Johannesburg - America’s dominance of the internet, from operating systems powering your laptop and smartphone to the social media apps you use to interact with the world, means its domestic conflicts are also exported to the world.
A recent example of that is “cancel culture”. It emerged from social media as a means of policing celebrities accused of egregious acts, particularly the men accused of sexual assault/ abuse at the height of the #MeToo movement.
But “keyboard warriors”, the pejorative for social media activists who pile the pressure on individuals to be “cancelled”, have expanded their scope – not just to individuals but also corporates who fall foul.
Last week, eNCA reporter Lindsay Dentlinger became the latest target and was accused of racism because she had been inconsistent when it came to which politicians she asked to don their masks during a live crossing from Parliament. An edited clip of Dentlinger was later spread on social media, “confirmation” that she was a racist and should be cast out.
On Tuesday, the ANC organised nationwide pickets at the TV station’s offices to “protest racism”.
The question should be asked of the ANC: You have been governing South Africa for almost 30 years, what have you done to eradicate the social inequalities which feed racism?
A brave soul at Luthuli House might mouth a few words, and point to government-subsidised homes, social grants and the Gautrain.
But, three weeks ago, four boys died in a sinkhole while playing next to a busy highway in Cape Town.
The area next to the crowded informal settlement they call home was the only open space left for them to play.
The deaths of the four boys prompted no protests from the ANC (or any other political party), outrage on social media or calls for anyone to be fired.
Across South Africa, every day people are dying because of this sort of inequality which disproportionally affects black people.
There are no hashtags on social media, calls for anyone to be fired, or protests – just a collective shrugging of shoulders.