Have a thought for where the 'war on racism' is leading us - Times LIVE
Tue Apr 25 02:52:20 SAST 2017

Have a thought for where the 'war on racism' is leading us

The Times Editorial | 2016-01-08 00:31:37.0

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A voice of reason must rise above the anarchy running through our streets in search of racists.

Now is the time for South Africans to stand together and demand maturity - before we are all engulfed by the hatred building across our land.

Almost hourly someone in this country makes a grab for the cheap thrill of fame so easily obtained by posting a racist comment on social media, knowing that it will trend and capture the headlines.

The media should go beyond merely telling the story and reflecting on what is happening. The racism story should be presented in the context of the bigger picture, a picture of apartheid structural pattens that still define our space, a weak economy that continues to rob thousands of a brighter future.

Researchers have warned that unreliable information on online platforms is a major social threat facing governments everywhere.

They say digital misinformation is becoming pervasive online - and it has been cited by the World Economic Forum as one of the main threats to stable societies.

But our political leaders continue to ride and milk the racism storm, ignoring the opportunity to set the record straight.

We are descendants of brave men and women who put their lives on the line to build a united South Africa.

We are the children of men and women who still carry the scars of the journey to democracy.

Those who have insulted this nation this week through their online statements don't represent us. We should look beyond the racist tweets and Facebook comments and find common ground.

It is through social programmes aimed at dismantling apartheid structures that we will most effectively fight racism.

While we all speak past each other, pointing fingers and trawling the social networks in search of racists whom we can ostentatiously condemn, we need to ask "What is the end game?"


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