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September 06, 2018

How Tolerance Enhances Democracy And The Quest For Human Flourishing

Source: theconversation.com | Re-Post Fight for Life Foundation 9/6/2018 –

More and more, educational leaders and managers in schools and universities are being confronted with various expressions of hate speech.

In Cape Town, South Africa, a group of high school boys compiled a song which included the lyrics: “I feel pain unearthly because of my hatred of kaffirs”. The word “kaffir” is an apartheid-era racial slur and possibly the most offensive word in the South African lexicon. At the University of Witwatersrand, also in South Africa, the phrase “Kill a Jew” was spray-painted on one of its main buildings.

Similarly, in the US, racist flyers were found posted on the campus of Weber State University in Utah. The flyers were recruiting students to the white supremacist Alt-Right movement and declared that “diversity is a code word for White genocide”.

In May this year Stellenbosch University in South Africa became another example. Three students put up Nazi-inspired posters on campus advertising an “Anglo-Afrikaner student” event under the motto “Fight for Stellenbosch”.

The incident caused a massive outcry and the university acted immediately and decisively to condemn the inflammatory hate speech. The students were found guilty of contravening the Student Disciplinary Code, which states that Incidents like these bring to the fore the question of how institutions of learning can and should be responding to such controversies, which lay bare our simmering intolerance of difference and “otherness”.

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