Facebook and social online media is today becoming a method of sharing our ideas with friends and relatives from all around the world, and all around our country too. It allows us to share our ideas, photos and private comments with each other and we know that our friends often think in the same wey that we do - that is after all why we are friends. Many of us do not think that our comments or posts should be considered public, or often consider that people we might not know can read our posts and judge us accoring to these comments.
Last night, 5 January 2012, I was rather saddened to read a post by one of our leading artists who has over 29,000 people following him on Facebook. The Dogg posted the following at around 20h00 on his fan page:
"A MULE IS A CROSS BREED OF A DONKEY AND A HORSE.....SO A BLACK PERSON AND A WHITE PERSON OFFSPRING IS ALSO A MULE SINCE IS CROSS BREED?....HAHAHAHAHAH"
This is obviously a racial slur and can lead to a charge of racism. What was worse, was that as it was posted by the star many of his fans felt they too could comment and make even more outrageous comments making fun of other people whose parents were from different cultures or mixed races. It was particularly sad that these fans (many of them still youth and possibly born frees) did not realise their comments were racist and to be strongly condemned - even possibly having a criminal charges laid against them (and The Dogg).
I wish to urge our artists, and our fellow Namibians, to be careful of the things they write on facebook or any other social media. Not only are your comments racist and hurtful, but can, and should, lead to criminal charges of racism.
I hope that our people who make use of these tools think twice before making such comments, or even participating in such activities.