One aspect of our society in which we can take pride is our judicial system – and specifically the highest courts in the land, including the Constitutional Court.
The court is the final arbiter of the constitution and has the last word in any legal dispute. That is as it should be – we are a constitutional democracy and the Constitutional Court is the enforcer of that democracy.
What the Constitutional Court cannot do is bring about fundamental change to the way people think or to their beliefs. That is especially so in the case of the thorny and divisive topic of racism. An expert said this week that the Constitutional Court cannot erase that ugly aspect of our society.
The point is that heavy sentences – as handed out to Vicky Momberg – and societal intimidation, as happened to Adam Catzavelos and his family, simply will not change attitudes and may even force racism underground.
All of us in this country – black and white – should acknowledge that we are, to a greater or lesser degree, racist in our outlook because we consciously or unconsciously favour our race above others.
If we all do not accept that, then the hatred will grow.