THERE appears to have been an "awakening" in SA; the spate of vile online commentary has induced a profound and powerful response.The virtues and dangers of this "awakening" are many — and not entirely obvious. Multiple essays and interviews have already addressed this point, although no doubt there is more to say. Similarly, the true depth of the ideological and discourse change that is happening in SA’s public sphere is unclear; it may be widespread or it may be limited to very specific urban communities. In general, it is not easy to evaluate such claims, nor is it really a white man’s prerogative to hold court over SA’s racial discourse. Either way, it appears an intellectual change is upon the country.Speculation about the origins of this movement suggests twin forces. A rising black African middle class has produced, and been met by, a new and outspoken intelligentsia in public and social media. The movement is resuscitating the works and ideas of postcolonial critical theory,...

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