Biker road rage killing: The truth in black and white

Hendri Pelser

Hendri Pelser

The truth is out there. Events happen every day. Big and small.

But the truth is not always black and white. Not even facts are.

Facts – and so the truth – are based on so many different elements that it is impossible to declare anything as absolute.

Only fools ever take an absolute position.

Some elements are fairly certain. Take gravity for example. We almost never even think about it.

On a motorcycle, gravity – and centrifugal force – are lovers and enemies at the same time. It supports you one second and baulks at you the next.

Even the most seasoned rider will tell you there is always an element of danger when mounting a two-wheeler. It is a calculated risk based on infinite variables and few facts.

In other words, you do not know what is going to happen. Especially when commuting.

Many facts have been reported since the tragic shooting incident involving a motorist and motorcyclist on Friday last week.

Some of the reported facts have been contradictory. Some seem genuine. Eyewitness accounts vary.

There are only really four facts that are absolute. Someone is dead. Someone else will be in and out of the courts for a while. Two families have been affected. And we don’t really know what drove these men to this outcome.

Everything else is superfluous as far as the rest of the world is concerned. We simply do not know, and might never know, what really happened.

But, there is another truth which has emerged from this situation. Not a truth based on black and white facts, but a truth which is difficult for many to openly and intelligently address.

Racism. In tweets, blogs, fire-side conversations, comments on the Internet and water-cooler conversations, the issue of race has emerged in this tragic shooting.

A black guy and a white guy got into something. Now, one guy is dead and people are commenting on the race of the two people involved.

We have never really addressed racism in this country. We all accepted Madiba Magic post-1994 in order to carve out a new existence.

But the vast majority of us were born and raised before 1994. Racism is something we grew up with on either side of the black and white divide. It is a part of all of us that we have not adequately addressed in the last 20 years.

And some of our countrymen and women never will.

That is a fact.

The social engineering required to erase the socially engineered mindsets we face is virtually impossible in the short to medium term.

The vast majority of us grew up in separated communities. Isolated from thoughts and beliefs different to ours.

Our realities are largely singular; realities based on indoctrinated truths. We see the world the way we were taught to see the world.

Facts are easy to spot. Something happened, so we decide that this or that must be the truth.

But so-called facts are interpreted. A truth is generated based on many variables.

It can no longer be black and white.


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