Online media is proving to be a popular source of current news, with and even more popular comments section. A disturbing trend is taking place here. The comments have spiralled into vile and vicious racist platforms.
If one were to judge our democratic progression from 1994 to present, solely based on what people have to say on various issues. One could conclude that we are anything but a rainbow nation.
Often the comments posted have little to do with the article itself. The racial slurs continue long beyond the fact of any substantial evidence that the commentary comes from an individual who has read the content. It is unfortunate that we show little intellectual prowess but insist on engaging one another with violent and nonsensical racial abuse.
There is that slight possibility that the instigators of this racial divide do so for attention seeking or to cause controversy with the luxury of anonymity. The fact is that we are losing opportunities to stimulate healthy minds and encourage freethinkers who, as envisioned by Leo Tolstoy, “are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges or beliefs.” It is unsurprising to see that such platforms only exhibit worse than useless forms of discourse primarily as they lack essentials for the right kind of thinking necessary for any rehabilitative process.
While the state preaches for a non-racialist republic, the reality is that racism is entrenched in the very fabric of privilege. Whether it is the access to resources, better schools, hospitals etc, it would be difficult to deny these as spaces of privilege based on our historical process. We need to learn to see each other as independent individuals. Find commonalities that encourage humility and the fighting for justice necessitating the need to overcome flawed privileges (racial, patriarchal, sexist etc). Our make- up is based on our immediate environments, our cultures customs and traditions, including our socio-economic status. These among various factors influence our way of life and views of the world.
A simplistic example would be: if parents were to adopt a child of a different race to them, that child would grow up and be influenced by immediate environment and not be defined by his or her race.
Though it should be said that media at times grossly perpetuates these privileges, these specific platforms are there for us to engage in rigorous debates, to educate and learn from our fellow countrymen. We need to adopt the mentality of “attack the ball not the man”. We simply must be able to debate based on merit and not be judgemental based on race and other created social hierarchies
Wriiten by Mr Selbourne (Selby) Sefume
Assisted by Mr Lusu Booi
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