OPEN LETTER TO STEVE HOFMEYR
Dear Mr Hofmeyr
I have learned that you plan to sing a song about ‘kaffirs' if the Judge in the Julius Malema hate speech trial rules in favour of Mr Malema. Your threat is racist in the worst traditions of racial nationalism and undermines the position of white people in South Africa.
You are obviously ignorant of the fact that white people occupy a very privileged and controversial position in South Africa. Their long term future in the country depends on the extent to which they can use that position to promote a more stable, just, and prosperous society.
You, however, use your not insignificant following to sow anger and hate among young white people. It is incredible that you nonetheless seem to believe that this behavior improves the position of white South Africans. Only the opposite can be true. Should a significant number of black people come to think that you represent the views of all white people then you are putting their futures in the country at risk.
You also appear to be indifferent to the remarkable thing that South Africa's transition was as peaceful, and black South Africans as forgiving, as they were. Would you be able to forgive so readily the indignities that were suffered by black people if they were suffered by your parents and grand-parents?
I am not writing here about that handful of black political leaders who have desecrated their liberation struggle's purported commitment to non-racialism. Rather I am writing about the far greater number of ordinary black people who, like so many ordinary white people, have demonstrated their commitment to working together to build a better South Africa.
It is important for you to know that I come from a farming background so I know exactly what ‘kill the boer' could mean and what its implications may be. But I tell you that if you think that we can fight racism with racism then you are as much of a fool as you are racist.
It shames me therefore to think that you have emerged as a leadership figure of any stature at all in the white and Afrikaner communities. You are in fact an embarrassment to liberal Afrikaners and a disgrace to South Africa.
South African Institute of Race Relations / Unit for Risk Analysis
This article first appeared in Rapport newspaper.
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