is that sending to SA children, it is OK, you don’t have to go to school, just become 18 and you will become president of something?

  10. TheRealMidnite says

    South Africa? Hostile to racism? I had a good laugh at that… This over-glorified, Frankenstein monster of a country is a monument to racism. All the Twitter rants and counter-rants in the world won’t change that.

  11. TheRealMidnite says

    …and now you’ve removed a tweet containing Sparrow’s personal details because she received “death and rape” threats? Is “death and rape” how you were planning on schooling her?

  12. Here’s 10+ things the DA should apologise for | For Naija

    […] taken to suspend her membership, and the party also issued a statement condemning her comments comparing black people to monkeys. But some were worried about the double standards the party was displaying, leading us to our next […]

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