Dear Comrade Commissioner Chairperson Kollapen
I was highly upset when I recently read an article on News24 where South African Human Rights Commission spokesperson, Vincent Moaga said that: "It's a criminal offence to ridicule and insult the HRC."
I find this statement in itself problematic and offensive and I feel it is my civic duty to respond as follows:
1) Despite the fact that the HRC is a namby-pamby group of do-gooders, who helps us to remember our most non-confrontational values and PC manners, it is still an institution like any other, and should be open to all forms of public scrutiny and comment - even including unfavourable comment in the form of ridicule and insult.
2) Yes, it is my personal belief that the HRC has done a great job up till now, and is playing an important role in reducing group-based hatred and inter-community conflict.
3) Nevertheless, I see it as a very basic human right to criticise, make fun of or mock any institution, and to criminalise such action will be anti-democratic and counter-revolutionary. No person or institution should be safeguarded against criticism or ridicule, with the possible exception of young comrade Julius Malema (because he is very special and should only be treated with love and care) and The Hillbrow Taxi Association (because if you mock them, they will come to your house with guns and knives).
4) No, seriously, I believe the HRC should insist on being scrutinised and mocked (if necessary) as a matter of principle. Otherwise the possibility exists that the Commission can become a Trojan Horse into the beating heart of freedom of speech and democracy itself, silencing all forms of (‘subversive') public opinion and descent. This is South Africa, god damn it! Land of the free for all. Countries like Zimbabwe provide us with a clear lesson on how democracy can go wrong through stifling criticism and decent of state and state institutions (no matter how noble the roots of these institutions are).
5) Finally I believe that (maybe because of our intolerant and hate-driven past) we are compensating a bit too much towards political correctness. One shouldn't underestimate or take away peoples' ability to defend themselves against (‘unfair') comment. We, as liberated people, should use the weapons of intelligent debate (and where necessary) legal action to show the flaws in the arguments of our more homophobic, racist, sexist and misguided countrymen. Where will this PC-dominated thought-landscape lead us? To a world where everybody simply subscribe to state sanctioned opinion? A world where you cannot even say "I hate criminals" or "readers of Mills & Boons paperbacks tend to be less intelligent" because it might offend someone or a particular group. Where does it end? In a totalitarian state where all forms of variation from the official line is deemed as treason? We already had that during the apartheid years.
6) I have the fullest confidence that the commissioners at the HRC are strong and resourceful enough to defend themselves against all forms of comment (fair and unfair) and that the Commission doesn't need and should not enjoy any special protection under the law to safeguard itself from mischievous rapscallions such as myself.
Kill all the racists!!!
With kind regards.
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