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Why we cannot justify the actions of the white man at Spur

This long weekend once again saw Facebook explode with racial tension. Angry BLACK WOMAN vs Angry WHITE MAN. So many opinions littered across every posting of the video, but the common question being asked is, what happened before?

As if that really actually matters.

Let’s break this down.

This was a man standing up and raising his hands towards a woman. This is a man shoving a table full of children.

“Stop making it about race”, they cry. “It’s just a father defending his child,” they declare. As if that should be a suitable justification for any of his behaviour.

And therein lies the definition of male privilege, because somehow you are convinced that the angry black woman must have done something to provoke his ire. Because God forbid, a grown man should be able to keep his emotions in check and control his behaviour.

“They are both at fault”.
“We don’t know what happened beforehand”.
“We can’t comment just on what we see in the video”.

Let’s make this one thing clear. It really doesn’t matter how he approached them or how anything started. At the end of the day this man raised his hands to assault a woman. He then shoved a table that had a bunch of children sitting at it.

If we want to ignore everything else, every other thing, the truth remains is that he should not have done that. Because if we at any point try to explain or justify his behaviour by saying she should not have done X, Y or Z, then we are failing women who are assaulted by men every day.

They truth that you may not like is that taking race out of this, then makes it a gender issue. It suggests that maybe the woman in the video should have been kinder, gentler and softer. She should have listened. What we don’t see does not justify what we did see. And what we saw was a man looming over a woman threatening her with physical violence.

And when say that you need to know what happened in the minutes before, what you are saying that you want and are desperately seeking something that will help you justify this man’s actions.

And that’s what makes this a race issue.

Because chances are, if you are looking to justify this man’s actions, you are probably white. If you are saying “I need to know what happened before,” you are probably white.

If you think this woman needs to check her behaviour, while you may not be wrong – once again – you are probably white.

If you’re saying that this is just a man defending his child, while completely ignoring the reports that this man grabbed the other kid and told his child to hit her, then you are probably white.

And then you should ask yourself why all those things matter.

You want to strip it down?
A man raised his hands to assault a woman.
A man shoved a table where a bunch of children were seated,

No man should do that. Ever.

It doesn’t matter what a woman says or does or how she’s dressed. If you need to know what happened before to justify his behaviour, check your privilege.

Jo Holroyd is a keyboard warrior. When she’s not running after her kids, you can find her writing stuff she hopes will make people laugh.

Featured image via Flickr
22 Comments
  1. brett fish says

    Sho, this is brilliant thank you. That event has disturbed me so much but even more so the [white] response to it – people justifying their actions and justifying their response to it and condemning me for being too hard on white people for suggesting it was not about race…

    1. Jumbo says

      Well done Brett. You win today’s beta male award.

      1. John says

        Ha ha!

  2. Karin Cremer says

    Jo, you know me, and yes, I am white. However, I don’t think that race or gender make this situation wrong. I think that both parties behaved unacceptably in public for whatever reason and it doesn’t matter what the reason. The language alone by both parties is unacceptable in front of children or adults for that matter. I just think it is very sad that any child had to witness a parent behave in this manner. Sure there would have been a trigger which certainly could be racial or some other reason, but it most certainly does not excuse either of their behaviour.

    1. Luzuko says

      So you do admit that the triggers could be racial or patriarchy (male privilege) however at the top of your message you say its not. Contradict your self much?

  3. Apply a philosophic mind says

    Check your Privilege?!

    How dare you!! I am a member of the only minority it is legal to be discriminated against, check our nation’s laws!
    I am a member of the only race it is legal to say, “you cannot be employed to this position because you have the wrong skin colour.” That’s not a joke, I have literally been told in job interviews I cannot be employed because I am white.

    You are the least self aware author of this news channel I have read an article of. If you, for just one moment, stood back and actually conceived of the overwhelmingly advantageous position you are in and the disadvantaged position people like me are in, QUITE LITERALLY BY LAW, you would humble yourself.

    But like every single author from this channel whose articles I have read, you are corrupted by an amerocentric view on race and culture equal to that of buzzfeed and MTV. Every article from this channel applies an extremely partisan view on race and a downright appallingly subjective view on morality due to this partisanship. You specifically mentioning the man’s race in the title is definitely not productive, I can see he is white. Your skewed view on race is already revealed before the article has started.

    This woman’s child hit a girl in the face, how on earth are you incompetent enough to overlook this completely and judge this man for his almost similar behaviour afterwards? YOU are the one applying a racist view, YOU are the one targeting this man for merely appearing to possibly contemplate doing something that a black boy literally did a few minutes before.

    Why did this boy hit a girl half his age in the face? Who taught the boy to do these things? Why did his mother not reprimand him? I can assure you when I was this boy’s age, my parents would give me 6 of the best and a heavy lecture for such behaviour. This lady did not even respond! She literally started cursing at the man for bringing this up.

    I do not condone the man’s actions, but I do not think for one moment that this man was in a stable frame of mind. The lob-sided doling of punishments to both parties indicates our nation’s anti-white stance on racism. If the restaurant was fair, it would have banned both or neither of the customers. Guess what, they banned the white one…

    I want you to picture this:

    You are a person of a certain skin colour and gender, every day a politician somewhere in this country publicly blames you for the country’s problems and tries desperately to undermine your basic human rights enshrined in a constitution that should be in service of every citizen. By definition you are a second-class citizen since there is active legislation to disadvantage you in life and decrease your quality of life. Everything you have made for yourself is mocked by short-sighted racists who call your hard work and the results thereof “privilege”. You go to a restaurant with your family where your daughter is assualted and another person of a privileged class (by definition with regard to race and gender as black people and women have laws to their benefit that disadvantage people of other races and men) starts yelling at you for trying to get assistance in teaching a poorly disciplined boy about treating girls equally and maybe not punching girls half your age in the face. Just go and check gender violence statistics, this article is pathetic.

    I dare you to try and dispute my comment, I dare you to write an article with a coherent response. I am right, you know why I am right? I apply universal morality to ALL people and hold ALL people to the same standards. You, as evidenced already in the title of the article, do not. If you want to win arguments and sway people to believe your views, you need to hold the right views. You can’t keep swaying people with clearly incoherent and flawed arguments.

    1. Shimelle says

      Unreasonable response:
      Firstly white people have privilege in this country – it’s a fact that can’t be disputed. Employers don’t necessarily follow the rules of “anti-white”. Employers seek white people (im not saying it’s right, but it happens) . There is a higher percentage of white people employed in SA and as you say we are the minority. That’s screwed up. It shows us that white people have privilege. Another unrelated example of privilege is in schools- many schools accept white students(regardless of marks) to get their demographics up but only allow black students to enter based on their marks. I know because I’m a teacher.

      Secondly- the man cursed first: watch the video. Also he called her a extremely demeaning word. A sexist too.

      Thirdly : this man’s daughter hit the woman’s child first – where did the child learn this behavior except from the parent. Racism is taught. It needs to be addressed.

      Maybe you need to open your eyes before becoming defensive. Using the “law” of BEE doesn’t make your arguement valid. Just because there is a law doesn’t mean it’s working – check your privilege

    2. Give back the land, that’s when we shall all be equal in front of the laws eyes. Over 500 years of slavery and colonialism needs to be addressed. We need to see more white people occupying taking initiative in redress and not pretend to be victimized all of a sudden as if the general white population vs the general black majority can be economically compared to one another.

      1. Apply a philosophic mind says

        350 years at most, once again amerocentric. Even then the first 150 years were relevant for Khoisan peoples not Bantu speaking peoples, which are not the same thing.

        Slavery is applied to slaves brought in from the far east and India, there were very little if any black slaves.
        I happen to be a decendent of a slave so my grievance is greater than yours if this was even a strong argument. Please note if you check history white and coloured people can complain about slavery as our ancestors were slaves, this is not an argument for black people in South Africa.

        Colonialism by Britain, go talk to Britain and get by our diamonds as colonialism benefits the controlling country by definition. The afrikaners were also colonised, its called the boer wars and every war/uprising between british and afrikaners since 1796 up to 1902. Settlement of open land by most white ethnic groups was with land bought and earned with favours, check the history of our country such as the example of Dingaan and Piet Retief. Piet Retief and his followers helped retrieve cattle for Dingaan in exchange for land after which Dingaan betrayed them and went back on the arrangement.

        Check the laws, if you defend BEE and other current forms of discrimination, you defend all forms of discrimination by proxy. Be objective and know your history.

    3. Shocked and appalled says

      Shame. Poor, racist you. It must be hard…

      1. Apply A Philosophic Mind says

        Please provide a basis for your assertion of my racism.
        I have objectively provided historically accurate evidence for my argument.
        You have provided a word. Please elaborate as merely using a word indicates a dogmatic worldview without any basis.

        Please provide evidence or your argument is hereby invalid due to its lack of substance.

        1. Shocked And Appalled says

          Because you use different standards to judge 2 people of different races.
          You excuse this man’s violent behaviour towards a black child, yet you condemn the response of that child’s mother.
          It’s somehow heinous for one child to hit another child (a normal occurrence in most creches, that can be dealt with in a calm manner) and yet ok for the big man to grab the small child violently?
          It’s excusable for that man to threaten and carry out violence, but inexcusable for that woman to drop a few f bombs?

          Yeah, racist.
          The rest of your comments require too much typing to address.

          1. Apply A Philosophic Mind says

            Rebuttal: Please read my earlier comments. I clearly state I do not condone his behaviour. All behaviour toward all children should be civil but stern especially when it comes to discipline. If I punched a girl in the face my parents would give me 6 of the best and a hard lecture, its probably just my upbringing.

            However, I am repeatedly appealing for a universal standard to be applied as the restaurant has not done this, If it did it both would have been banned or neither. The other problem here is the man went to the mother to address the issue in a civil manner and she immediately cursed at him. He got more angry in response and as stated in earlier replies his behaviour is not condoned.

            If both parents were civil from the start this would be a much more balanced issue and much more nuanced. It wasn’t. The mother did not treat the man like an equal as she did not listen to him, she cursed at him from the start to put the white man in his place, at the bottom.

            The basis for your assertion is that I applied an uneven standard, since a rebuttal has been provided would you like to re-assert the charge from another perspective?

    4. ted mike says

      Are you saying that you are white , so you are right for what ever you say. That’s ignorance.

  4. Derek Black says

    This is disgusting

    Forcing it into a gender or race issue makes a mockery of real gender and race issues.

    There is plenty of real racism and sexism going on that needs to be dealt with so please stop making up false ones. It doesn’t help.

    No man, woman or child should raise their hands to anyone. End of. The fact that she was a woman does not make this any worse than if it was a man. The fact she was black does not make it any worse than if she was white.

    This behaviour is inexcusable regardless of the race and gender of the people involved.

    Stop the petty point scoring. You are not helping anything

  5. Job says

    White people eh. Like the white billionaires like George Soros and his Open Society Foundation who fund your bullshit website? Hypocrites.

    1. Redone says

      Interesting. Soros is the same guy who funds Black Lives Matter in the US. He’s a British billionaire who puts money into far left leaning campaigns that incite racial hatred. From what I understand he uses them to create instability in countries and then play the financial markets. Look him up on youtube. I’m not surprised that a race-baiting gutter journalism site like this is funded by him and his Open Society Foundation.

  6. Nhlanhla Gumede says

    I do believe you are a huge part of the problem. Fueling the fire – so to speak.
    I understand you want traffic on your blog, but why not focus on the farm murders? Or don’t you have an opinion on that?

    Keyboard warrior you are.
    And quite frankly, its because of you and the people who gnaw at every little bit of “news” that will halt this country from getting anywhere.
    Is it worth it? Your couple hours of “fame” ?

    I thought this blog was supposed to be “funny” ?
    Please work on your comedy skills. This aint it.

    1. Shelz says

      Well said!
      Abuse CAN and does work both ways. Just because I am a woman does NOT give me a ‘get out jail free’ card. I may not swear abuse at men and not expect an unwelcome response.
      People need to put away their egos and think before reacting regardless of age, race, religion or gender. Treat others as you would like to be treated. Fair and square.

  7. Tarryn says

    So I can’t have any opinions (ie why should she NOT change her behaviour *as well*) questions, because that would make me white & privelaged?

    I agree with the article – having not watched the video, having not heard anything about it. But what I take issue with is “If you think this woman needs to check her behaviour, while you may not be wrong – once again – you are probably white.”

    Abuse is abuse. Assault is assault.

    Completely biased, completely targeted, complete fanfare. Written to suit, support a particular gender, race to gain favour.
    And any disagreement labels you white and privelaged.

    That’s like saying the sky is red, and if you disagree you’re a satan-worshipping, dog sacrificing, poop-eating witch. Because if you were a dude, well that’d be okay – by you…

    Good points made until you went wrong… But hey, I guess I’m just too white & too privelaged, what do I know (apparently white privelage makes people dumb, blindfolded & carefree… )

  8. Apply A Philosophic Mind says

    Just to state I replied yesterday and its not showing, I think the site blocked my response.
    If so, censoring conflicting opinions is the easiest way to become ideologically corrupt and develop an incoherent world view in relation to the rest of humanity.

    Hope this one shows.

  9. AnyWhiteManInSA says

    The irony of the situation is that if the roles were reversed the headlines would be reading “black woman puts white boertjie in his place” and we’d all be having a giggle at the white guy. And there-in lies the irony … We live in a country where everyone is considered innocent till proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt…EXCEPT in two instances: in the case of rape and domestic assault cases the courts have been PROVEN to give more consideration to the female party. Isn’t that sexist within itself? It’s amazing how it’s OK to call a white Afrikaans person a boertjie implying he’s a farmer (which be seen as quite slanderous…especially if he’s say … for instance … a lawyer or a doctor by implying simply based on his accent and colour that he from a base profession), but dare anyone white (especially male) even accuse someone of any other colour or sex of being anything less than perfect and suddenly they’re a bigot and a racist (even if there is truth behind the accusation). The guys at work have a saying that they use in jest … a black man is always a suspect. Yet in the “new” south africa it seems like it’s the white man that is always the one in trouble … if we speak out we’re in trouble of causing offence and if we keep quiet, we’re guilty of apathy (and thus guilty ANYWAY). Either way…we can’t win and we can’t just be left alone. We didn’t CHOOSE our sex … We didn’t CHOOSE our colour, but no matter how we CHOOSE to represent either (sex or colour), we’re still the enemy in EVERYONE else’s eyes. I say this not to justify the man’s actions in this instance, merely to condemn the sensationalist response that the rest of society has had to the instance. Sad world. RIP true democracy and equality.

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