Not a year goes by without the debate on the potential legalisation of marijuana featuring somewhere in the news, causing the old pro’s and con’s to emerge, and the entire discussion being ended by stoners not having the ability to put together a decent argument in favour of the banned substance.
Mind you, the latter is normally the argument used by the ‘con’ side of the debaters, in an effort to close the discussion on the taboo practice – for another twelve months or so that is.
Even the poor rhino’s have been the topic of such a debate, with some voices supporting the legalisation of the rhino horn trade, so as to “regulate” it.
On a side bar, if you can’t even manage to regulate it whilst it is illegal, how on earth are you going to do it in a legal manner?
If that argument is to carry any weight whatsoever, then why not believe that racial slurs should be legalised as well?
The Constitution, as well as common law regulates what you can and cannot call someone, and the latter provides for either a slander suit or, if you wanted to go criminal with the affair, crimen iniuria would be the charge brought against the offender.
The Constitutional route on the other hand, would include an action due to hate speech, something the Youth League, and Julius Malema in particular, is very acquainted with by now.
Now, we all know that the infamous “K” word, as used by the fashion industry representative of late Jessica Leandra Dos Santos, is a big no-no, especially considering its origins in this country.
In the U.S, they have “N” word, which, if you have lived under a rock all your life, is just as insulting as the S.A version.
However, these words have extended their taboo only to certain members of the public, meaning, white people, as some black youths in both countries informally bolster each other with the terms. My personal view is that you don’t have any self respect if you indulged in including them into your vocabulary.
If you engineered it, you can’t use it, and rightly so I feel, as I’m all for racial equality and have the same cringes in my toes as most people if someone uses the words above; especially when it’s done as blatantly as Miss Dos Santos did.
Now...back to legislation.
The argument is, that if you were to regulate something that is currently illegal, and more importantly, extremely unacceptable, you would somehow be able to neutralise the problem it poses, because legislation, and the subsequent committees, councils and regulators the legislation would create, would exert proper control over the previously banned substance or action.
Take abortion as an example.
Do you see anyone burning flags and breaking animal foetuses in jam jar’s in front of Mary Stopes Clinic, since legislation was passed on the subject?
No, you don’t.
Did you see that in front of some poor 16 year old girl’s house after she had an illegal abortion in the olden days? Yep... you did.
Even though the topic of abortion is still riddled with controversy, the voices screaming “murder!” have somehow calmed down since its legalisation.
Apply the same argument to racism (case in point, racial slurs)...just for a moment.
Now, what is the white equivalent of the “K” word?
For that matter, has a white person even considered any slur against him or her to be offensively racist? Does such a term exist?
Over the past couple of years, even white people have become over sensitive on the racial issue, more specifically, due to Julius Malema.
Why don’t black people invent a word that we would construe as racist against us, and then maybe the Youth League would stop threatening our lives!
It is for that reason and that reason alone, that whites are continually threatened by some radical blacks, who incidentally, weren’t even oppressed under apartheid.
A radical black person, such as Malema, needs to threaten white life to come close to the meaning of the “K” word for blacks.
As a white person, not having played a part in apartheid, I was taught that certain words are offensive to certain cultures, which I understand – or thought I did – until it made sense why shouting “snowies!” or “ghost-skins!” or even “dutchmen slavemasters” just didn’t have the same ring to it than killing us.
What if Jessica Leandra rather said something along the lines of “...f#$ing black man!” instead of her chosen word? Would it have made a difference?
The bottom line is, words are offensive if they offend, and some words just offend automatically. There is no solution to this issue. All we can do is suck it up, deal with it, and move on.
Not everyone that used the “K” word in anger, although in extremely bad taste and super inappropriate, is a racist slave master.
Just as everyone in the ANC Youth League, doesn’t want to kill all the whites, or chase them back to homes in Europe they don't have.
Legalise racial slurs?
Hell, we don’t need to do that to get over it; we just need to get over ourselves!
(I still think Jessica Leandra got what she deserved... I'm just spitballing).