By BO Staff Writer
In October last year, the Department of Justice published the Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill (Hate Crimes Bill) for public comment.
The Hate Crimes Bill, which fails to give definitions of race or racism, in its current form, will criminalize black people for responding to racism in a structurally and systemically racist society.
The Black First Land First (BLF) has created its own alternative Racism bill which follows the principles, “Blacks can’t be racist”, “land return as the pre-condition towards ending racism”, and “anti-racism struggle to be led by blacks only.” The BLF’s alternative anti-racism bill will be launched on Friday in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.
Read the full details of the launch and dialogue below:
Last year the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development called for submissions to government’s “Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill” (Hate Crimes Bill). The “Hate Crimes Bill” is currently being promoted as the mechanism to criminalise racism. Responding to this call, on January 31 this year, Black First Land First (BLF) submitted its alternative Bill to the committee. The BLF Bill is titled the “Anti-Racism Bill of 2017”.
The BLF Anti-Racism Bill of 2017 provides the necessary tools of analysis to enable the revolutionary subject (blacks) to facilitate a meaningful way forward by putting in place the necessary mechanisms. To this end the practice of “incorrectly criminalizing the actions of black people or other black entities as that of racism” – which the Hate Crimes Bill effectively will do – is called into destruction.
The BLF Anti-Racism Bill acknowledges “what the main contradiction is and what it would take to resolve it”. This Bill furthermore provides for three guiding principles so as to remove instances “where blacks and all aspects of black struggle against white supremacy are criminalized”, namely: “Land return as the pre-condition towards ending racism”, “Blacks can’t be racist”, and the “Anti-racism struggle to be led by blacks only”.
In this way the idea that black people can be held criminally liable for simply responding to racism – an idea that the governments Hate Crimes Bill provides for – is eliminated.
There’s also a sobering recognition in the BLF Bill that “the end of racism is only possible in the final analysis when the institutional basis that makes individual acts of racism possible has been eradicated” and that “so long as society is organized within the reality of white power, racism shall continue to exist”.
The “conceptual flaws” and suggested “remedies” in the Hate Crimes Bill renders it incapable of responding adequately to the question of racism. While the Hate Crimes Bill promises to combat racism via criminalising it, its effect will be to punish blacks for responding to racism.
The BLF Bill seeks to correct both the intent and effect of the Hate Crimes Bill. In terms of the BLF Bill, convictions for crimes relating to racism attracts stiffer sentences than that provided for in the Hate Crimes Bill. Furthermore, under a dispensation facilitated by the BLF Anti-Racism Bill, racist organisations like AfriForum will be banned and those responsible for the historical land theft and genocide, will be made to pay reparations.
Moreover mechanisms such as special courts, a media tribunal, and an anti-racism barometer will be set up.
The BLF Bill makes the key provision for the amendment of section 25 in the current Constitution so as to realise land return to blacks and to radically change the historical racist patterns of land ownership, management and control.
The BLF Anti-Racism Bill of 2017 will be launched this Saturday by Blacks In Dialogue (BID) under the following details:
Date: 25 February 2017
Time: 18h00 sharp
Venue: Devonshire Hotel, 16th Floor, Orion House, 49 Jorissen Street, Braamfontein
Andile Mngxitama (BLF National Convener)
Athi Mongezeleli Joja (New Frank Talk Editorial Collective)
Ndumiso Dladla (Teacher, author, founding member of the Azanian Philosophical Society).
At a very basic level, the questions of why the current Hate Crimes Bill is going to criminalise blacks and why it is important to uphold the principle of “Blacks Cant Be Racist” – needs you to come and engage with us.
Saturday night is going to be lit! Pass the message around. Entrance is Free!
Issued by Black First Land First, National Coordinating Committee (BLF NCC)
21 February 2017
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