SA's solution - stone the bastards

2012-05-28 09:57

Chris Moerdyk

Every time I hear one of our politicians calling for the nation to show tolerance I can't decide whether to laugh my head off or run outside into the street and hurl myself under a bus.

To hear politicians advocating tolerance is both tragic and funny because the entire political agenda all of the political parties, without exception, is to fuel the fire of intolerance.

All of them just cannot take even the most minor criticism on the chin. The slightest slight, the smallest  insult, the most subtle jest and they all react as though someone has set fire to their genitals.

Our politicians react badly to everything with which they don't agree. Not only that, but we have a government that is turning us into as nanny state which is simply legislating intolerance.

The whole Zuma Spear saga is a classic example.

Sure, it's not nice to be denigrated and insulted. But, that's not the point. What causes the most damage to the maligned person and the whole nation is the resultant tsunami of media coverage that sweeps round d the world. Yes, there will be those who will side with our president but there will be those who just think it is a laugh.

Ignore it all

In practical terms, public figures and celebrities should follow the example of their counterparts in the USA four example. And just ignore it all.

I do not recall Bill Clinton going  to court over a cartoon showing him being toppled off his pedestal by Monica Lewinsky pulling his willy.

That cartoon died virtually at birth. Critics, like bullies, are best put in their place by ignoring them.

The problem in South Africa is that we have all sorts of nanny state laws designed to protect the people but which, in fact, are simply empowering the people to be intolerant.

With politicians threatening to sue their detractors right left and centre they are simply giving the green light to all all South Africans to become intolerant.

Which results in so-called Christian clergymen seriously advocating that an artist be stoned to death.

Which results in Cosatu members physically stoning DA protestors just because they had the temerity to protest against Cosatu in precisely the same way that Cosatu protests against all sorts of things heaven knows how many times a year.

Listen to ourselves

We should just listen to ourselves. On radio talk shows, ordinary people become incensed at the most innocent of remarks. Getting steamed up about the fact that a pack of hot cross buns has a Halaal stamp.

Listen to ourselves playing the race card whenever we can't think of an intelligent response.

Listen to ourselves at dinner parties and around the family breakfast table. We bitch and moan about everything and anything that does not fall in with what we believe.

Listen to ourselves in our cars.

Listen to ourselves when our sports teams don’t win.

I believe that before politicians get on their high horses and start firing off invective they should  think for a second about whether they are promoting or advocating intolerance.

Chronic intolerance

Right now, South African society must be  among the most intolerant on earth. Our intolerance kills people on our roads. Our intolerance is generating massive social anger.

The responsibility for our chronic level of intolerance can be laid squarely on the shoulders of our politicians who need to go back and read up on  what democracy is all about. What freedom of expression is all about.

And most of all look up in the dictionary what the word intolerance really means.
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  • mlucejko - 2012-05-28 10:41

    Have you noticed that all the Lawyers in this country go around with 'big smiles' on their faces !! There is always someone suing someone else for saying something and there is always someone else counter-suing another person.. It seems to me in this 'intolerant nation' the only winners are the lawyers !!

  • Templar - 2012-05-28 10:43

    Do I detect some anger there Chris? I can certainly identify with much of what you wrote.

  • sonjajordaan1 - 2012-05-28 10:56

    Isn't ignoring also a silent acknowledgement of truth? I do believe we as South-Africans are over sensitive and react inappropriately, because we are emotionally immature. We may defend ourselves and our views, but in a way that is worthy of respect. We must go back to basics, and learn to talk, and speak so that we can be understood, and appreciated for who we are as a person. It all begins in the home and the family. We must strengthen our family units.

  • IcemanGP - 2012-05-28 11:28

    Oh come now, seriously, do you really think they know how to use a dictionary.

      Est1987 - 2012-05-31 12:05

      That's cold.

  • ted.needtoknow - 2012-05-28 11:57

    You are absolutely right, the majority of South African take any form of criticism as a personal attack and respond accordingly, often violently.

  • Phillip - 2012-05-28 12:42

    I think it incorrect to generalize 'intolerance', or what may be perceived to be intolerance. There may be three kinds of what you are talking about, Chris, in my opinion. The first (not necessarily in order if importance) is the intolerance that is stirred up by the government against those who have the temerity to criticize them. Then there is the palpable intolerance, usually racially inspired, eagerly taken up by all bigots in the land, at the slightest beckoning. The third is (perhaps your perception) the 'intolerance' that is directed towards unjustified denunciation. For instance, when the accusation is that I do not find 'The Spear' offensive, is because I am a racist. The ANC has attempted to use this fortuitous and timely distraction from their malgovernance to apply the only 'glue' left to them to hold a beleaguered electorate together, by doing what they do best - lying. I do not consider my protest merely an opportunity to indulge myself by 'whinging', but rather my patriotic duty (of every citizen to protect his country from it's government) to add a necessary balance to a skewed viewpoint, if only for the benefit of those who would be lied to.

      pieter.haasbroek - 2012-06-02 15:33

      Oh my Phillip, was it necessary to engage in analysis? Intolerance is intolerance. What you are describing is how intolerance is demonstrated; you are not describing three different types of intolerance. I quite like how Chris put a finger on the basic problem; extensive further academic debate and analysis won't change the core problem definition. It only obscures it and that is part of the problem - everything is being complicated to the extent people don't actually know what the problem is anymore hence easy bailouts such as playing the race card.

  • denis.johnson.7771 - 2012-05-28 14:25

    Spot on Chris. The Spear was a red herring godsend , Jackson an co will probably continue to milk it for a few more days. In the meantime more sinister stuff is sliding thru under the radar

  • gcj.wood - 2012-05-28 18:38

    @dennis.johnson.7771,totally agree to coin a famous British political misquotation "It's a good day to bury bad news"!

  • afroduckk - 2012-05-29 01:21

    Excellent article Chris ....

  • Lauden Kirk - 2012-05-30 08:18

  • Est1987 - 2012-05-31 12:07

    Hate to admit it, but you're on to something. What we need is to start with a basic, "You, Tarzan, me, Jane" conversation.

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