“THERE is a race war in South Africa. It is 364 years old. Though we agreed to cease fire 22 years ago, we are agreeing to open fire again.”It was just one of a series of tweets posted by Shaka Sisulu, grandson of Walter, and the rest revealed a less literal meaning; but that didn‘t matter to the frightened white people who passed the message around. Not when there were so many other posts like it: social media, it turns out, is lousy with calls for ethnic civil war.The white sabre-rattling is the same as always: gloomy predictions and poisonous assumptions, all masquerading as pessimism but barely disguising a nihilistic longing for Gotterdammerung.The declarations of war by black people, however, were new to me.Most were variations on a theme of exasperation. Penny Sparrow was the penultimate straw, but the attack on black protesters by a white mob at the University of the Free State was too much. Talking was futile with people determined not to listen. Now it was time for taking ...

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