Fanning racism is no way to fight an election

Ideas

Fanning racism is no way to fight an election

With the dearth of political options, I may as well just take election day off, relax and WhatsApp my friends

Executive editor: opinions and analysis

I was going to write about Mark Zuckerberg losing $7bn (R105.4bn) in personal wealth in a matter of a few hours, after his popular apps experienced global outages and a whistleblower blew the lid off the dark side of Facebook and Instagram. The one percenters increased their fortunes out of our misery during global lockdowns; it’s nice to see one of them getting hurt in the stockmarket. Though when you are worth $120bn (R1.8-trillion), losing $7bn (R105.4bn) is like parting with pocket change. Poor thing, he’ll probably have to postpone adding another mega yacht or private jet to his collection.

But my attention is suddenly caught by a picture circulating on Twitter. It is of a DA poster in Phoenix, Durban, the scene of ugly racial clashes and killings during the July unrest. It is hung high up a street light pole and reads: “The ANC called you racist. The DA calls you heroes.”

At the time of writing, the DA hadn’t responded to the outrage this poster was sparking on Twitter. They are yet to explain how reckless race-baiting in an area where wounds are still fresh is considered an acceptable vote-catching strategy. The day before, we were left gobsmacked by a clownish video featuring their councillor in Bonteheuwel on the Cape Flats, Angus McKenzie, engaging in ludicrous racial profiling. His “vote for me” video was a two cents gimmick playing on the fears of communities traumatised by years of violence...

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