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As it happens I have an alter ego who writes at mydl, which is the geekronym for My digital life a South African digital lifestyle blogging site which I contribute to. The last week has been extremely emotionally charged with many of those problems that we South Africans tend to avoid bubbling to the surface.  For those not living within our lovely border , shame on you!! Ok now that I’ve got that out of my system essentially what’s happened is Canada has granted political asylum to Brandon Huntley, a South African national living in Canada illegally. See more in my post Canadians must not be very clever just ask Brandon Huntley

The Issues in a Nutshell

  • Brandon Huntley is a white South African
  • Brandon Huntley claims to have been the victim of violent crime at the hands of black criminals on seven occasions, but never reported any of these crimes to the South African police
  • The Canadian panel hears Brandon Huntley’s representations and finds:
  • Brandon Huntley is being persecuted in his home country because of his race
  • The government in South Africa is unable and unwilling to protect white South Africans like Brandon Huntley
  • Brandon Huntley would not be safe returning to South Africa because “ no matter where he went in South Africa he would stick out like a sore thumb”

For more on this see the link above to my post on mydl. What I’m here to discuss is the manner in which this story brought to the surface a number of issues which we as a country have just been to damn polite to discuss.

Racism is still rife in South Africa

I think the most important lesson I’ve learnt this week is that racism is still alive and kicking in South Africa. The large number of hateful and absurdly ignorant comments that flew back and forth this week really knocked the stuffing out of me until I realized, Brandon Huntley might just be the savior of our democracy. Brandon Huntley and he’s sneaky underhanded attempt to remain in Canada has started a dialog that should have begun 15 years ago. We need to release the pressure bubbling below the lid of political correctness and give space for expression of ideas we dislike and disapprove of. Brandon Huntley and his cheap trick which is now under judicial review in Canada has given a voice to racism and I’m actually happy to hear it.

Lessons on Managing comment flaming

For me everyday on mydl is a learning experience and never more so than this week past. Some of the best lessons which I think apply to any kind comment flaming on blogs or in normal social :

  • Shut up, the more distasteful the comment the more closely you should listen, when you start listening you open the door for understanding always remember discussions via comments are public affairs
  • Ask questions, make sure you understand the other persons point of view once they’ve stated it
  • Be respectful, anyone can shout and scream and use profanity, when you do it you take away from your credibility and alienate your audience
  • I mention this seperately because well it happens a lot don’t call people names :) Once you’ve called someone idiotic it’s unlikely they’re going to listen you again no matter how compelling your argument.
  • Pause, try not to reply while your emotions are running high take some time and reply when you’re calm
  • Do reply thoroughly citing references where possible
  • Do acknowledge when people with differing opinons to you make compelling arguments
  • Don’t be afraid to quit while you’re ahead or even if you’re behind, some arguments simply become childish mud slinging matches. Don’t let your ego rule you, remember why the discussion started and if the discussion has become trivial walk away, continuing will only take away from your brand.
  • Over and above all that forget about winnng! It’s not a game state your case and move on.

Some very tasty comment discussions and lots of lessons on how not to handle comments:

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7 Responses to Lessons from Racists how to manage attacks via your comments section

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  3. Lessons from Racists how to manage attacks via your comments section http://bte.tc/p-U #RTW

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