Guest Column

AfriForum abused by 'racist' commentators like Max

2017-09-28 09:23
Tumi Morake (File, Gallo Images)

Tumi Morake (File, Gallo Images)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Kallie Kriel

Robust public debate is a good thing: It helps all of us to form our thoughts and eventually reach the best answers to the challenges everyone in the country are currently facing.  

One prerequisite for this debate, however, is that it should not become superficial to such an extent that debaters set up and then shoot down their “opponent’s” arguments as straw puppets in an unnuanced manner by distorting the truth.  

Unfortunately, the public debate is indeed hampered by a small group of Afrikaans commentators and journalists – whose untested opinions are dished up to the rest of us week after week on various media platforms – who create misrepresentations of AfriForum and Solidarity’s opinions in an unashamedly and continuously intolerant fashion. 

Max du Preez’s article, "'Boer bullies' will cost white people dearly" on 26 September on News24 is the epitome of this intolerance and these misrepresentations. 

It is rather ironic that Du Preez attempts to insult AfriForum and Solidarity in his article by dismissing these organisations as "Boer bullies" not even a week after acting just like a bully during a debate with me on the Afrikaans radio station RSG. 

Du Preez continuously attempted to hush me up and was unwilling to listen to any opinion that differed from his own. Let’s leave it at that.  

The question begs why this small group of Afrikaans commentators and journalists like Max currently count among the most intolerant participants in the public debate.  

The fact that Max and co. insult anyone who dare differ from them has obviously resulted in them making enemies among a wide spectrum of South Africans. 

Needless to say, this smart alec-iness and superiority that Max and his allies exhibit in their articles are viewed by some black South Africans as racist superiority. It is out of desperation that Max and others are now trying to show that they aren’t racist by sticking this false label to AfriForum and attacking AfriForum in a bid to position themselves to the left. 

I obviously do not agree with the racist label that Max is subjected to. Accusations of racism are unfortunately used in the public debate in attempts to discredit “opponents” without focusing on their arguments. It is unacceptable that this strategy is used against Max, just as it is unacceptable for Max to use it against AfriForum. 

Max and co. will not succeed in proving that they aren’t racist by simply attaching a false label to AfriForum. A better strategy would have been to rather try and be less pedantic and superior in their articles. It would also help them to dispose of their intolerance towards anyone who dares to differ from them.  

An even greater problem with most of the arguments that Max and a few others raise against AfriForum and Solidarity is that these are built on misrepresentations and leave no room for nuance. 

They attempt in this way to present objections against Jacaranda FM presenter Tumi Morake’s statements that “white people are bullies who should be punished” as objections because Morake “is raking up uncomfortable reminders from the past”. 

This is untrue. AfriForum and Solidarity believe in the principle of mutual recognition and respect between communities. As such, Morake’s feelings and her right to raise these are respected, but it is unacceptable and unnecessary for her to have portrayed white people as bullies. 

A further irony is that those who now advocate the loudest for Morake’s right to vent her feelings are also trying to silence listeners who feel insulted and are venting their own feelings by dismissing these valid objections as bullying. 

According to AfriForum’s viewpoint, mutual recognition and respect require Afrikaners, Afrikaans-speaking people in general and white people to respect black people, but also that minority communities have the fullest right to act if they are disrespected and insulted. After all, healthy debate requires everyone to have the right to state their opinions without being insulted by other communities.     

AfriForum and Solidarity are obviously not above criticism; as a matter of fact, we gladly listen to it. When this criticism is based on misrepresentations and prejudice, however, or there are unfair attempts to attribute stupid statements on social media to AfriForum, it does not contribute to sensible debate. 

South Africans deserve better, namely a debate without misrepresentations and where everyone’s voice is heard – and without a fistful of intolerant Afrikaans commentators with access to media trying to prescribe to us what to think and do. 

Each one of us should rather have our respective opinions be heard with confidence and obviously without subjecting any other community or organisation to insults.  

- Kallie Kriel is CEO of AfriForum.

Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.

Read more on:    tumi morake  |  solidarity  |  afriforum
X

SHARE:

Inside News24

 
/Africa
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.