Let’s talk about the Sea Point video.
The one involving the Cameroonian man who ends up smashing a rear window of a red VW Golf with a wheel jack.
If you haven’t seen it yet, the video starts in the middle of an argument between the man and the occupants of the Golf.
Most of the screaming happens between the man, a guy in the front passenger seat and a woman in the backseat.
These two have the filthiest mouths I have heard in a very long time, letting rip with colourful Cape Flats language that the foreigner obviously doesn’t understand.
They keep wanting to drive off, while he insists that they wait and eventually the front seat passenger attacks him.
At this point the wheel jack comes out and the window gets smashed, with him uttering the now famous phrase “who wants to die?”
I don’t want to get into what happened, because I simply don’t know and there are too many stories.
One of them is that the woman refused to pay the man, who is an Uber driver, leading to the argument.
What I do want to talk about is the anger, the passive spectators and one of the people recording the altercation.
At one stage this guy talks to the Golf passenger, trying to provoke him into fighting with the Cameroonian.
It’s people like him who make situations like these a lot worse than they need to be, and often merely for their own amusement and Facebook likes.
With almost all the videos we have seen of young people getting into physical fights, there’s always one individual gleefully cheering them on – a cruel and selfish coward, who doesn’t want to get his own hands dirty, but takes sadistic pleasure from watching the violence.
The whole video made me realise yet again how we seem to prime our young people towards violence.
While the Cameroonian guy firmly insisted that they not leave, each of their responses was either outright violence, or to angrily antagonise him by shouting obscenities in his face.
It struck me yet again how our kids have no skill in how to deal with confrontation maturely and in a way that will avoid violence.
There’s an obvious machismo that is born in the ghetto and directly linked to an ego that does not allow you to back down, for fear of looking weak; so they invite the violence by provoking.
As the situation slowly escalates and tempers flare more and more, there’s a crowd unwilling to get involved, instead spectating and filming.
What if one of those people had a gun and started shooting into the crowd?
Everybody would have blamed, but nobody would’ve taken accountability for having done nothing to stop it from reaching that point.
I have long thought that since parents are not doing it, schools need to teach our kids how to de-escalate potentially explosive situations.
Now just imagine how much learning would’ve happened in that moment, if someone stepped in and defused the situation.
If instead of fuelling the fire, or standing by idly, if they somehow managed to get the two parties to listen to each other, come to a compromise and shake hands afterwards.
Better still, imagine if the crowd witnessed the two parties doing that by themselves.
We seriously need to ask ourselves why we feel better about reacting violently to a public confrontation, rather than calmly settling our differences.