White-on-white violence over a black matter

2014-12-01 13:45

Anyone who is remotely politically conscious would feel awkward at the oddity that was this war between Steve Hofmeyr, myself and my brown puppet Chester Missing. It was a circus in the full sense of the word.

We had a dummy sending a clown to silence a puppet. While it might all seem like fun and games, the underlying themes were very serious.

First, it was extremely gratifying to see extreme socially acceptable apartheid denial and white supremacy finally being unpacked on a very public platform, driven hugely by the fact that someone was stupid enough to sue a puppet.

Several direct/event sponsors distanced themselves from Hofmeyr, including Pick n Pay, Land Rover and Williams Hunt. Of course, we need to question why these companies had to have his bigotry rubbed in his face before they acted.

Second, the use of this harassment legislation by a bigot to protect his financial interests from his own bigotry and take up court time was a travesty. This law is meant to protect women, men and children escaping severe abuse, not white supremacists.

Add to this the fact that Hofmeyr and his henchman, Dan Roodt, misled the court at the outset, which is how the order got passed at all.

I was in a situation where if I so much as liked a @steve_hofmeyr tweet, I could be arrested.

Third, this trial involved two white men taking another white man to court for what his brown puppet had said on Twitter. While I know with complete certainty that I have dealt with any actual blackface concerns re Chester Missing (see my blog conradkoch.blogspot.com if you need more), the simple fact is that this case was about whiteness. White people discussing issues about black people without any black people.

Apparently, nothing has changed in 400 years.

In fact, the one very valid critique I would give myself is that by fighting racism, I have received huge public kudos and support. Chester Missing has been named one of the most influential Africans of the year by New African magazine and we have been given recognition by the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation for fighting racism.

Is antiracism that affirms white privilege still antiracism?

On the other hand, the fact is that white people must speak out on racism, but moderate their volume.

I know Andile Mngxitama believes we should not at all. The trouble is that the EFF, ANC and DA ignored this, while I did not.

I would prefer it if the voice getting the kudos was not white. But to avoid taking on Hofmeyr because of personal issues would have been affirming white privilege. Did I do the write thing? I believe so.

@conradkoch is the guy with the puppet

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