Mr. Francis Lai Hong, Deputy Chairperson of the Chinese Association, joined Benito Vergotine in studio on The Honest Truth.
Listen to the conversation here: CHINESE COMMUNITY TAKES ANTI-CHINESE HATE SPEECH TO THE EQUALITY COURT
On Monday 25 November, the Chinese Association Gauteng (TCA) heads to the Johannesburg High Court (sitting as an Equality Court) to challenge the anti-Chinese hate speech of 12 respondents who made a series of comments – posted on the Facebook pages of Carte Blanche and the Karoo Donkey Sanctuary – in early 2017. The case is a bid to expose racist discrimination against South African (SA) Chinese in the country and the profound effect of this on a section of our society.
The Chinese community in South Africa has a long and often painful history. Brought to SA as forced, cheap labour for infrastructure and mining projects the Chinese were exploited and treated as inferior during much of the colonial period, and were also directly discriminated against under apartheid race laws. However, both the contributions and the suffering endured by SA Chinese citizens has gone largely untold, not recognised or acknowledged by many South Africans.
The social discrimination against SA Chinese is a direct result of this lack of recognition since many South Africans still view these Chinese communities as outsiders. This discrimination also affects the new immigrant community, along with those who have been here for generations. Furthermore, there is no room for hate speech and hateful sentiment in our diverse democracy. People need to know that, as laws change, they will be held legally accountable for hurtful and harmful speech, even on social media.
In a bid to foster a better understanding among all citizens, it would be great if you would consider covering these issues – which can be approached from various perspectives – to demonstrate the harmful nature of dehumanising hate speech on our society. There are a number of Chinese South Africans, from all walks of life, who are able to provide valuable insight on the historical context and lived experience of – and the impact of anti-Chinese hate speech on – the Chinese people who call South Africa their home.