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Damage is a click away

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The facts raise questions about racial discrimination and suggest that transformation isn’t happening fast enough

The photograph that's doing rounds on social media shows racial segregation in a Grade R classroom at Laerskool Schweizer-Reneke, in North West.

For their own well-being and peace of mind, residents of Schweizer-Reneke should consider staying away from social media …

It is easy to understand their frustration and need to escape the day-to-day grind of living in the North West but Whatsapp, Facebook, Instagram and other platforms are clearly not the answer.

Granted they could be, but between viral snatch selfies of hockey moms’ freshly manicured vaginas and images of preschoolers being awarded a rare sample of South African-style segregation, some residents’ understanding of social media is clearly as underdeveloped as their social skills.

Trump may make sowing the seeds of damnation, disdain, destruction and discrimination one tweet at a time look easy, but it’s obviously not that simple.

Actually, if you think about it, he has a whole staff of experts and analysts offering him ample advice to ignore yet, somehow, he still manages to infuriate people of all races who clearly don’t know how the world works.

All Trump supporters may not be racists but all racists are Trump supporters, so it’s easy to understand why many in the part of our country would consider his an example to follow.

However, make no mistake. It isn’t. Not even for the people of Schweizer-Reneke.

You see, proportionally, you would be hard-pressed to find a community that have felt the detrimental effects of unsanitary sharing more than the people of this little dorpie at the heart of the Mamusa Local Municipality.

First it was Margaret van Wyk whose crotch shot came under widespread scrutiny after the intimate image was accidentally sent to her child’s hockey group instead of her hubby.

Then, less than 18 months later, another white tannie of the tiny town has been wounded by woeful whatsapping and will never be the same again.

This time, a teacher who was suspended for immortalising what was apparently intended to provide a sense of normality by reenacting scenes and reinforcing sentiments of our nation’s greatest shame.

Racial tensions have always been high in the area and attacks on farms are a genuine cause for concern there are major threats to the community and their way of life that need more urgent attention.

For one, the town has little over 40 000 inhabitants, two of whom have learned the hard way that irreparable damage is but a click away.

What this means is that, contrary to fudged facts and slanted statistics, the greatest threat to this “gemeenskap’s” way of life is not racially motivated attacks but rather, racially motivated attachments.

As the SGB were quick to point out, not all the photos received the same level of exposure. There were even others that showed no hint of prepubescent prejudice. The community is trying but it’s difficult when that “poepol” of an MEC whips out the race card without even asking staff and parents if they were, in fact, racist.

A handful of the two dozen children in the Grade R class of Laerskool Schweizer-Reneke are not white. This in an area where 93 percent of the population are black. Apparently, this has nothing to do with racism.

A generation of post-Apartheid education had further failed to produce any competent non-white staff to teach in Afrikaans at the school but blame the “poepols” for that. Not the racists.

Maybe it’s because I went to school in Kimberley but this logic make no sense to me.

If anything, the facts raise questions about racial discrimination and suggest that transformation isn’t happening fast enough.

The numbers and images speak volumes about the community of this dorpie and the rest of a country that have a lot to learn before they can express themselves with confidence.

So please, residents of Schweizer-Reneke, until that day comes, please stay away from social media.