MICHAEL MORRIS: Response to Christchurch tells us much about threats to SA’s democracy
The risk is forgetting what we are for, and, out of fear, rallying to the cause of what we think we ought to be against
I wasn’t certain I had what it took to look hard enough, or whether I’d have the courage (if that is what it is) to go through with it if I found it. But in the hours after hearing the news, I searched with admittedly flagging resolve for the live-stream footage of Brenton Tarrant murdering innocents in Christchurch. It was quickly apparent to my better self that there was no need, and I let it go. How much more did I really need to know to be repulsed by the conviction, common to all fanatics, that it’s legitimate for others to die for their cause? In a sense, I did wonder if I’d failed myself — remembering the chiding remark of a thoughtful friend that steeling himself to watch an innocent captor’s throat being slit by another murderous fanatic in the Middle East some years ago was not, as was popularly suggested, akin to gaping at pornography, but a question of bearing witness. We have no right to look away, he suggested. But whether it is moral sentience or prurient curiosity, t...
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