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What Spur should have said about that video

We’ve all seen that Spur video, and everyone has plenty to say about it.

On Tuesday, the franchise released a letter on their Facebook page discussing what had occurred and what they were doing about it. Possibly responding to some of the criticism people have posted on social media, the letter states that the Texamo Spur’s staff had tried to intervene but were “pushed away numerous times by the angry male customer.”

It doesn’t look that way in the video. In fact, the video shows almost no intervention whatsoever by any member of the restaurant’s staff. The only heroes in the situation are Lebohang Mabuya and an unidentified man in a striped shirt standing up to a guy twice his size.

The statement went on to say that Spur was “shocked at the adults for behaving in the manner they did, especially with so many children around. As a family restaurant, Spur does not condone this type of behaviour… As soon as the incident escalated, Texamo Spur staff notified The Glen Shopping Mall security.”

When exactly did the situation escalate? When he started screaming, when he lunged at her or when he shook a table full of children? Why is the blame being addressed to both parties as though they were equally at fault? Does Spur management not recognise the obvious racism, misogyny and violence occurring in their branch? Is this yet another example of white male privilege in South Africa?

Spur has apparently banned the man from ever entering the establishment again, but how effective is this ban considering that his identity had not been made public and staff changes are a constant within the restaurant business? Who’s going to remember (or care) about this guy in two months? Why was Mabuya’s name noted, and not his?

This incident isn’t the result of bad manners, or staff not being trained to deal with violence, or kids misbehaving. It’s because white men in South Africa cannot cope with not having their every whim catered to. The incident is a reminder that the very relationship that white men have to black women is loaded with a history of racism and sexism, and that this history must be considered in every instance.

What happened at Texamo Spur is not the result of helicopter parents behaving badly; it’s far more complex than that. This unnamed man told her that he would give her a “poes-klap.” That means more than a black woman screaming “fuck you.” White male privilege and aggression is real, and it was abused. This is not something that can be solved by banning a man from a restaurant.

The least that Spur could have done was be honest and be critical in their statement. We can’t hold a black woman – a victim of obscene aggression and abuse of power – to the same standard as the white man who threatened her. We cannot throw trivial ‘punishments’ out to save face as an establishment. Spur needed to, and still needs to, offer an apology for their lack of action, offer Lebohang Mabuya compensation for her experience, and make a commitment to do all they can to see that this man is dealt with according to the law. If South Africa is ever going to see an end to these incidents of racial and sexualised terror, we need to have an appropriate and working model of dealing with racists, with misogynists and with men who scare children. Not statements filled with empty rhetoric.

10 Comments
  1. M says

    As usual, you’re desperately trying to sound radical and progressive. But what you’re actually doing is blaming black staff for not putting themselves at risk by taking on this guy. Then you are somehow trying to blame Spur because some violent, racist idiot decided to visit one of their franchises. The problem is the guy, stop throwing blame around as if you are somehow morally superior to everyone else. And by the way: issuing a statement by the next day is actually a pretty quick turnaround for any company (remember they have to consult all the way up the ladder), so that part of the article is just misguided. Maybe try being less preachy and do more real reporting.

  2. Punk is dead says

    Mishka, you know what YOU should be saying about spur? How they objectify native Americans. I think you have missed an opportunity for some GOLD self-righteous pretence!

  3. K says

    Mishka, nobody cares about your feminist tears. The woman provoked him. He lost his cool. End of story. Stop looking for misogyny where there is none.

    1. therealmidnite says

      Oh yeah, right, I forgot… big tough guys can’t handle words. Poor dipshit. Just like Oscar was “provoked” by his girlfriend using his bathroom.

    2. meshack says

      I couldn’t agree with u more

  4. Annelize says

    Maybe he did not see his daughter hitting first, which would explain his anger, but not excuse his behaviour and language. Using the P word is so common. I think the daughter should be punished for bullying another child. But then again, who taught her such behaviour? It’s disgusting.

  5. Roberto says

    K, I wish your kid could be bullied by this bully’s daughter.

  6. Roberto says

    This white man is a coward, because he noticed that the woman was seating alone with very young children and took advantaged of her. He did not expect her to retaliate in such a manner. He lost his cool because his masculinity was challenged by a black woman. I am afraid for Whites, because if they continue to behave like this into the future, South Africa will become the next Zimbabwe. Whites will start leaving the country in big numbers to avoid any physical conflict with blacks. Julius Malema is breeding the future radical leadership that will take over from Mandel’s ANC.

  7. JP says

    maak oop julle flippen oë… daardie man staan op vir sy klein dogtertjie na sy deur die vrou se seun ge”bully” word… stop rasisme teen wit mense!!!

  8. henk raijmakers says

    You people are so full of shit it is unreal,do all blacks and whites walk around like u lot! no wonder this country is in this mess, grow up and stop acting like its all white people’s fault I have seen black and white people behave even worse. The rest of the world is laughing at us the political elite is robbing the country blind. How bought everybody join hands and start working together to build our nation so ever body can share in our great country when did we get so petty and politically correct ,every body is so sensitive ,you know who is to blame…….all of you, you should be ashamed of yourselves stop and think both parents where wrong instead of dealing with the issue they both became a stereotype and that because whites think its all blacks folks fault and black people think its all white folks fault .One has to be true and change, and understand that there are people who do not see the world as you do, learn to tolerate them, to understand them .it is fear that make people act that way …….. I am not going to spend my life being a colour FOR NO ONE. I am a south african first and am proud to be one

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