Sharpeville was horrific. Let’s not shroud it in euphemism

19 March 2019 - 07:00
Corpses litter the ground in Sharpeville, near Vereeniging, where 69 innocent people were gunned down in 1960.
Corpses litter the ground in Sharpeville, near Vereeniging, where 69 innocent people were gunned down in 1960.
Image: Corbis/Greatstock

Marking the Sharpeville Massacre under the banner of “Human Rights Day” is a compromise, offering both a euphemistic nod to past horrors and an affirmation that such horrors should not be repeated.

The trouble with euphemisms and general affirmations, however, is that they make us forget the bloody specifics of their origins.

X