I remarked the other day that recently, SA politics has become depressingly depressing. Far too much foolishness and sabre-rattling from individuals elected to serve the population. Far too much emphasis on race and racism, sex and sexism, this-ism and that-ism. Far too much jumping to conclusions.
Far too little actually sitting down, talking to each other and sorting things out.
Three of the four news stories on the front page of the Cape Times today are based around an -ism of some sort. It’s depressing.
The other one is about plans for toll roads on the N1 and N2, which is equally depressing.
But why wouldn’t the South African population sling insults around at each other the whole time when those individuals who are elected to positions of responsibility are at it the whole time as well? Honestly, it’s like little kids in a playground, but with real and damaging implications for the country. Like I said, depressing.
And yes, I cc’d Helen Zille on a tweet about this, which I found on a Port Elizabeth DA Councillor‘s timeline:
and it now seems to have disappeared rather rapidly. Which is nice.
UPDATE: Nope – must have been a welcome temporary glitch – it’s still there.
Cue the liberals telling me that after the Malema “Shoot The Boer” verdict, “it’s a slippery slope” and that freedom of expression is being eroded. I feel that they are missing the point.
And that point is this. In my humble opinion, those individuals elected (by whoever) to positions of responsibility, should be act responsibly. Is “Shoot the Boer” really hate speech? Does the image above, captioned “How about this?” amount to incitement to violence? Or should we be asking different questions, like: What does it achieve when role models sing Dubul’ iBunu? How does it help when elected officials put images of prominent and controversial figures in a sniper’s crosshairs into the public space?
And yet these individuals make a conscious decision to do these things. Why? Where is the value in that?
It’s more than just the lack of any positive worth in these actions that depresses me. It’s the fact that these things are divisive and harmful and yet they are completely avoidable. Julius Malema, Councillor Greyling et al simply need to make better decisions.
So, rather allow Malema to sing Dubul’ iBunu and then rejoice when he chooses not to. Don’t stop Mr Greyling publishing dubious pictures on his public twitter stream, be happy when he thinks first and rather sticks the image in his trash can.
Hey! It’s ok.
I do recognise that these are just Utopian pipe dreams. I do understand that it’s not going to happen.
But rather than taking pot shots at each other across the great divide, why not just think before you act? Why not just be big enough to put aside emotions, sit down and talk?
My 5 year old son is getting good at doing these things.
Is it really too much to expect politicians to do it as well?