Nazi lessons for Raymond Ackerman

Raymond AckermanLast week I heard a story that enraged me: a successful Pick & Pay owner wanted to open a second Pick & Pay somewhere in the Southern Cape. According to my source Raymond Ackerman told this person that the only way in which he will ever be allowed to open that Pick & Pay was if he gave up 51% of the new shop to a black person.

If this is true then I think Raymond Ackerman should be utterly ashamed, even more so because he is Jewish. Because this is exactly the kind of thing that you would expect to see in Germany in the late 30s. Jews in Germany were forced to undermine their business principles just like whites in South-Africa are being forced to do now. Soon Jews couldn’t own businesses any more and we all know what happened next. Is this the road for South-Africa as well? I sure as hell hope not, but I do know that it is a slippery slope from where we are now to where the Jews ended up.

After the Holocaust everybody asked how it could’ve happened. Well Edmund Burke said: “All that is necessary for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing”. I can’t help but wonder if one day people won’t accuse the Raymond Ackermans of this world of doing nothing.

For the record: I am not some right-wing nut job. At school I campaigned for the end of apartheid and I support the principles of democracy 100%, but one of the most important parts of a democracy is minority rights. And currently the rights of the white minority are being eroded at a concerning rate.

Tim Russert is oorlede

Tim Russert diesTim Russert is gistermiddag (laat gisteraand vir ons in Suid-Afrika) oorlede. Hy het vir 17 jaar lank die uitstekende program Meet the Press aangebied. Die program het met die Amerikaanse top politici onderhoude gevoer. Dit was myns insiens die beste program van sy aard wat ek nog gesien het.

Met Russert was die program was altyd in goeie gees en hy het altyd sy gaste met respek behandel, maar hy het verseker die moeilike vrae gevra. Sy manier was om nie konfrontasioneel te wees nie. As ‘n politiekus gejok het of onsin gepraat het het Russert gewoonlik die stuk, of dit nou geskryf of gesê is, verbatim gekwoteer en dan die gas die geleentheid gegee om te reageer. So het jy ‘n uitstekende idiee gekry van die politiekus.

Ek smyt geensins konfrontasie weg nie – in Suid-Afrika byvoorbeeld dink ek dit is wat ons vreeslik nodig het – maar in Amerika waar die kiesers meer opgevoed is (behalwe in 2000 en 2004!) het Russert se manier uitstekend gewerk. Op ‘n manier het hy die gas genoeg tou gegee om hom self op te hang. Hy het gesê: “The one thing I’m determined to do on the show is not to let the powerbrokers leave without giving an answer” en “I have the sense when I’m out there on ‘Meet the Press’ that I’m a surrogate for people who get up, go to work, raise a family and don’t have the time to read six newspapers a day, read all the books and know all the questions to ask. I want to cut through the fog.” Vyf maande terug het McCain sleg 2de gekom in ‘n onderhoud.

Soos ek gesê het die program was in goeie gees gedoen. Omtrent elke Sondag het ou Tim of een van sy gaste ‘n lekker grappie gemaak.

Russert is dood aan ‘n hartaanval terwyl hy voorbereiding gedoen het vir die program. Soos een van sy kollegas gesê het: “he was one of the finest newsmen in the world”. Ek moet saamstem en ek gaan hom verseker mis.

Lees hier vir ‘n great tribute.

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