The Monster we Created

2015-04-19 07:49

That the Monster of hatred that is currently marauding across the country surprises South Africans, should be the biggest surprise of all. Not unlike Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the creation of Xenophobia has been painstakingly crafted evil sinew by evil tendon, until this 8ft beast with yellow eyes and skin that hardly conceals the blood vessels and the tissue underneath, terrifies its creators.

The beasts of Xenophobia and the one from Mary Shelley’s novel share common characteristics. Both were created by man and both turned on the very people who gave them life. In the novel the beast is clear that it is the “Adam of your labour,” and indeed, he might as well being referring to the violence and racism that is currently rocking this country when he spoke these prophetic words.

Nothing happens in a vacuum. Over the last few years we have seen the steady and un-abating rise in racism. Intolerance of alternative cultures, nationalities, skin colour, religion and lifestyle choices have become acceptable, despite our insistence that it is not. And the continual march towards the current status made it almost inevitable.

When Government Ministers demand that the foreigners share their “secrets” of their trade it implies that they collectively have a clandestine technique that deprives locals of their livelihood. When powerful Zulu Kings underscore the tension that already exists, when EFF leaders speak with open hatred of White South African’s, when the Minister of Home Affairs embraces convicted terrorists who continue to support and encourage violence and terrorism, when levels of Islamaphobia and Anti Semitism is at its highest on record, I am not sure what part of this situation could be a surprise.

A simple example. Robert Mugabe is currently outraged, as he should be, about the treatment of his citizens in South Africa. He is deeply concerned and does not hesitate to voice his worry. All acceptable, but for the fact that less than ten days ago, this same man refused to see a “White face” when approached by journalists. He refused to answer a question based purely on the colour of a person’s skin but is shocked and appalled by discrimination based on region.

When statues are defaced in the most disrespectful manner possible- by feces being thrown at them, when it is impossible to respect at least an element of a history that is not consistent with your narrative, when pig’s heads are deliberately placed in kosher sections of a supermarket to cause the most offence and then that action is defended, then what part of Xenophobia should come to us as a surprise.

We have built this monster, and we are clearly unhappy with the product of our creation. South Africans of all people should understand the dangers of racial prejudice. We have seen first hand what the “logical” but evil implementation of a racially based system achieves. We have seen the destruction of a society and the abuse of human rights when this monster is allowed to run rampant. But we seem to have forgotten this and neatly boxed it away for the schoolroom, where our children will learn the theory but not the practice.

There needs to be a zero tolerance for any form of hate speech. And it needs to begin with Government and with any political participant. It is all very well to make inflammatory remarks in order to gain grass roots supports but it is irresponsible and very clearly deadly. And if we can’t see that, the problem is bigger than we can imagine.

Victor Frankenstein’s monster ultimately destroys all that he cares for and all that he cherishes. The beast will ultimately murder the love of his life and will taunt him with her corpse. We in South Africa need to stop our monster before it does the same. We need to fight back the beast of racism, we need to keep our language responsible. But mostly we need to ensure that we never again create something that can destroy everything we value.

News24 Voices Terms & Conditions.

Join the conversation!

24.com 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.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

AB praises selfless skipper

2010-11-21 18:15

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

SQL Reporter

Cape Town
Communicate Cape Town IT
R10 000.00 - R12 000.00 Per Month

Cluster Financial Manager

Cape Town
Network Finance
R950 000.00 - R1 000 000.00 Per Year

Reporting Accountant

Cape Town
Network Finance Professional / Prudential
R310 000.00 - R360 000.00 Per Year

Property [change area]

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

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 24.com network.

Settings

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.