Racist rants no longer enjoy the privacy of closed circles of family or friends. Indeed, the era of social media has made naming and shaming possible, while also providing proof for the offence.
What’s more important than the obvious holding to account of the person who committed the hateful outburst, is the questions that arise around the prevalence of such belief systems. It would be ludicrous to say the only racists in the country are Penny Sparrow, Vicky Momberg, the coffin thugs and that lunatic animal of a man on the North Coast.
Recently, a voice clip went viral of a school girl using the K-word in Pietermaritzburg. Shortly after that another episode in Pietermaritzburg made the public stage when it emerged a prefect at Maritzburg College was back in his position after serving a one-week suspension for using the K-word.
The interesting – and sickening – aspect of all these people who get caught, who get shown up, is how they apologise. It is almost always “I did not mean it. I was angry. I am sorry BUT…”
It is not just in South Africa.
Rich Piana is a former competitive bodybuilder who is now a YouTube personality and supplement and gym company owner. He has a large social media following and is known for his blunt views and openness about steroid use. Very recently, this muscle-bound freak was left embarrassed when this video emerged:
WARNING: This video contains very explicit and offensive language and derogatory racial slurs. Do not watch this if you wish to avoid the offensive language. Strictly R18.
Then, once he was outed, Piana decided to make a public apology. What is interesting is how much of this apology is spent badmouthing the woman who loaded his rant, that she is just bitter because she cannot have him.
WARNING: Very explicit and offensive language. Strictly R18.
The conclusion to be drawn from this episode is that this is a sick world, where white privilege and supremacy still finds shelter in many white people’s hearts. Hopefully the more these episodes name and shame the culprits, there will be more and more honest conversations and interventions. Piana is going to feel this in his pocket, and it will be interesting to see how this pans out compared to how it would in SA.