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.
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Sowetan: [What do you think of] the death penalty?
HZ: If you do not have a good justice system you end up hanging the wrong people. Can you imagine [having] the death penalty and you convict the wrong people in our criminal justice system and with corruption in the police service. Imagine how it can be used, for example, against political opponents.
S: Gay marriages?
HZ: If I had been in parliament I would have voted for it [the Civil Union Bill].
S: What can people do about teenage pregnancies?
HZ: It starts in the home. We need parents who have children when they are ready and want children, who are totally dedicated and committed to their children, who are making every sacrifice and support to help their children develop. This in turn generates a sense of commitment and loyalty from their children. In that atmosphere of love, support and discipline we can start addressing some of these problems.
S: Is Jacob Zuma fit to run for office?
HZ: I don’t think Jacob Zuma is the right person to be president of South Africa. What he has said, what he has done, the actions he has admitted to, show that his judgments are highly questionable. The very fact that as head of the HIV and Aids strategy he admitted to having unprotected sex with a woman he knew was HIV positive, who was young enough to be his daughter [and] when we are facing issues you have just raised like teenage pregnancies, raises a major question about judgment, about leading by example and about leading from the front.