Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Tag: John Maytham

White 2

These last few days have, since the discovery of vile racist judge Mabel Jansen’s Facebook rant, ¬†been particularly challenging for those of us who are trying very hard to negotiate this stuff. Twice today I had to physically turn off the radio because I couldn’t listen to first Redi Tlhabi and then John Maytham deal with the tempered voices of white racists who had absolutely no self awareness or even idea that they were that.

And what I am struggling with is the boldness of the declarations of these racists. Somehow, suddenly they are out there, proudly spewing this stuff, as if something has changed, and they are allowed to. Something has definitely shifted, and all those closet racists that were more private and careful, and got themselves into trouble accidentally, and were told off by family members at dinner tables, those racists have become louder, more shameless, more visible. They are all over social media like a cancer. They are on talk shows of every subject, tediously spewing their twisted vision of what needs to happen to whom, and demanding that they should be agreed with by the exhausted and desperate hosts.

It feels like we have tipped over. I had no idea that there were so many of them out there. So, so many that it makes the voices of likeminded friends a piss in the ocean. More than anything I realise how little we have achieved and how unsuccessful any transformation has been. Whites (in the main) are not budging, and worse, don’t see why they should.

And this terrifies me beyond imagining. I don’t know what to do. I am sick and shocked and scared.

A bok by any other name

Yesterday I was listening to John Maytham on 567 while driving back from rehearsals and he was fielding calls from listeners who were hysterical about the keeping or chucking of the Springbok as SA rugby’s emblem.

Now I must say at the outset that rugby is not my game; I am a cricket somebody, much to Big Friendly’s continued amusement. (And I still manage to support a team whose name and emblem allows me to nickname them The Poepteas!) Nonetheless, Big Friendly has influenced me and I occasionally watch a rugby test match when SA is involved. (I love Naas and his pre, half-time and post show analysis.)

This name changing debacle is a fascinating one for me, not because of the name itself, but more, because of how it has been handled. More and more we see how a big stick approach just doesn’t work, on both sides. First of all, to demand that the name be changed is a leetle heavy handed, and certainly provocative. It doesn’t open a debate, it just raises hackles, voices and occasionally fists. Then the vicious "f you" argument for keeping the name becomes tainted with racial overtones and a throwback to a hideous, divided past.

I just don’t get it. The solution is so simple. Why can’t everyone just ask nicely? This is the conversation I would have liked to have happen.

Against Bok: We would like to change the hurtful name and emblem of the Springbok.

Pro Bok: We are so sorry that the name and emblem caused anyone any pain, and we understand how this is possible. We are working so hard to change the negative connotation of the Bok. We would like to ask you nicely if we can keep the emblem.

Against Bok: Ok

One caller on John’s show tried to say this yesterday but he got completely mangled. Dan was hurt by the arrogance of the Pro Bok team, who miss the point that the name can be hurtful, but he ended up calling them Afrikaners. Next thing he was being branded a racist. Hau Dan, I know what you were trying to say.

It’s all about being kind, showing respect and having a conversation. All the threats are just so dangerous, disgusting and useless.

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