Racist Commentary Research Paper

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4. Regulation of racist commentary and the constitutional objectives
4.1. Introduction
This section considers whether the regulation of racist commentary will assist in the establishment of a South African community that is tolerant of its diverse citizens. A useful point of departure is the insight that an attempt to regulate racist commentary may stop racist utterances but is unlikely to change the racist mind-set of any person. The suppression of racist commentary can in fact render racist mind-sets more persistent. This challenge is considered from the dual perspective of the legacy created by the TRC during the emergence of democracy as well as the dynamic relationship between law and society. Thereafter a conclusion is presented.
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Restorative justice strives to re-establish goodwill between the parties, thereby diffusing reconciliation in a society. Although enduring amity remains an unachieved objective, the TRC nonetheless holds immense value in South Africa’s progression towards social goodwill.
In summary, the tradition and legacy of the TRC can be described as the practice of the restoration of hurts between wrongdoers and their victims in the hope and ambition of large-scale reconciliation.
The principles of restorative justice and the essence of the TRC are apparent in the judgment pronounced by the Equality Court in the Penny Sparrow case. The imposed sentence was financial reparations to the Oliver and Adelaide Tambo Foundation.
4.3. Law and society
The relationship between law and social change is multi-dimensional and dynamic. The law is contingent upon social change just as social change is determined by the law. The transformation of a people, is influenced by the law in contemporary societies. The law directs and influences social behaviour by the employment of various
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However, the impact of the Constitution is more far-reaching than its influence on the South African legal, political and economic macro-environment. In actuality, the effect and power of the Constitution is more personal; it engenders a culture in South Africa which reverberates with its precepts and gradually transforms the morals and beliefs of all who reside in South Africa. The court in Afri-forum acknowledged that change does not occur without discomfort, even hurt. This perspective is pertinent when analyzing the recent instances of racial commentary in South Africa. Thus it is possible to construe these incidents as the growing pains of a new democracy the resolution of which lies not in regulation of racist commentary but in further discourse at all levels from dinner table conversation to media
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