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Seeing red: This is what hate speech looks like

What is the Red October movement hoping to achieve through its hate-based hodgepodge discourse that is a bizarre combination of radical left communist speak and backward racist doctrine, peppered with obtuse analysis and expedient misinterpretation of social statistics. No really — what do they see at the end of this tunnel vision? Do they think that if they send out enough verbal hate missiles the black population will simply disappear into thin air and they can get on with running the country along with workable roads, clean hospitals and job reservations for whites only?

The recipient of their vitriol is the black South African population, the members of which, it seems, are stealing all the jobs, torturing and murdering up to 17 white people a month and raping whites by the minute (and God knows they are not used to being raped by ethnics — as Steve Hofmeyr was quick to point out). Not only this, they (the blacks) simply cannot run a country and as a result all the hospitals are “filthy”, all the roads are up to shit, the entire country is falling to pieces and this is apparently, solely because white people are no longer in power.

But the discursive cherry on the top is the fact that genocide is being perpetrated against the white population in South Africa — barring the libtards, the communists, and shameless black-loving whites (like me) … because we are, according to this bunch — actively encouraging this genocide.



But as Facebook friend Alcide Herveaux points out: “The genocide story is ridiculous. 1.2% of the murders happening in SA annually are white according to 2009 Medical Research council stats. Whites make up almost 9% of population. According to Sunette’s stats of 17 murders per month it is around 200 white murdered per year. The rest of the 15 000 are other races.”

When asked about their claim that white Afrikaners are undergoing level six genocide in South Africa, Sunette Bridges is quick to say that is not about the numbers of people being killed — genocide takes on all forms of oppression, which lead to final genocide. This includes it seems “giving jobs to black people” and “renaming the cities and towns after African indigenous names”. Getting rid of the names of apartheid oppressors is genocide? Really? This document cites the South African government as being active in the encouragement of the genocide of white farmers in South Africa.

It does not seem to matter to them that we are all appalled by murder of any kind but that we cannot support the fabrication of facts and figures to present one group as being the victims of a genocide, which cannot be proved to actually exist.

Apparently as Bridges told radio presenter Rowena Baird in an interview on SAfm, it is also about the president once singing Umshini Wami — to which Bridges has liberally added the words — “rape the dogs”. When it was pointed out to her by Baird that we would clearly hear the word izinja in the song if it were indeed there, Bridges raised her voice to an imperious attack that implied that Baird, a mere black, had no right to question her truth. Her tone was indeed, a metaphorical sjambok and Baird had to grit her teeth and get through the tense interview without losing it — kudos to her for such fortitude.

You can listen to the podcast here.

After the radio interview this commentary was to be found on Bridges Facebook site in relation to Baird.


Then came the Aljazeera show about Red October, which I was invited to participate in. I turned it down based on my understanding that it is useless to argue against their irrational racism — I prefer to write at them than go blue in the face on a public podium about it. Besides which I think it is black people to whom they must answer, not fight with me about what sort of white I am.

In the show both Dan Roodt and Bridges were strident and confident that the pearls of swine wisdom that fell from their lips was the God’s honest truth. The rest of us were “pathetic libtards” as some tweeted during the show. But this comes as no surprise as according to them some of us are even “black-cock-loving social terrorist morons” among other delightful multi-epithets.

During the show Roodt and Bridges claimed they are “human-rights activists” and it was implied — after the show on social media — that we “the communists”, are actively working to rob them of their rights to cultural expression. More likely though is that we are actively working to reflect back to them their sense of entitlement at their so-called God-given right to be white, arrogant, superior, hateful and sanctimonious. Why? Because some of us do in fact respect and celebrate diversity and will not stand idly by while the right wing create a propaganda machinery of prejudice and anti-black hate mongering while also attributing this malice to all whites.

(I do have to add though, that at least with this lot we know what we are dealing with and they do not have the arrogant temerity to say dubious things like “I agree with the content but will punish her for tone”. Get over yourselves. If you agreed with the content you would not inadvertently feed right-wing supremacy by fighting about tone.)


Anyway, moving on from liberal hypocrisy back to white supremacy …

I asked the question in my video contribution on the Aljazeera The Stream show (click here to see the show) what the systemic machinery is that the right-wing discourse seeks to create or feed into with their homily of fear and the demonisation of blackness. Though I have written about this before it became very clear to me while listening to their ludicrously constructed arguments, that what they seek to do first and foremost is discredit and demonise black South Africans — but mostly black South African men. It is black South African men who they perceive as the biggest threat to their wealth, privilege and status quo. Thus everything they put out, from xenophobia to crime, to baby rape, to corrective rape, to women abuse, to corruption, is placed squarely at the feet of black men. They spend a lot of their time and resources feeding this myth through curating stories of black male crime and corruption — totally overlooking white crime of course. This is the war of patriarchs. It is the discursive space in which the white Afrikaans patriarchs of the right wing pit themselves against those whom they perceive as the next wave of patriarchal power players.

The terms in which they speak of “the blacks” are disgusting and dehumanising. The right wing will “plagiarise” the language of many ideologies and appropriate anyone else’s struggle vocabulary, as long as it suits their discourse of demonising the black SA male. They will use African foreigner’s concerns about xenophobia and black lesbian narratives about corrective rape (without their consent) to push their own white anti-black male propaganda. See video in this article.

They even refer to our government as “a communist government and the ANC a far left-wing terrorist group”. And President Zuma is referred to as a “Kaffer Dog” in one of the screen shots that has been doing the rounds this week.

Besides being really obtuse and even infantile, this is pure hate speech and defamation. But where is the outrage? Besides a handful of mostly Afrikaans protestors the white middle class has been particularly silent over this furore.


We know though that largely the white middle class and their gatekeepers choose to get outraged over things that insult them directly, like utterances made by Zuma about how whites “treat dogs better than their gardeners”, or the banning of The Spear — yet they remain silent when movements that host up to 40 000 white followers insult the entire black population with heinous public invectives. What’s up with that? Is this elitism, hypocrisy or just plain indifference? One would imagine that it is important to take on the wave of hate speech that has hit our public spaces and that some have said “reeks of possible treason and defames an entire nation of people”, based on their skin tone.

There are of course white people who care enough to make a stand and some Afrikaans anti-racist activists have been actively lobbying against the Red October campaign and infiltrating right-wing sites with satire, parody and mockery to destabilise the ongoing narrative. One such group is Suid Afrikaners op wie ons Trots is en vir wie ons Skaam kry, the initiator of which, Hendrik Potgeiter, has been recording hate speech found on the sites of Bridges, Hofmeyr and Roodt.

Here is a link to an album that has screen grabs of the most heinous examples of the hate speech that permeates our public spaces right now. (You will need to register to see pics in full size.)

You can follow their campaign on Facebook here.

At the end of the day though it is black people who these white supremacists are attacking and attempting to dehumanise with their discourse of hate — and it is black people to who they must answer. There are rumours afoot of a group of black activists beginning a movement called The People vs Red October, in which they plan to start a class action suit against the Red October group for defamation of the entire black South African population. They also plan to call on the government to take this hate speech seriously and begin to find ways to deal with it through the judicial system.

Perhaps it is also time for the right wing to reflect on the manner in which they are being manipulated by the leaders of Red October into becoming their own worst enemies as they buy into the construct of an imaginary genocide and declare a hate-filled discursive war against the entire black population.

And perhaps it is also time for many more white South Africans to also openly and publicly join the call to stop racism.


  • Feminist, filmmaker, writer, poet, activist and author, Gillian Schutte has a degree in African politics, an MA in Creative Writing and a Film Director's qualification from the Binger Institute, Netherlands. Winner of the Award of Excellence for her documentary entry to the Society for Visual Anthropology Festival in Washington, 2005, and author of the novel After Just Now -- Schutte fearlessly and creatively tackles issues of race, identity, sexuality and social justice in her multimedia work. She is founding member of Media for Justice co-owner of handHeld Films. and co producer of the online Reality TV series The Schutte Singiswas'.


  1. Stephen Browne Stephen Browne 17 October 2013

    Is there any need or reason for me to publicly condemn this fringe movement? I have no Facebook or Twitter (f**k me right?) and I barely know who Steve Hofmeyer is. Sounds like an absolute joke that has been blown entirely out of proportion by the self-perpetuating monster that is social media.

    I try my best to beat discrimination where I can actually tangibly see the results i.e. in myself and with those I interact, I’m not beholden to anyone else.

  2. Bruce Gordon Bruce Gordon 17 October 2013

    These apartheid activists are from the same mould as Malema, just a different veneer applied in the finishing room. I suspect that like Malema they have very little support but make for excellent sound bites hence achieve good coverage.

    Since they are happy posting such appalling drivel on Facebook, a public platform I am confused by your censoring of their names here. They are proud to be scum, let them live with it.( though all those Americans who complained about this years Miss America choice in racist terms and were not censored have had to close their Twitter accounts)

  3. J.J. J.J. 17 October 2013

    Pots and kettles all around.

  4. Mbonisi Mbonisi 17 October 2013

    The funny thing with these apartheid dinosours is that, when faced with death, and in need of a heart, liver, or kidney trasnplant to survive, they would never say know if the organ is from a black person.

    I pity them, Africa is certainly not for them. What of the high blood pressures, high stress levels caused by the millions of blacks around them. Its a sorry existence!!!

  5. Sally Giles Sally Giles 17 October 2013

    Dang am I happy to see on their website that they don’t have a Durban wing, says a whole lot about my town!

  6. Maria Maria 17 October 2013

    I must admit I fail to understand why, in a country where people of different races/cultures have no choice but to learn to live together in peace, some seem hell bent on making this impossible. The vitriol in those Facebook comments is incredible. I can understand people’s concern with crime in your country – it seems to be difficult, if not impossible, to eradicate – but why make of it a racial issue? From where I’m looking, it seems to affect all races and cultures.

  7. Your neighbour Your neighbour 18 October 2013

    if the media say gave Malema and the AWB types less to no coverage and the salvation army; charity groups and stories of selflessness/genuine entrepreneurship/everyday heroism the coverage they deserve, things might be in perspective. Furthermore the correct feelings of goodwill would dominate and the emotional shrilling would fall into the background where it belongs.

  8. PrettyBelinda PrettyBelinda 18 October 2013

    Good Heavens!!!….how old are Dan, Hofmeyer and Sunette?…including the whole bang lot of Red Octoberists clad in old Afrikaaner garments? What is their prize, to destroy the Mzansi October of 1994?

    Yes all forms of violence must receive the due attention, but the special coverage which this group is getting, is simply outrageous. They should get off their high horses. In no uncertain terms will they be the undoing of our state and the majority rule of black men and women. Not on your life!!! The blackman has power and no one is going to take that power, in fact he should not allow that power to be stolen ever again. This state Our new South Africa will crumble because of its own demise. We have a devil in our midst which go by the name of Violence. Violence has possessed each colour of the rainbbow. Look to Diepsloot,which today marks the sum total of how vulnerable our children are and how deeply the beast of Violence and Brutality is steeped and still festering our society.

  9. Qiniso Afrika Qiniso Afrika 18 October 2013

    As I read this im not angry, I am sad that people with this frame of mind and train of thought about us live amongst us everyday smiling and being pretentious. They wake up and see us everyday of their lives. I wonder what’s next. I won’t carry on posting for the sake of peace and my sanity (which according to them i dont have since im the devils creation and sub human etc etc.). Peace

  10. Sarah Britten Sarah Britten 18 October 2013

    I’ve seen (and been directly involved in) plenty of white middle class outrage over Red October on Twitter. Over the past 2 weeks I’ve been called a libtard, an Anglican terrorist and an uitlander (and worse – apparently I want to be raped by a black man – though I refuse to read the comments on this fine example of Praag thought leadership ) precisely because I think it’s important for white South Africans to publicly criticise a movement founded on naked racism.

    I agree that it’s important, as white South Africans, to take a stand on this, not just in private, but publicly.

  11. Mark Mark 18 October 2013


    Surely you should couch this argument in terms of historical events. This is whereby the boers deserted the Cape to find their own land, and then battled both the african populations and english to again, achieve their own land and live how they want to live in isolation. Whether you agree with their pursuit of self determination or not, you have to see that their standpoint has been the same since South Africa was colonised.

    Additionally, afrikaners do not speak for the entire white population (certainly not me), but your overgeneralisations make it so, and thus detract from your article.

    But, as ridiculous as Steve Hofmeyer and co are, if you look at these issues in terms of a demograhic of our population who have never wanted anything to do with us, you can see merit in their argument.

    This explains towns like Oranje and all the other walled off paranoid societies.

    I am pretty sure that if you gave afrikaners land and allowed them to form their own country we would never hear from them again. Well, outside of the easter and christmas beach invasions.

  12. Gillian Schutte Gillian Schutte 18 October 2013

    Sarah I am aware of your articles, and the fact that you are being attacked by the trolls. I am referring to the type of attention other topics receive – as I said it is a handful of people and largely Afrikaans groups who are taking action against hate speech – we need more public outrage.

  13. Amanda Amanda 18 October 2013

    a very good article written by the lady. I want to say that I as a white afrikaner do not enjoy and are against the hate speech written by members of the public on websites and on social media. I wonder if these people will say that in front of other people. On the side of the coin I have also seen black people tweeting hate speech. However, although I was not there (Red October March) I did support it simply because I agree that the farm murders are totally out of control and the goverment can do much more than they are already doing. Yes I know that compare to the rest of the country we (the whites) the percentage (killings) wise not so high as the black people themselves. But that does not change the fact that the killilngs are still too much! Why do black people and Indian and coloured people then not stand up for the killings in their society. It is if they just accept it. And it is not acceptable at all.
    Yes, there are white on white murders and rapes also, I cannot deny that. But the afrikaner feels that they are targeted by black people as most of the killings are black on white. However I do not think that all black on white is because of rasism or hatred but rather than they see the white as a target to get what they want, but some of these murders on the farms are so gruesome that you have to ask yourself was it just for the sake of getting money or did they not hate the victoms? I have also been called a libtard once and I also destest it.

  14. Anonymous Anonymous 18 October 2013

    So where is the outcry by the black community about hate speech towards whites? Why is the term ‘Boer’ deemed Ok but anything else is a ‘racial slur’ towards blacks? Why can political parties sing ‘Kill the Boer’ and the ONLY outcry was wrong whites – where was the outcry from the Blacks?

    Yes, I saw a lot of horrible, unjust, racial slurs in the groups you mentioned above. BUT I didn’t see any comments that blatantly told people to go out and KILL blacks. To murder them, to slaughtered them, to rape their women. If you could take your eyes for two seconds off the ‘evil whites’ and get off your morally superior pedestal, and look what the ‘liberals’ are putting out there, you will see how hatred and violence are being incited against whites. And not ONE WORD is mentioned about it. Where is YOUR outcry for that????

  15. Heinrich Heinrich 18 October 2013

    God is so mischievous. He created black and white so we can entertain him with our thoughts, words and actions forever. Ad infinitum.

    People like Gillian and Steve must be very thankful for this opportunity.

  16. VoorvelVisser VoorvelVisser 18 October 2013

    ” What is the Red October movement hoping to achieve…..” Well, we got your attention didn’t we

  17. Tofolux Tofolux 18 October 2013

    @Gillian, what is ironic though, is the bankrupcy of ideas from those the extreme rightists. In fact, the contradiction is so laughable it begs why we even bother paying any attention to it. The Red October is a wordlwide communist campaign whose history is well recorded, well documented and valid. The real debate here is : how a bunch of wannabes hijack a (communist) campaign and mis-use it for a very narrow agenda. It furthers begs the question of media’s hand.

  18. Gwen Gwen 18 October 2013

    Gosh, I’d never heard of this movement before reading this. Is there a point where speaking out about them just gives them free airtime?

  19. Amanda Amanda 18 October 2013

    In reply to Mark,

    Yes who did explain how the afrikaners mind works very good for an English guy, I am quite impress. Yes since the day we were colonised we the afrikaners detest it, we hated it under the English, we always wanted to to be independent, and the fact that we always had to litterly fight for our independence over the years made way for how we think and react today. After the War the afrikaner was devestated, we lost our land, our pride, our land were burned and live stock were burned to the groud, thousands of our women and children and young men died (I know that black folks also died in their thousands). We were a nation on on knees. Then the English tried to rule us, they wanted afrikaans (our beloved language)to make way for the English language and we hated it. But we overcome it, our language overcome it and we wowed never again. From that basis and history Apartheid came and I do not want to go into that because at the end of the day we stood up as a nation but unfortunately others had to suffer for that. We gave over in 1994 knowing that we can not go on like this, as we are an majority. Please see it from our point of view also. I do not support hate speech at all whether from a white or black man as I believe we are all equal in Gods eyes.

  20. Amanda Amanda 18 October 2013

    sorry, I meant we the afrikaners or white people are a minority in the country of us.

  21. Jerome Jerome 18 October 2013

    Hold on a minute.

    As a matter of idle interest, I typed in the URL visible in your first snapshot.

    Which brought me to the CLOSED GROUP facebook page of Sunette Bridges. It very fittingly has the slogan: TRUTH – It’s the new HATE Speech. “During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes an offensive act.”

    Point is – it is a CLOSED GROUP. You need to be a member to read what’s in it. (Which I am not). It is therefore NOT in the general public space, and presumably one is then free to air one’s honest opinions, rather than those opinions reserved for political correctness.

    Or are there now things that we are not allowed to say to each other in a private space. An consequently, certain thoughts we are not allowed to have?

    Are we now so far descended into totalitarian fascism that it has come to that?

  22. Derek Gerber Derek Gerber 18 October 2013

    “When it was pointed out to her by Baird that we would clearly hear the word izinja in the song if it were indeed there, Bridges raised her voice to an imperious attack that implied that Baird, a mere black, had no right to question her truth. ”

    I listened to the interview and perception was exactly the opposite, Baird wss aggressive and was lecturing bridges instead of intetviewing. For the record here is an extract,
    “dubula dubula (shoot shoot)
    Ziyarapa lezinja (these dogs are raping)
    dubula dubula (shoot shoot)
    ay iyeah
    dubula dubula (shoot shoot)
    Ziyarapa lezinja (these dogs are raping)
    dubula dubula (shoot shoot)
    ay iiiyo
    dubula dubula (shoot shoot)
    Aw dubul’ibhunu (shoot the Boer)”

    Once again the truth is irrelevant in your obsession on talking on behalf of black people.

  23. Nguni Nguni 18 October 2013

    The farm murders are really happening, Facebook drivel is just bla-bla (you selectively ignore the racist threats by black FB users). Hurt ‘dignity’ is repairable, having boiling water poured over you or being skinned alive is not. How can you even begin to compare these things?! I think if you spent a bit of time analysing the extreme sadism and cruelty of the farm murders and gave your balanced analysis, your argument would carry more weight. Even if it was just to say they are understandable due to inequality (but THAT level of cruelty, no). You really need to see what these farm folk are dealing with, then red october might look different. I think you are afraid to do so, for obvious reasons. Those demo guys just don’t care what people think anymore, they are gatvol.

  24. @NATE_IV_SA @NATE_IV_SA 18 October 2013


    What land?

    If bunch of blacks on ships colonised a large region where Afrikaaners originate simply because there was on one there (or where ever they moved it was unoccupied), any black person who keeps refering to that colonised region as “their stolen land” you’d ask ’em to get checked in the head.

    It’s analogous to saying, it’s not my fault YOU (blacks) weren’t vast enough to spill all over your continent.

    Imagine when you lament the scorched earth (and your “lost land”) I simply respond: well Khoisans arrived here first. Cause colonization apologist like that line like a lifeline.

    I was reading a book called Frontier Wolves. There’s a line I like:
    “it is good to be on friendly terms with the man in whose hunting runs one eats and sleeps.”


    In the novel, the Roman, Gavros, acknowledges how natives of that particular reign identify their habitat.

  25. Charlotte Charlotte 19 October 2013

    Of course, no mention of the EFF and its ‘Red Beret Mal-enena’s supporters’ brandishing a huge red poster at the party’s launch at Mariakana which stated: “Honeymoon is over for white people in South Africa.”

    Whether it is to justify her choices and/or place herself at the centre of attention and undoubtedly, make money out of it, Gillian supports and contributes to racial dissension and criminality.
    Instead of condemning ALL racism, leading by example, showing how we can sort out our differences and learn to live peacefully together (as many of us do), Gillian contributes nothing, except to keep stirring up as much shit as she can – but ONLY by her distorted support of black racism against whites.

  26. Sarah Britten Sarah Britten 19 October 2013

    Red October gives South Africans in general – and white South Africans in particular – an opportunity to distance themselves racism in a way that is public. So, in a way, I am grateful for them. Yes, there will always be thorny issues of white privilege (the fact that I can get away with living with my grandmother and not owning a car is, ironically, an example of the advantages I’ve grown up with) but this is an opportunity to acknowledge our common humanity. Pain and anguish are the same regardless of who experiences it, and this is something we South Africans have not been good at in the past. Some pain and suffering is always given more attention than others.

    If this is going to be an us and them issue, let the divide between those who are kind and good and those who are not.

  27. ConCision ConCision 20 October 2013

    Not quite “’The White Widow’
    Rather ’White Wedded Woman’
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Gillian tosses her racist pitch
    Against Blacks or Whites? – Don’t wonder which
    As long as mudslinging at whites is making her rich
    She’ll keep slugging and swinging without any switch

  28. Mark Mark 21 October 2013

    @Gillian, please can you explain your article in terms of the farmer who was killed over the weekend in Underberg KZN. He was beaten to death with hammers and a monkey wrench, while his partner was forced to watch.

    The timing of this execution at the hands of black men correlates a bit too well with the content of the red october outcry.

    We hear nothing from government on these issues, while the murder of two black kids in the voter stock areas of the ANC gets the president’s and chief of police’s full attention and bleeding heart syndrome in the media.

    And you wonder why minority groups are completely devolved from having anything to do with the new south africa.

  29. Kreef Kreef 21 October 2013

    The other side of the coin of the Red October brigade is………

  30. Martyn McGrath Martyn McGrath 21 October 2013

    Saw the comment from @AlanEternal up there… I exchanged some fiery tweets with him.

  31. Amanda Amanda 22 October 2013

    To Nate_IV_SA

    The land is the farms that they have worked on for decades, from nothing to something. I do agree that black people and Koisans were here before the whites came but hey they did nothing for decades to change these barren land into productive farming. I am certainly not one that says colonising was the correct thing to do because I do not agree with it at all BUT during that time period it was done all over the world, not just SA. The British alone colonized the whole world except for 22 countries, then we had the Spanish, the French and the Dutch, and the Japanese. they all did it. You can not hold a generation accoutable for that was done hundreds off years ago, that is not fair. That will meant that the whole world must hate and hold them Europeans accountable for what their forefathers did many moons ago.

  32. Zest 4 Life Zest 4 Life 22 October 2013

    South Africa is now hailed as the murder capital of the world according to Bridges.

    These people live in a fantasy world and are way too creepy for their own good. Why are they so corrosively obsessed with being the world murder capital? Nobody [outside some white saffers] agrees with it. It is toe-curlingly embarrassing. Who the hell wants to be world murder capital to such an extent that they go out of their way to inflate statistics?

    For the record, the last I checked (very recently) Honduras led the world with several times the rate of ZA. This is widely reported and accepted globally. Things must have changed then.

  33. 100% South African 100% South African 28 October 2013

    You are no less guilty of false statements and statistics than you claim Sunette Bridges to be. I listened to the radio interview and I observed a Red October protest.

    I found Sunette Bridges to be the calm and collected one and the interviewer to be ignorant of the actual words of the song. Secondly, the people I met at the Red October event were not only Afrikaans, but English as well and the forgotten ethnic group of Coloureds were also represented and not one of these people were offensive about Blacks, they were there to celebrate the loss of White lives due to senseless and often hate-inspired murder.

    If you choose to belittle a group because of what some members/ commentators of that group do, you are no better than the Apartheid regime in their fear-based policies.

  34. Freddie de Lange Freddie de Lange 26 January 2014

    Hi Gillian…

    Has any of these people ever apologised to you?

    I’m just wondering…

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