South Africa's Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) no doubt regard themselves as heroes for their acts of vandalism against H&M retail fashion shops in various parts of the country, but the real hero of this episode is Terry Mango, mother of the five-year-old boy who posed for an advertisement wearing a jumper bearing the words "coolest monkey in the jungle".
Ms Mango, a Swedish national born in Kenya, said that she had previously been a victim of racist abuse: "I know what racism is." However, she did not think the words on the jumper were racist. They did not "chime" with her own definition. "Everybody should act differently based on their own opinions of what racism is." Liam, her son, had modelled hundreds of clothes, and people should not blow the issue out of proportion. "Stop crying wolf all the time," she wrote. "Get over it."
For these politically incorrect views she has herself been described as a monkey, according to Gulf News. Fox News reported that she had been labelled as a sell-out and "embarrassment to the black and African-American people" because she had "sold my son for money". And according to Fox News and the BBC, the family moved out of their home in Stockholm following the violent action in South Africa.
Ms Mango's offence is that she did not buy into the fashionable narrative in terms of which all black people everywhere are automatically victims of racism, even if they do not see themselves as such. This narrative is fed by social media and endorsed by the usual clutch of celebrities, forever eager to radiate their virtue signals across the globe.
H&M, a Swedish company, has apologised for its supposed lack of sensitivity and will appoint a "global leader" to address issues of diversity and inclusiveness. Here in South Africa the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation thinks it "imperative that H&M's directors, management, and its marketing division, both globally and locally, undergo compulsory anti-racism and diversity training, so that there can be a change of attitude within the company around issues related to race."
Presumably somebody will explain to Terry Mango that she too needs "anti-racist, diversity, and exclusiveness" training so that she will in future be better equipped to understand that she and her son are actually victims of racism even when they do not think they are. According to the foundation, the image of a monkey has been used to "racially demean black people for generations". This, it says, is the correct "historical context".