Quote of the week

Trump’s electoral fiction floats free of verifiable reality. It is defended not so much by facts as by claims that someone else has made some claims. The sensibility is that something must be wrong because I feel it to be wrong, and I know others feel the same way. When political leaders such as Ted Cruz or Jim Jordan spoke like this, what they meant was: You believe my lies, which compels me to repeat them. Social media provides an infinity of apparent evidence for any conviction, especially one seemingly held by a president.

Timothy Snyder
The New York Times
21 October 2011

Unlike with kaffir, when the word “coolie” came to South Africa through the slave trade, it slipped into the local languages. Growing up, I cannot recall any other Setswana word to describe people of Indian origin other than as makula. I perceived no malice (and I believe that none was perceived) in its use except when conferred by tone or context in much the same way that the words “whites” or “blacks” are innocuous except when an inflection or the context gives clues to an underlying prejudice. Batswana and Basotho don’t usually use makula in a derogatory sense… while its etymology is derogatory the current use is not. – Osiame Molefe over at Daily Maverick on Julius Malema’s use of the word perceived by some to be racist.

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