U2‘s Bono has been criticised for appearing to support a song which includes the lyrics “shoot the boer” on the band’s tour of South Africa.
The word boer means farmer in Dutch and Afrikaan. In an interview with South Africa’s Sunday Times newspaper Bono compared the song to the rebel songs he would sing while growing up in Ireland.
“I was a kid and I’d sing songs I remember my uncles singing rebel songs about the early days of the Irish Republican Army,” he said, before singing an example. “We sang this and it’s fair to say it’s folk music.”
He added that the song should not be taken out of context. “Would you want to sing that in a certain community?” he said. “It’s pretty dumb. It’s about where and when you sing those songs.”
The singer’s comments sparked debate on South African radio and the internet, with some citing the song as derogatory, reports BBC News.
Julius Malema, the controversial leader of the African National Congress‘s youth league, was taken to court by lobby group Afriforum after he sang the song in public.
U2 took to the stage at Johannesburg‘s FNB Stadium as planned last night (February 13), playing to the largest crowd ever for a sporting or entertainment event in South Africa.
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