• July 10th, 2020

Opinion - Safeguard yourself from the cancel culture



When I was in India, I updated my Facebook status, saying “What is the use of wishing women a happy mother’s day while you respect animals more than them?”, went to church for a good three hours and came back to death threats from college mates and my broadcasting lecturer summoning me to his office.

Although several comments agreed with me on the status, I received a text from my aunt Razia Essack-Kauaria, who currently resides in Missouri, St Luis, USA, saying: “Paheja, remove that status and answer your phone so that we can talk.”
I was angry with how women are treated and nothing is being done about it and I took it straight to social media to vent without thinking of consequences it might bring, especially with me being in a foreign country surrounded by conservative people.
Hear me out, women study so hard in schools and colleges and what happens at the end of their studies is they are married off and you are probably saying that’s none of my business rights. Well, at that time felt the need to be the voice of the voiceless as women are sometimes subjected to torture from their husbands when they want to study further due to the ample time they have on their hands because some become housewives. 

The discussion of racism has once again resurfaced, for the umpteenth time and has landed a lot of people in hot water, all because of comments they make and the underlying hate they have for fellow beings.
It is not a joke when people say, social media can either make or break you. Recently, a Miss South African beauty contestant, Model Bianca Schoombee, who was at first a favourite, garnered all the wrong attention overnight after an unknown Twitter user took a deep dive into her Twitter feed where she was commenting on someone’s skin colour and body shaming, mind you these are tweets she made when she was 14-year-old. She is 21-year-old now. 

The tweet unearthed others where she played the race card and made fun of black people. She repetitively posted and then deleted apologies in which she supposedly apologised for “putting it out into the universe than” before adding that she has “grown as a person, this is no longer who I am or what I stand for” by which it was too late and the damage had been done.
What was more disappointing is former classmates coming forth and saying they were subjected to her racist remarks and were traumatised by how a fellow South African could bully them and have such an attitude towards fellow human beings just because of the colour of their skin.

Let us get one thing in mind: The internet never forgets. Coming back home to Namibia, the recent racism among many is that of Corien Steenkamp. A teacher from Walvis Bay, who made racially discriminatory words with comments such as civilisation is not made for blacks and that is the reason why infrastructure has been collapsing for the past three decades, probably referring to the leadership here in Namibia.
She posted that all the land belonged to South African Boers (farmers) while displaying the old apartheid-era flag. Steenkamp, who was a grade 4 teaching assistant at the Hillside Christian College, has since been suspended.

The latest discovered tirade is by Sonja Isaacs who insulted President Geingob with derogatory comments like sy stink tr*l, which translates to his smelly penis. She posted this response on someone’s status who inquired of the president was going to address the nation. She also requested an AK-47, box of red wine, a line of two coke for the courage to finish the job. 
Issacs has since cited disappointed with the ruling party, bipolar and red wine as the course of her actions when she uploaded prescriptions of medication from her doctor. Still not an excuse to be racist in such a diverse country.
These are not the first or last individuals to throw racist rants on social media, we will never hear the end of racism remarks. But be very careful with how you conduct yourself on social media. Let’s learn from all this drama and use social media responsibly. Try by all means to safeguard yourself from the cancel culture.


Paheja Siririka
2020-06-15 09:36:34 | 24 days ago

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