Update (2012/12/06): I want to note a few things:
- The epithets directed at Prof de Vos below were always intended to apply exclusively and specifically to the behaviour exhibited in the Facebook exchange posted below and neither to the person or his behaviour in general.
- I became far too emotional and invested in the exchange and should probably have simply explained my position clearly once and left things at that. The attempt at getting Prof de Vos to respond, see my point and apologise for his behaviour was ill-advised, however justified. Even more, I should probably have seen the futility of trying to raise my rather complex point in that context at all.
- Social media, sadly, is a poor platform for informed, intelligent and civil debate on serious issues.
- In South Africa we have reached a point where certain kinds of people are not accorded the space to express even progressive views; and certain kinds of reasonable views are silenced because they diverge from the prevailing fashion/dominant discourse. This is especially the case when it comes to race and class and the relationship between the two. This is a sad state of affairs and harmful to our society.
- Blogging very frequently is, I believe, likely to lead to increasingly superficial analysis and I think this may be happening to Prof de Vos’s blog, but I am not ready to render final judgement on that question.
- Arrogance and intolerance of criticism is probably an occupational hazard of being a prominent commentator on public affairs—especially if one makes use of blogs and social media to express that commentary. I suspect guarding against that arrogance and intolerance is very difficult.
- I may be wrong in my views on the abuse of identity politics, race class and a wide range of other things. My problem with Prof de Vos was never about substantive disagreement, but entirely about his assumptions about me and his thoughtless dismissal of my views, not any views he may have had about the substance of what I said—which, given the context, were expressed in extremely abbreviated form. Even trying to do this was probably a big mistake.
- I intend using social media much more carefully in future.
Original post below:
Unwilling to listen. Intolerant of criticism. Prejudiced. Arrogant.