The problem with this perspective is cancel culture isn’t real, at least not in the way people believe it is. Instead, it’s turned into a catch-all for when people in power face consequences for their actions or receive any type of criticism, something that they’re not used to. I’m a black, Muslim woman, and because of social media, marginalized people like myself can express ourselves in a way that was not possible before. That means racist, sexist, and bigoted behavior or remarks don’t fly like they used to. This applies to not only wealthy people or industry leaders but anyone whose privilege has historically shielded them from public scrutiny. Because they can’t handle this cultural shift, they rely on phrases like “cancel culture” to delegitimize the criticism.
For some strange reason or another Heritage Day (which we celebrate tomorrow) has turned into national braai day. Maybe it is because South Africans often do not remember the same past and find it difficult to imagine a shared heritage. Some sing that song while others dream of life in England (or, these days, Perth).
Maybe one day, when more white South Africans become capable of imagining the lives and histories of their fellow South Africans who happen not to be white, we will be able to begin to imagine a shared heritage. But this will only happen when more white South Africans realise that their assumption that the world they inhabit is the only legitimate world, that the world they take for granted is the norm to which others must adopt, and that their views and culture are normative and natural, are quite problematic.
In any case, I though the cartoon by Jeremy Nel in The New Age today was quite funny. Happy Heritage Day.BACK TO TOP