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Friday, 13 February 2009

NWU and the religion of non-racism

One criticism of organized religion is that many of them do not exactly encourage critical thought. There are certain dogmas that require unquestioning belief, even though they may be illogical or contradictory.

So too, it appears, with the dogmas of the new religion of anti-racism and political correctness. The dogmas are spouted again and again, with no semblance of any critical inquiry. Certain things are automatically, unquestionably, fundamentally good, and some things are, well, just plain evil.

We all know by now what the good things are: Transformation, a.k.a. the ethnic cleansing of whites from all public and private institutions, is good without a doubt. You dare not question its validity or usefulness, at the risk of being excommunicated by the Spanish Inquisition of Political Correctness. The evil and bad things are equally easy to identify. It’s simple - there is only one evil thing, really. It’s white racism.

Is your dog pregnant? White racism. Poverty in Africa? White racism. A comet about to hit the earth? You guessed.

Take the following masterpiece of anti-racist dogma (http://www.mg.co.za/article/2009-02-13-cricket-bat-beatings-at-nwu). It is about a report issued by a ministerial task team on the North West University (NWU) with campuses in Potchefstroom, Mafikeng and the Vaal Triangle.

The sensationalist headline reads: “Cricket bat beatings at NWU”. Pictures of hospital wards filled with cracked skulls spring to mind. The truth is rather more banal, however. It’s part of an initiation ceremony, one that has existed for many years, no doubt. Students are spanked on the buttocks using a cricket bat during an initiation ceremony. It’s only now become a problem, for reasons that are unclear. According to the task team, initiation practices are "racially biased".

You've lost me there. When white students spanked other whites with a cricket bat, there was no problem, apparently. The university functioned perfectly well, spankings or no spankings, for many years. What’s changed subsequently?

Some real problems are admittedly identified in the piece, such as the maladministration by the rector of the Mafikeng campus and public violence for which four students were expelled. Ranked right along these, however, is the so-called problem of students not being allowed to walk on a patch of “holy” grass. Hardly in the same league of problems, public violence and not being allowed to walk on a patch of grass as part of a student prank, wouldn’t you say?

But, wait! We have the Answer, the Way, the Light and the Truth, yea, amen!

The answer is the Holiest of Holies, the great god Transformation. (Am I blaspheming by even writing its holy name?) Coupled to this is white students whose attitude needs to change. In an extremely scientific statement, the following “problem” (sic) is identified in the report: “White students on the Potch campus view black students as guests, not equals”.

Oh, wow! What a truly profound revelation, on a par with Paul’s Damascus experience, perhaps? But hang on - how did they determine that to be the case? No sane white would admit that he is a heretic by blaspheming against the great religion of anti-racism and admitting he didn't view blacks as equals. Lemme guess. They went and asked a couple of black students what they thought those nasty, racist whites thought about them.

In a monumental non-sequitur, the so-called lack of Transformation (note the capital T) is also repeatedly identified as a “problem." So, logically, the Answer is to have complete Transformation. Nowhere, however, is any explanation proffered as to why Transformation in and of itself would be an magic bullet that would solve all the NWU’s “problems”. (Interestingly, the report itself admits that the NWU is performing above the national average.) No, it is clearly a goal, if not a God, in and of itself.

With a supreme lack of logic, the authors of both the newspaper report and the ministerial task team somehow missed the fact that the most Transformed campus, the Mafikeng one, seems to be the one with the real problems – the maladministration and public violence. Go figure…
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