LETTER: White supremacists cannot tell difference between racist-baiting and race-baiting
Tony Leon ‘never once drew parallels between Nazis and NP politicians when he was their political whore, writing for their propaganda sheets’
Tony Leon, along with his “intellectual” peer David Bullard, has outdone himself by not only siding with the apologists for colonialism and racism, but also by revealing the true extent of his own, only partially subliminal racism. He also, as does Bullard, resorts to playing the man, suggesting that I hold the views I do to somehow curry favour with the current ANC leadership. He suggests that a person such as I could not possibly have anything to offer as an entrepreneur, he himself surely being the Steve Jobs of SA.
Bullard played that card on my academic track record. This is the language of intellectual bullies, but like all bullies, a good punch in the proverbial snout is all that is needed to sort them out. This is the level people of Leon’s kind stoop to when they have nothing else to defend themselves with — lies and fake news.
Lies and fake news are a trait of Leon and his political bed-fellows: Trump, Reagan, Thatcher and Zille. They play on words so as to constantly put progressive people on the defensive. This allows them to avoid having to deal with the issues at hand.
So, to the issues at hand. I do not need to curry favour with the ANC leadership. I have been back in the ANC since 2011 and have already served in many structures of the movement, accepted by all my comrades. I have in turn accepted their criticism of me for leaving to join COPE. That is all a matter of public record.
As I have said many times over, I am against racism and will attack it with every constitutional means possible. When its proponents resort to violence, as they often do, I will respond accordingly. In that regard some of Leon and Bullard’s more robust racist friends have actually threatened me physically. I say to them, bring it on.
I have already withdrawn the use of the word “vermin” to describe racists. I have stated instead that racists are verminous. Their behavior in this debate has shown just how disgusting these remnants of the apartheid system are. I have held this view since the 1980s, when Tony Leon was still serving in the intelligence structures of the racist, apartheid SA Defence Force. He never once drew parallels between Nazis and NP politicians when he was their political whore, writing for their propaganda sheets.
But now, to try to obfuscate from the reality of post-colonial continuity, he sees fit to compare me to those I have fought consistently ever since I became an adult. It may be entertaining, but its dishonest. It is Tony Leon’s political views that have a lineage from the likes of Lord Milner, to Hitler and then PW Botha. I have never been, and will never be, an apologist for racism, colonialism or apartheid, as Leon has been and clearly still is.
But most importantly of all, the lie by Leon — the slip — that conflates racists with white people, is what gives him away. I am an ardent baiter of racists, not white people. What racist baiting does is bring out the racists in to the open, who then defend themselves as white people, seeking a defence in numbers for their moral, intellectual and often physical cowardice.
In baiting racists, the objective is to allow white people who are not racist or who are committed to ending racism, to distance themselves from such disgusting people. Leon, like Bullard and many others does the opposite. He defends the straw man that he creates himself, by suggesting that the criticism of racism is a criticism of all white people.
But that begs the question: is it actually a straw man? Or is it just that Leon, Bullard, Zille and others defend what they do because they can’t actually tell the difference between racists and white people themselves. In other words, they wear the same spectacles as Steve Hofmeyer and other crude racists, but they are just better at dressing up their backward, reactionary, white-supremacist values and ideals in more sophisticated language.
Or, is it that they are just too lazy and selfish to stretch their tiny little minds to see the world through someone else's eyes? Safe, rich and privileged in their little white-supremacist comfort zone, they can play out their fantasy of being philanthropists to the natives, who should really be more grateful for the democracy, rule of law, railways and clean drinking water they falsely claim colonialism gave them.
All I have asked is that the likes of Leon, Zille, Bullard and even Hofmeyr try to see the world through the eyes of those that have been oppressed and exploited in the name of colonialism and racism. If they are not able to, then they must accept that those of us committed to ending the plague of racism and white-supremacist thinking will give them no quarter.