Max takes the easy route

Max du Preez is depressed. Read why.

This is quite predictable from our Max. Our country is going to the dogs. Not because of an isolated incident at UFS (which is appaling, but isolated), but because all our government institutions are failing; one by one.

But all Max can moan about is the easy one: oh the the racist Afrikaners. The thing is Max, you are not a journalist anymore. You take the easy route. The UFS incident is an easy target; visual and sensational. But its not a national issue. Why don’t you do your damn job?

There are national issues that undermine the stability of this country far more than the UFS incident. Crime, Zuma, poverty, Eskom and our bureaucracy. Why don’t you investigate those, Max? We need real journalists in this country; desperately. We need people who can ask the tough questions to Mbeki, Zuma, Selebi and the Eskom management.

No, our journalists are really hardcore on racist Afrikaners & rugby. But anything more than that is just no good for the career.

5 thoughts on “Max takes the easy route

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  1. Attie, I normally agree with you – but on this one I differ. In fact I posted the article to my FaceBook account stating my admiration for the opinion piece :-).

    I believe Max is making a very valid and important point. I hate to be seen to defend other people, it can come across as patronizing, but I have to point out that Max criticizes the government in the strongest terms in his article. Yes, he does implicated that all of the gross shortcomings and misdemeanours of the government that he lists weren’t enough to cause him a ‘Great Depression’ – while a video by still-wet-behind-the-ears students was.

    But this should not be interpreted as genuinely weighing up the transgressions or shortcomings against each other – rather I believe, as an Afrikaner, he is forced to apply ‘introspection’ and find a beam in ‘the collective Afrikaner eye’ (gross generalisation I know) as it condemns the splinter in the eye of those over reacting to the racist video of four idiots.

    What he points out is shamefully clear in public (browsing the internet shows this up very quickly – as well as reading letters pages in news papers, etc.). Du Preez is distressed, as am I, about the racial blinds so many supposedly intellectual Afrikaners are applying in the discussion around this issue. The old disease of racism sticks out like a sore thumb when you defend a racist act perpetrated against blacks by listing all the ills perpetrated against white people (suddenly all women that are raped are white and all perpetrators black, etc.). Even if all crime was purely black on white racism – which would be an absurd argument – one wrong doesn’t justify another. Racism is an evil, whether it be black on black, white on black, black on white, etc.

    Students who treat women old enough to be their mothers with disrespect, trick them into humiliating video footage, etc. is despicable. I fully agree with Max that if the races was inverted their would have been white outrage about the incident. Yes, as Max points out, many ‘white Afrikaner’ type organizations have condemned the incident in the strongest terms – which is to be welcomed. But he is responding to a ground swell of apologetic opinion in general discussion spaces, such as Litnet’s forums – which is supposed to cater for intellectualist discussion.

    The argument is that if one accepts that black students mistreating white students in a similar fashion, even if it was just a few idiots as is normally the case, would have caused outrage amongst the broader white community you should have sympathy for the broader black community’s outrage.

    It’s such a pain that we are dealing with a racist incident again and that it is receiving so much attention. But we can’t ignore either our history or our present day situation. Reading racism as motive into everything is in fact veiled racism, but where racism clearly exists it should be treated as such.

  2. I also agree that the studens actions were deplorable, but in this country these events pale into significance. Most white people condemned these actions – I don’t even know of anyone that defends them.

    But talk about out of control crime, Eskom & nepotism and the ANC who are actually the people that can make a difference just spit out excuse after excuse. Why don’t they condemn the people responsible like we (whites) have done in this case. Instead our Minister for Safety & Security says we can “pack our bags”.

    To fell depressed about the isolated UFS incident is “fiddling while Rome is burning”; there are much larger issues at stake.

    Max and other Afrikaners are apologists because it makes them feel better. I am not.

  3. mmm… I still feel that Max was not being an apologist for the government / ANC and had a valid argument, which he has every right to make. I fail to see where he defended the government’s many shortcomings.

    Furthermore, in his criticism he was not refering to organisations such as Agriforum – as a matter of fact he acknowledges their and many other ‘Afrikaner’ organisations’ disgust at the incident.

    What he is refering to is the chattering and opinions being raised at a lower level – ‘grass roots level’ if you like. For instance:

    However, I have to admit that in doing so he is definitely grossly generalising. As I was typing the above I Googled to find a few examples and it seems as if the disgust at grass roots level amongst Afrikaans letter writers far, far, outweigh those who defend the Reitz incident.

  4. My comment is for Mike. I know this is quite an old blog entry so I hope you somehow stumble onto it again and read my comment. The Afrikaners are a minority group in the South African democracy. If Max identifies with the Afrikaners, giving him the right to criticize introspectively, then it is also his responsibility to stand up for Afrikaners. I think Attie’s point is that he has failed in that respect.

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