September 14, 2017

Some (real) good news

If you are active on any form of social media (and if you are reading this, you must be), you will have seen the touching story in which an under 16 cross-country runner stopped to help another runner who had collapsed 150 meters from the finish line.

It was so refreshing to see some good news for a change!

Over the past months and years we have become punch-drunk from bombardment with racist and negative social media posts, statements and “art”.  The avalanche started with Penny Sparrow and seems to have gained momentum.  Justin van Vuuren, Velaphi Khumalo and Liam Ferreira followed with their intolerant and racist posts.

The storms in Cape Town and the fires in Knysna earlier this year spawned a number of anti-white posts.

It hasn’t helped that certain people have sought to foment racial division to drive political and commercial agendas – think Andile Mnxitama and Bell Pottinger.  Or that others think that a display proclaiming “F*** White People” is good art.

It doesn’t help that organisations like Afriforum are quick to denounce racist posts directed against whites, but don’t have much to say about the Penny Sparrow type incidents (other than to insinuate that they are more widely reported on than black on white racism).

The vitriolic posts and the news can make us despair.  They can convince us that we are a deeply divided society.

But the cross-country story reminds us that us ordinary citizens just want to live alongside each other and support each other.

Yes, there are deep divisions in our society.  But the majority of ordinary citizens are working on closing those divides, not deepening them.

We have a wonderful country and we are blessed with a diverse and colourful society.  Take the opportunists and the bigots out of the equation and we can all live alongside each other and work together to make South Africa work!

Author: Robin Twaddle

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