Original publish date – Fri, 04 Sep 2009 07:53:01 +0000, Keith

If I can make a statement that so inflames you that you speak without thinking and jump to conclusions because you get so emotional about the subject, does that mean your true feelings are showing?

There are lots of issues we, South Africans, or even the world population does not agree upon. There are some that are absolutely certain to raise blood pressure and yield a response that you maybe may not have made in the light of day.

Issues such as rugby/sport, religion and politics are top of the list. If I said I think the KZN Sharks are useless, I know some people would disagree vehemently, and some would get quite rude and aggressive. If previously they were very placid, then when a big issue confronts them and they become aggressive, what can we say about those people? Are they placid or aggressive?

Now to racism and other “isms”: How do we judge whether a person is racist? If the person is derogatory towards a group of people, is he a racist? If he is derogatory to one person,  but applies his logic to all people who belong to that group, is he a racist. If he makes nasty comments about Jews, based on his experience with one Jewish person, is he anti-semitic?

I’d tend to say that all the above is racism, sexism, anti-semitic etc depending on the particular group who is insulted, or feels insulted. I would think that even if a person states he is not a racist or anti-semite  (“some of my best friends are black/Jewish”), his actions at some point or another may prove otherwise. These actions/feelings could be deeply embedded in one’s psyche.

Now to Julius Malema, He tends to rub many people up the wrong way, particularly white people. Recently, in welcoming Caster Semenya he condemned white people in also not coming to the airport.  The interesting point is how they reacted. Many made rude comments about Julius, his mother, his racial group.

A common comment was “We were working”. Who is the “we”? All white people, therefore excluding black people? Many whites fell into the trap that Julius, maybe inadvertently, had set. Their reaction proved the point that Julius is always making. They responded with rude, racial comments right back to Julius.  Disagreeing with a person does not make you a racist or anti-semite, or even a Bulls or Western Province supporter 🙂 . Making comments about the group as a whole does make you a racist etc.

The point is the reaction of many people brought out their true feelings. I guess it’s not easy to hold back when he makes very aggressive comments. In a strange way he brings the worst, and best out of  people, and in some cases proving his point. If this is by design or not – it does not matter. It is the reaction of the person that counts, and how I and others perceive that reaction.