Malema Ruling: The Reverse Scenario

The talk of the town has reached a peak with the Julius Malema hate speech ruling having been delivered yesterday.

All over newspapers, websites and social networks South Africans of all races and cultures have immersed themselves in a public debate over applause or disgust at the South Gauteng High Court's judgement declaring the struggle song "shoot the boer" as being hate speech.

The one side of the coin which commends this decision is in favour of the view that such a song is, in fact, hate speech. Singing about shooting anyone at all isn't exactly the most joyous or celebratory of topics and it's easy to see why white South Africans are unhappy with having their fellow man chanting of shooting them.

On the other hand, however, black South Africans recognise that the song isn't to be taken literally and that it is a cultural symbol of the struggle. They are disappointed that the court would declare a historical war-cry to be unconstitutional and hate speech.

Both arguments are valid.

However, the country is not considering something vitally important in light of our new democracy: had the song read "Shoot the Zulu" you could imagine what kind of public outcry that would create.

In terms of this, it's understandable why Afrikaners frown upon the singing of the ANCYL of "Shoot the Boer". Had the AWB been gathering at rallies and chanting of shooting black South Africans, the outcome would have been catastrophic.

So here's the question to pose to our society: how does one excuse singing of shooting whites and not of shooting blacks? Any logical person would agree that shouting in the streets of shooting anyone is a violation of a number of human rights and it's hard to believe that the United Nations would approve of such "hate speech".

Quite simply, if the court's ruling had approved the public singing of this song, they could just as easily allow "Shoot the Zulu" or discriminatory words from apartheid to still be in use. After all, it depicts our history, right?

The fixation on the past is something which scratches the tempers of many in this country. The longer we preserve the past, the longer we keep the principals of it alive.

From this it's quite clear that the principles of apartheid still linger on today and that a country which prides itself on one of the most progressive constitutions in the world is not willing to embrace change.

Maybe we should be focussing on "hugging the Boer" rather than shooting him.

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