Exactly which categories of human does identity politics grant special protection to, and on what grounds is this discrimination justified?
President Zuma claims that humanity is lost when there is no fear of God. In an environment where Helen Zille has to endure a week of criticism for speaking of education refugees, how can Zuma get a free pass on this dangerously intolerant rhetoric?
Policy interventions need to be premised on non-arbitrary premises, which is part of the explanation for our reluctance to allow subjective moral standpoints or populist vote-seeking to influence what leaders like Helen Zille propose. But where the data do suggest that a certain course of action is justified, are we able to accept that we (as individuals) should be treated as anonymous data points in an aggregated dataset?
Helen Zille’s ‘Get Tested’ campaign has been accused of being another populist device and also of being somewhat illiberal. But it’s difficult to see whose choices are impinged on by this sort of intervention, and we should instead support this relatively inexpensive attempt to increase the number of people who are aware of their HIV status.
Helen Zille’s desire to criminalise HIV, and require mandatory HIV testing is an understandable reaction to a national crisis. But the required policies would not only be illiberal, but probably also ineffective.
Whether the idea that Cape Town is particularly racist is perception or reality, these are both problems. And we’re not going to fix whatever problems do exist by being offended, or by insulting those who make such claims.