When it comes to our horrific and depressing crime situation, I live in a few parallel but totally different realities: In the first reality we are all outraged when a White victim is butchered, clobbered to death or pumped with multiple gunshots at the hands of a Black/Coloured murderer. There is an outpouring of anger lasting from the start of the murderer’s trial right to the end, with daily news to keep us worked up and fighting for justice. There are televised tributes falling short of out and out days of mourning, charities get dedicated to the victim, there is widespread sorrow and mourning and a thunderous cry for the return of the death penalty, the murderer is labeled a “beast”, an “animal”.
In the second reality when the victim is a White, the murderer also a White, there is the usual outpouring of anger lasting from the start of the murderer’s trial right to the end, with daily news to keep us worked up and fighting for justice. There are televised tributes falling short of out and out days of mourning, charities get dedicated to the victim, there is widespread sorrow and mourning HOWEVER there is NO thunderous cry for the return of the death penalty, the murderer is Not labeled an “animal” who deserves to rot in prison hell or die a slow death. When the murderer is a White we are suddenly informed of “due process”, “innocent until proven guilty”, “respect for the accused” , we are asked to put ourselves in their shoes, we are asked not to speculate until all the facts have been established, not to rush to any conclusions. Today a monster far worse than Donovan Moodley stands accused of murder most fowl, headlines read “Prayer for Pistorious”. Was there ever a headline that read “Prayer for Donovan Moodley”?
In the third reality where the victim is Black/Coloured, there is shock, condolences and well wishes for the family, perhaps even a single front page headline and then. Dead silence. The deceased is quickly forgotten and it’s on to the very next story. All this has deeply desensitized us to the suffering of our own people, Now we are more likely to mourn and pray for the Leigh Matthews and Reeva’s than our own brutally slain and raped Anene Booysens’.
It is NOT supposed to be this way if we want to put up a strong and united front against crime, The Bees got off, the Vlakplas Four got off, there was barely a murmur to these gross injustices – Judges must apply the law equally, the media Cannot keep reporting news in such an obviously race-based manner. On our part, we must really examine our self for that part of lost self dignity and pride; we need to rediscover the ideals of Steve Biko.
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