The Spear, Racism or conflict of rights?
Articles have been written, people have been talking and the nation is still debating the issue of the controversial painting by Brett Murray portraying President Jacob Zuma’s ‘extention’. South Africa a diverse country, we are different and therefore interpret things differently.
With all the debating on the painting, I personally believe that behind every artistic form there is a message. Every painting, every poem and every novel written, the author is trying to convey a message. Brett Murray’s painting conveys a message, so was Zapiro’s cartoon whereby president Zuma was portrayed with his pants down about to rape a woman. We interpret things differently, some South Africans see this painting as an insult to the black nation; they see this as a form of racism. It is ok, it’s their opinion, and everyone is entitled to their own opinions. Brett Murray knows what he had in mind when doing the painting. He wanted to convey a message just like any other artists out there, but he is the only one who knows exactly what he wanted to convey. I don’t blame him, he was expressing himself, and after all he is entitled to his right for freedom of expression.
The problem arises when his right interferes with someone else’s right. President Jacob Zuma is entitled to his right to privacy, he might be a public figure but he is still entitled to his right. If he wanted everyone to see his ‘spear’, I believe he would literally do so.
In my point of view, race has nothing to do with this. Murray happens to be a white man who did a painting of a person who happens to be black. If a black person did the same thing would it have made any difference? Truth is racism is still out there, but we can’t say that just because a white man had a quarrel with a black person then that’s racism. We have to know in what context we are supposed to use the term and just because only one black or white man is racist, it doesn’t mean all of them are.