The debate in South Africa is often stifled because we try too hard not to offend. We stop people that offend us from debating honestly by censoring them.
I grew up in an era were censorship was the norm. A whole generation of South Africans were raised on a diet of stars on nipples, religious brainwashing and political lies promulgated as truth. There were no alternative points of view because any opposition was fiercely dealt with and no truth was allowed to be published. Having said that one man's truth is another's propoganda.
I find the term freedom of speech quite interesting, because it always comes with strings attached. You can say whatever you want unless I don't like it. The bloke with the biggest gun always has more freedoms.
In our beloved country we can say anything we like unless of course it offens someone and is branded hate speech.
Hate speech is not language defined as offensive to someone else, it is defined as language that can lead to the harm of another. In order to make my point understood I am going to use an example of hate speech and an example of speech that will offend.
As our President, The most honorable, fearless leader has recently accused dog ownership and care of being unafrican and a white thing, I thought we could focus on this for starters, Hate speech or just idiocy that will offend? On it's own it would be classed as common stupidity and could be argued as offensive to white dog owners.
If this statement was made by Sipho Ndlovu from Joe Slovo Park in Thembisa, it could be safely ignored as the mutterings of a moron, however when the fearless leader of a nation makes the same statement in conjunction with a history of other idiotic statement and singing of songs, we could argue that it is not just common stupidity, but it is speech made to foster race hate, in other words hate speech.
Our fearless leaders attack on hapless white dog owners, along with his blaming of apartheid for the current violence we are experiencing, and his singing of Dubula Ibhunu creates a track record of racism and speech designed not only to offend but to foster hatred of one part of the South African.
The question is, should we be censoring our fearless leader or should we be educating him? I am of the opinion that we should respect free speech even if we find it totally offensive. How else are we going to be able to identify the idiots and send them to training camps to be brainwashed?
Seriously I believe that we should support and encourage those that have differing opinions, especially to ine to argue their cases. I don't care if the moron is a black supremacist or a Afrikaner Without Brains, we need to allow them to utter their stupidity so that we can laugh at them and teach them.
When a moron in the bank line complains about the pretty poor service since they have taken over, ask them who the branch manger is and mostly ask them if they remember the queues at the municipality, and being sent from pillar to post at government departments is the "good old days" I do and sadly very little has changed. It's just different idiots behind the counter.
The truth of the matter is that anyone that has a government job is there for the pension and the salary, and this has always been so.
Take every moment to educate, to debate and to help our country heal, do not ignore someone just because he has a difference of opinion, maybe you can learn from me and I from you. Like you I am just a normal South African man fighting the daily fight to survive, to be heard and to have a less complicated life.
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