AtoZ: S is for Slander

Head in Hands

To my Facebook Friend

I received a Facebook notification that you posted something to my wall. I clicked on it with interest only to struck dumb.

I have taken a few days to process my reaction and decide whether I should just laugh it off, ignore it or say all the words that are threatening to spill from my soul.

If there were an award for posting the most inappropriate piece of slander about a “friend’s” family on their Facebook wall you would win first prize, the Oscar of Offensive.

In fact, if you want a metaphor, imagine sending Oscar Pistorius’s sister a list of the funniest Oscar jokes to come of his trail. Poor taste much?

I went down a number of paths of reasoning.

  1. Did you go out of your way to be offensive, in which case my reaction can hardly come as a surprise and you succeeded?
  2. Did you honestly think I would find your post amusing, in which case your actions were at best naïve and at worst careless.

Then I realised that your intent really doesn’t matter. I was offended. Deeply.

I was offended that someone I counted as a friend knew me so little as to think I wouldn’t find this offensive in the extreme.

I was offended that you might have thought that having a popular cartoonist perform a character assassination on a member of my family would be a source of celebration or amusement for me.

I was offended when this cartoon surfaced years ago and I am equally offended today.

I can understand Zapiro’s standpoint, he reflects and comments on singular moments and despite the fact that he couldn’t have been more wrong, I can let it go.

But not you, because you know me, you know my family, you know the context, you know what came after and you should know better.

That’s it.


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