It’s Just a Word… Right?

special invite for racist model

– this is what I read as I drove down Louis Botha in Johannesburg and my immediate reaction is to ask myself “Is this in fact news worthy material?”

The story began as – none other than – a tweet. A model tweeted something with a word one should never use and not only for the mere fact that it’s sloppy, demeaning and poor English but because it’s really offensive. Then it comes out that the man she in fact tweeted about spat in her face, and i was shocked that these are two adults in South Africa. One white, one black and now everyone must pick a side…? I think not, when what we really are talking about here are two really uncivilized, uneducated and moronic people.

So now what South African news deems interesting is to turn these two seemingly retarded individuals into a debate over racism. The basis that racism stems from idiots is paramount in this example. I mean, if a man can spit in a woman’s face and still call himself a man then what has our society come to? Similarly, if a woman can sit back, digest the events and decide that the best course of action is to hop onto social networks and drench an entire race with disdain is plausible and commendable then something has to be said about what we all deem acceptable behaviour.

So basically I don’t have time for the individuals in question, I don’t agree with either ones behaviour and I refuse to base it on race. Stupidity is stupidity.

The real point I would like to make is about the word. How is it possible to make a word illegal? Surely by doing so you have simply given the word more power than it ever had before. Why does law have to dictate our behaviour? Does one honesty have to be told that a derogatory word should not be used? And mainly because it reflects badly on the speaker. I, for one, judge poor English… Silently. If you use the word, I will automatically assume you are uneducated or lack perspective, your choice, either way my interest is lost and no sentence will ever be able to regain my interest. So why use the word?

Similarly, ” moffie” and “faggot” are words that flew around, admittedly, more frequently in the past than it does today and why…?
Why have these words never been made illegal?
Must I remind people of Ward 22 in the apartheid regime?
But I would never want a word like that to become such a taboo in terms of the law. I would work my best at trying to alter the word, so if I were to hear it with people from a person I would make an uncomfortable laugh at it. People are susceptible to social cues and slowly everyone learns that “moffie” just ain’t cool, nor is it clever. Try a better one… I dare you.

In the end it’s just a word and we as people give these words power. And locally, as South Africans, we allow the words to take the form they do. “Kaffir” is still a feared word which is where the mistake lies. A word should never be feared, it gives the word way too much power when all it is at the end of the day is a bunch of letters together that make out a sound. Take the power back. and challenge those users of the word to better define what is there understanding of the word in question.

And after all that, I realize, I am talking about a model here, since when was thinking ever a prerequisite? So maybe the news will focus on more important issues… And then the next street pole comes around the corner…

Zuma in R1.3mil wedding debt

… Now that’s a hell of a lot more interesting, don’t you think?

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