A court in South Africa has ruled that posters featuring “F*** White People” don’t constitute hate speech and aren’t racist.
A lawsuit was brought by the conservative Cape Party against the Iziko South African National Gallery for displaying an exhibition featuring anti-white “art”.
As Heat Street noted earlier this year, the exhibition was created by Dean Hutton, who is white, featuring posters and a suit with the phrase “F*** White People”.
According to a description of the art exhibition “White people made racism and made sure it is deeply embedded in our social systems, laws, economies, institutions and individuals. So this provocation is here to make you feel that ‘white pain’.”
The political party that filed the lawsuit hoped the court would declare that the posters are racist and constitute hate speech as they appear to violate the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act, The Mail and Guardian reported.
but Judge Daniel Thulare, dismissed the case, mocking critics of the anti-white artist’s work and claiming they have a “pity-me-I’m-a-victim attitude” which tries to suppress free expression.
“If there is one thing that the work has achieved, through this complaint and others to which my attention has been drawn if this matter, is to draw South Africans to a moment of self-reflection, if we are serious about building one nation, one collective with the same values and agreed principles,” wrote the judge.
He added: “For reasons I have already given, in my understanding of Hutton, I am unable to find that what they said amounts to advocacy of hatred of for White South Africans based on their race, which hatred constitutes incitement to cause harm.”
Thulare also dismissed the case having considered Hutton’s explanation for the exhibition. He had claimed it’s about “complete dismantling of the systems of power that keep white people racist”.
The artist admitted that white people could feel unease and even anger because of the posters, but said they ought to “Learn to f*** the white in you, too”.
The group that sued the South African National Gallery had demanded it remove the artist’s work and apologize. It also wanted the court to rule the anti-white phrase counts as hate speech. It sought money for damages.
Jack Miller, the Cape Party leader, told the paper his group’s argument was based on the dictionary definition of the word “F***”. However, this was dismissed by the judge.
“It’s very disappointing. We’re quite shocked by the decision, because it’s a massive setback and it sets a dangerous precedent,” Miller said. “We’re worried about future actions against anyone, not just white people, but people of all races.”
Hutton, meanwhile, expressed relief after the court dismissed the case. “I felt like I was holding my breath since the charges were made.
“My work is a response to the work of, in particular, black intellectual thought leaders and the work gets attention because I’m white. That is a function of white privilege and people need to know that.”