DM168

LETTER FROM THE DM168 EDITOR

Choosing to hate and discriminate eventually turns into everybody against everyone

Choosing to hate and discriminate eventually turns into everybody against everyone
Chief Justice Raymond Zondo. (Photo: Alon Skuy / Gallo Images) | The logo from the Woolworths Pride range. (Photo: Twitter) | Babita Deokaran. (Photo: Facebook)

We know that hate, conspiracies and the ability to make people feel outraged cause the virality that public figures crave. And they don’t care about the human cost or the fact that there has been an increase in hate crimes around the world.

Dear DM168 readers,

Actor and anti-racism activist Marlon Brando is believed to have said that, “if Hitler had killed all Jews, Black people and Orientals, and was left with nothing but pure, blue-eyed, Aryan types, he’d have started killing the left-handed, or those with crooked teeth”.

This paragraph is from the poetry column by Rethabile Masilo on page 47 of this week’s DM168. In his article, Masilo looks at the ill-treatment of minorities, and particularly gay people, as he explains that the idea of homosexuality being “un-African” is a lie. He delves deep into humanity’s propensity to discriminate against those who are different and he wonders at what point exactly this discrimination will stop.

He added later via email: “In 1981, when I was jailed in Springs [Joburg] for pass laws (I did have my Lesotho passport, duly stamped with everything in order), I agreed with myself that the only and sole reason I was jailed (with mom, sister and cousin) was because the activity of the melanocytes in our dermis was too high. That blew me away, and that’s when I began to inspect racism and bigotry, and the phenomenon of ‘us’ against ‘them’. If we allowed it, this would eventually turn into everybody against everyone. Among whatever group of beings, there are marked differences. Hair texture, eye colour, nose shape, handedness, and so on. Why choose some, like skin colour, only?”

The point he’s making is a simple one: If you choose to discriminate against people for any reason, is there ever a limit you reach on discrimination? In other words, does the discrimination ever stop?

Masilo’s story struck a chord because I’ve been trying to understand why there was a small backlash against Pride merchandise at Woolies, and why the teeny-­tiny Al Jama-ah party decided to attack the LGBTQI+ community with confusing, self-contradictory statements – the spokesperson sounds like a rabid homophobe, but the Joburg mayor, who’s a member of the party, has no problem with gay people.

Of course, we know that hate, conspiracies and the ability to make people feel outraged cause the virality that public figures crave. And they don’t care about the human cost or the fact that there has been an increase in hate crimes around the world.

But I couldn’t spend too much time thinking about it because this week was the anniversary of the release of the Zondo Report on State Capture. Our resident Zondo Commission expert, Ferial Haffajee, shows in our lead story that there has indeed been progress on the State Capture prosecution front. But, worryingly, we must now turn our attention to the issue of State Capture 2.0.

Babita Deokaran made the ultimate sacrifice to expose the ruthless tender mafias that steal hundreds of millions of rands through intricate procurement networks at the Gauteng Department of Health. André de Ruyter has also put himself at great risk to show us how Eskom loses R1-billion a month to ­corruption. 

Inflicting a million cuts to bleed us dry

It has become obvious that the thieves who are busy stealing our future weren’t going to wait around for the National Prosecuting Authority to kick it up a gear and spoil their fun. So, they adapted in a rather twisted boer maak ’n plan manner, and we now have to deal with State Capture 2.0, which seems to be far more advanced, insidious and intricate. It seems the crooks who previously used machetes to hack their way into public funds are now using scalpels with the deftness of AI-powered robotic surgeons to inflict a million cuts to bleed us dry.

On the bright side, though, we might (I stress, might) at least have a trickle of electricity to endure State Capture 2.0, as Daily Maverick reporters explain on pages 6 and 7 that a national grid collapse doesn’t seem to be all that probable.

And the highlight of this week’s issue is our 16-page Youth Focus supplement, which has a ton of information about a range of careers to help young people make more informed choices about their futures.

Also in this week’s issue: a story on page 17 about how cognitive behavioural therapy can be used to stop hardened young men from breaking the law; Business Maverick associate editor Neesa Moodley’s story on page 33 about why the NHI is a big, fat, empty promise; a bean soup recipe on page 43 that’s perfect for chilly weather; and much more.

As always, please send your feedback about the paper, and any ideas on how we can get ahead of State Capture 2.0, to [email protected].

Yours in defence of truth,

Sukasha 

This story first appeared in our weekly Daily Maverick 168 newspaper, which is available countrywide for R29.

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  • Jennifer D says:

    It is interesting to me that the majority of South Africans feel that racism is exclusively a white on black issue. For 30 years in South Africa, black racism against whites has been systematically legislated. The very policies that were considered unacceptable by black people they now actively institute. 30 years is a long time. When does this stop and at which point does our country become whole and actively start working together?

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