2016 Jan 20 - Penny Sparrow and other racists                                                                                 Port Elizabeth Property First Article

The Penny Sparrow saga has opened a Pandora's Box of hidden emotions and has gone a long way in revealing the true character of many people and institutions across the country.

"As she was a member of the real estate industry it was decided that we as a company within that industry, were somewhat obligated to make a statement in this regard," said Deirdre Fibiger,a director of Property Network.

"Prior to our comments regarding the specific matter, we believe it is neccessary to make the following clear," she said.
  • As a company we abhor and detest racism - in any form
  • We believe racism is the fruit of believing in the concept of colour and therefore do not subscribe to any method of classification that defines a human being based on the colour of their skin
  • We are a fully integrated company across shareholding, management and staff and will effect the dismissal of any person within the company that operates from any point of prejudice
We believe that a clear distinction must be drawn between insults and racism. Calling someone a baboon is NOT neccesarily racist and the word has a long association within all cultures of depicting someone as acting stupidly. In Afrikaans, it is quite common to to hear the terms "Jou aap" or Jou bobejaan" - within their own people. Many English terms have these words used - "He went ape" to describe reckless behaviour. "A monkey is silk is a monkey no less", words made famous in a song by Rodrigues. In the Ukraine it is used to insult an old, bulky woman, amongst Germas to depict stupidity and the Portuguese to say you are ugly. To classify all these people across the world as racist beacuse they use the word, ape, baboon or monkey is extremely far fetched.

While the word baboon is not racist by definition, we do however believe that those using it must excercise understandng and have empathy with the recipients due to the history of our country. It carries connotations in SA and is hurtful to many. Conversely, people should not be shouting racist, especially our leaders, whenever they are offended but rather deal with the matter and the person, subjectively.

Our country is in the process of nation building. A process that is being undermined by racists as well as those who would use racism for their own agenda. Both are equally despicable. These people must be dealt with. If an ANC leader calls for people to be burnt he must be removed from office and face justice. If an employee is racist the company must dismiss them and move on. If a church member discriminates the church must terminat etheri membership publicly. If a Julius Malema type leader makes blatant public racist comments, gis followers and party must show their integrity and remove him from his position. The fight against racism must be escalated but with transparency, integrity and equality. To make an excuse for one is to make an excuse for all.

Racism is a crime in our country. These have been a thousand voices shouting racism across the last two decades of our democracy and yet no court cases. We strongly believe that racism must be dealt with swiftly end effectively via our courts and those guilty made to pay. We are no longer a new nation but have come 21 years into freedom. There can be no more excuses. No one must be immune from prosecution. No excuse must be tolerated. And those who shout racism to further their own personal agendas or simply because they have nothing else to say must be dealt with as harshly.

We must never allow the individuals, the media, politicians and uber liberal social media junkies to detract us from the many positives that abound in our country. Or to divert our attention away from other critical issues. If we do then they have succeeded and we as a nation have lost. Racists, radicals and naysayers are a minority in our country. We need to stop giving them the majority space.

Empty promises, words and actions around racism only make the problem worse. Raising expections without fulfillment builds resentment. Discussion for the sake of it raises awareness where none might have existed. For this reason we do not support empty initiatives such as the DA pledge from all members - Racism is a crime. Compliance is a given. Taking action against any member should be a given. To use the current spread of hurt and hate to make a political statement is cheap.

Is Penny Sparrow a racist? We do not know. We have never met her. From what abounds on social media, there appears to be a good case for the affirmative. We have also read on the internet however that the earth is flat and have therefore learnt to not depend on Facebook, Twitter or other platforms to find the truth. There seems to be enough prima facie evidence to have charges laid against her. We would see the process of justice take it's course and a verdict based on the facts - and if guilty, a firm sentence with a clear message handed down.

Was she a baboon for for voicing such comments on social media? Without a doubt.

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