Red October is Wrong: Crime Affects Us All

2013-10-12 10:59

Social media users in South Africa reacted with outrage to the protest movement called 'Red October.' The group, who aims to highlight, what it terms, "white genocide," marched on the Union Buildings, according to reports, to show their anger at the "slaughter" of white people in the country. The group, it is reported, handed a memo to the Presidency to highlight their concerns.

It is easy to dismiss these groupings, of which there are many, as being right-wing nut jobs, who deserve no attention whatsoever. However, the fact that this group exists and genuinely believe that white people are under siege represents deeper issues that South Africa will have to face in order to heal the festering wounds of Apartheid and colonialism.

The truth is that white people are not the worst affected by crime.  Black people, and black women in particular, are those who actually bear the brunt of it, often being subjected to the most brutal, heinous and dehumanizing treatment possible. South Africa's murder rates are the highest in the world for any country outside of a war zone. And when the body bags are tallied, it is painfully true that black people suffer most.

This is not to say that crime does not affect everyone, nor is it to say that because a certain sector of the population suffers more than others, it is somehow more entitled to empathy and support. It is quite the opposite: crime, particularly when it is violent in nature, can have the same physical, mental and psychological effects on its victims. Ironically, it is the commonplace experience of crime in South Africa that unites us all. Our victimhood based on reality is probably more our shared experience than the idealism of unity created in the Constitution.

As sad as that statement may be, many would agree. So it is both regrettable and unfortunate that those people who marched to the Union Buildings could not see that. Or maybe they could see it but chose to ignore it. Whatever their motivation, they have done themselves and, it must be said, their legitimate cause, irreparable harm. Now, instead of South Africans taking farm murders seriously, as we should, given the loss of life and wider economic consequences of it, farm murders and white crime victims will probably become the butt of many jokes. All because the narrow, self-interested race-based collectivism triumphed over common humanity.

The South African government has a lot of work to do. Not only must it work harder at policing better, it must also do things like strengthening the national discourse around gender. It is easy to write about. It is difficult to deal with. How do you start breaking a culture of violence? The serious thinking and myriad of policy choices that need to be made in order to try and do so must happen with urgency. These are not easy things. But they must be done.

Crime dehumanises all of us when we fall victim to it. We should not allow it continue dehumanising us to the extent that all we see is "our" pain and grief and have no regard for "theirs."


AB praises selfless skipper

2010-11-21 18:15

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.