Racism: a response

Conor Engelbrecht, Glencairn Heights

I refer to the letters from residents regarding Matthew Theunissen’s racist rant and its publication in the Echo (“Noordhoek man in hot water over racial slurs”, Echo, May 5 and “Racism shames us”, Echo letters, May 12).

To all those who take issue with the language, who “do [their] best not to expose [their] children” to it, I pose the question: would it not be better to open a dialogue with you children and explain to them why this is not acceptable language to use?

Racism is a major issue in our country, and the world, and I feel that the onus is on parents to educate their children against it. The fight against racism has to start somewhere, and between parents and their children seems the most logical place. Rather than “whipping” the newspaper away, talk about it with your children.

And to those who say “we all say those kind [sic] of words in the heat of the moment and anger”, I feel compelled to say that actually, no, we don’t, because not all of us are racist. Those “kind” of words are never acceptable to use, not even in the heat of the moment, and for some of us the possibility of using them never enters our minds.

Finally, if you are lamenting what the “Echo of the future” will be, let me just say that a newspaper that acknowledges and confronts racism is infinitely better to one that ignores and accepts it. Unless, of course, that is what you would rather do yourself.