Down with Racism

I abhor racism. Always have, always will.

Interestingly, in my recent past, I, too, have been accused of racism.

A social media activist accused me of racism when I confronted him directly, cheek by jowell, over the irresponsibility of calling on consumers to boycott a growing retailer which essentially sells products that are good for us.

His small band of protesters showed no understanding of the consequences such actions. Or if they did, they showed no concern.

At the root, the protesters were calling for boycotts of any business linked with the State of Israel. Blind with self-loathing, he accused me of racism when I enquired whether the protesters were adequately fed for their efforts. Yes, I know, but I said it on purpose. The consequences of such actions, I argued at the time, would lead to job losses at the local retailer for the very people who need it most.

And while people on the outskirts of Los Angeles, the people of Ferguson and other racially categorised 'townships' in South Africa go about their business of campaigning for their human rights and delivery of essential services, there is much looting of shops and small businesses. Hard-working bread winners and self-empowered foreigners who have fled worse acts of racial violence, are once more the victims.

Turning to Israel, my accuser was not prepared to understand that,  I too, am against the occupation and bombing of Palestine.

My argument, though, was that large-scale boycotts of the economic state of Israel would not hurt the inventive and financially savvy Jews so famously characterised by Shakespeare in his play, The Merchant of Venice, and derided by non other than Adolf Hitler himself.

Such boycotts would hurt the Palestinians on whom the Israelis rely on for labour which in turn, admittedly, profits the Israelis. However, jobs put food on the table, and help clothe and educate the Palestinian children who have shown time and time again that they are equal to the task of empowering themselves with books and pens, rather than suicide bombing packs, kalishnikov’s and AK-47’s.

I’d much rather feed the hungry and needy than encourage resentment and still more suffering.

As a mature, warm at heart, middle-aged man, usually timid, I stood my ground in the pecking order of manners and all the things our grandmothers and fathers once taught us. Just for once, I wanted to be accorded the respect of my age. A young student, brandishing the now famous red beret of the promised revolution of fraud, theft and hatred, rather than spiritual enlightenment and economic freedom in South Africa, did not budge from our narrow path. And so we collided.

And then the expected expletives rolled from his tongue. Such words are not for dear ears, but it referred to racial categorisation and the threat of coming to get me. An empty threat to a fearless man who hates racism in any form in which it manifests itself.

The longer we remain silent, and the longer we remain ashamed of talking about it, the worse it becomes as leaders; capitalists, socialists, atheists, church leaders, Imams, Rabbi’s, activists and politicians exploit the very fears and needs that are meant to unify us rather than drive us further apart.

Down with racism.

Siebert Mazus 2014/08/27 03:28:10 PM
-I abhor racism. Always have, always will.- I abhor the racist BEE policies of our current government.
CraigJoseph 2014/08/27 04:18:45 PM
Very well written.
John Greystoke 2014/08/27 04:27:16 PM
The example and behavior set by different races and groups put them in a category that is not acceptable to the other races and groups, they then get branded because of this unacceptable behavior. Then people become racist or anti certain groups. People also do not want to associate with these groups of people. Even though not all members are behaving in a unacceptable manner, they are still part of this group and get branded with them.
ANTI 2014/08/27 04:55:09 PM
I respect the fact that you're pro-Israel but... "An empty threat to a fearless man who hates racism in any form in which it manifests itself." "I abhor racism. Always have, always will." -- What absolute twaddle!
Mark Windsor 2014/08/27 06:01:08 PM
I prefer to think in terms of "idiots" and "normal people". Using the term "racism" is bad in any direction because it reinforces the ridiculous concept of so-called "race" being the primary (or, even, an important) source of our individual characters.
Mark Windsor 2014/08/27 06:36:43 PM
This is the second article that deals with Israel/Palestine where I have had entirely innocuous posts disappear into the ether. May I politely ask what is causing that, News24?
No Ohno 2014/08/28 10:54:05 AM
I am no racist to, but I refuse to grovel and cry daily just in case anyone sees me as recist. And that is what everyone in SA want, all whites must go sit every day and cry because of the past and until the end of time have deep inner struggles and regret. My outlook on life is more simple, I will have regret when I have done something wrong, I have no regret if I have done nothing wrong. I don't care if 50 million people in this country is racist, I am not, why should I feel guilty. Racist is for sure the most used boring word in SA today. The absolute obsessions this country has with race, is beyond believe. And everybody please wants to stoke that fire. Everyone wants to talk about it, like you. But thats right Mark, you go right ahead, cry everyday, and proof everyday that you are not racist. They like to see you cry and grovel.