Tag Archive | "Politics"

It’s a Black/White Issue


Laws that enforced racial segregation at the level of marriage and intimate relationships by criminalizing interracial marriage were in force in many US states until 1967 when they were more or less scraped, thus making Obama possible. In South Africa, the ban on interracial sex was lifted in 1985 and in 1991, Michael Jackson – who had more of a right to tackle this issue than anyone else – sang the deeply meaningful and catchy ‘Black or White.’

Yet, in supposedly progressive 2012 the Democratic Alliance’s Student Organisation felt fully justified in slapping an entwined multiracial couple onto a membership campaign poster and captioning it with a primarily old-fashioned: “In OUR future, you wouldn’t look twice.”

Where do they think this is, the South Africa that was in the grip of apartheid circa Immorality Act of 1957? Who, in this day and age, even looks twice at multi-racial couples? I had always assumed that a same race couple raises more eyebrows than an interracial one.

How wrong I was… and how right DASO was!

Intolerance, ignorance and blind hatred quickly hijacked the conversation as everyone from the Christian Democratic Party (CDP) to that-girl-who-had-her-boyfriend-stolen-by-a-white-chick jumped onto the bandwagon.

The Christian Democratic Party outdid themselves by calling the poster ‘sexually immoral’ and then trying to make it an AIDS-related issue, then proceeded to shoot themselves in the foot by linking it to farm murders. That holier-than-thou attitude fooled no one when words like distasteful and insulting were bandied about. Did you find the image itself ‘distasteful’ or was it the concept of a lily-white man sullying himself with a black woman that you found particularly ‘insulting’?

Barely civil and wildly racist theories abounded about this metaphorical representation of a future South Africa. The irony is that, in attempting to imagine a non-racial future, DASO kicked off the mother of all racial arguments. Are we really a society that takes umbrage at two consenting adults, who happen to have different skin colours choosing to be together? Have we lost our minds South Africa? Is this what we are reduced to arguing about?

If nothing else, DASO’s metaphorical poster has once again exposed the hypocrisy and bigotry that always seems to be simmering beneath our façade of rainbow happiness.

Personally, I choose to imagine a beautiful, beige future, where black and white are no longer barriers to communication but form a basis for us to relate to each other because interracial relationships are inevitable. Embrace them.


To  see more reactions on the DA Youth campaign, read this post: DA Youth Gets Controversial

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DA Youth Gets Controversial

Social networks are abuzz about the new DA Youth poster on their Facebook page.

Reactions on Facebook have been mixed:

Thabiso: “This poster aims to undermine the future of South Africa, of integrating societies through economic and social transformation. It does this by reducing integration and transformation to diabolically erotic behaviour. What does this poster say about women, and African women in general? The answer is ‘the only way to economic transformation through giving Europeans sex.’

Markus: “My first thought was that this poster is a bit tacky and trying too hard to get attention. But now I think that if a picture such as this can cause people to be so alarmed about either the implied sexuality or the interracial factor, then maybe it does serve a point, to illustrate these hang-ups in society. If this poster can help flush out obviously bigoted people who for some reason have voted for a liberal political party, then it has already served an excellent purpose.”

Sibusiso: “It’s not about the photo, it’s about all the trick and cheap politics that the DA uses to win Black people. Non-racial society DA? Really? You strategically chose black and white – and not Indian, Chinese or Coloured..”

Elena: “Leaders of tomorrow – what are you portraying with these immoral pictures – is everything (naked woman vs naked man, naked man vs naked man) today about sex – I really think this is vulgar – I really thought you have more integrity than this. No wonder our country is going to shambles – are you now following the ANC Youth league? You can do better than this.”

Marius: “I saw no sex on the official poster. I saw an embrace. And even those who see and cry “sex” need to ask themselves why there is still so much stigma attached to it? There’s more “sex” by their own definition than on day-time television and in magazines. Sex and sexuality might very well be one of those issues we as a society need to discuss. If it’s a taboo we construct myths around it which in reality makes it go underground and perpetuates ignorance around issues of sex, HIV/AIDS, condom-use, etc. We as a society need to be comfortable to discuss “sex” (i.e. in their definition half-naked people embracing in public) if we’re to confront prejudices around HIV/AIDS and its rampant spread. It’s not a taboo.”

Tiro: “Never mind the race, that shouldn’t even be an issue. However, I just have one question though; what is the main point behind them not wearing clothes? If they had been, would we still see the same arguments/debate that we’re seeing now?”

Kabelo: “Finally the DA youth gets people talking. About time.”

Bongani: “I have only been eligible to vote in the last two elections and on both those occasions my vote went to the DA. But this ad has driven me away. It demeans me as an African man. I solemnly believe however much your intention was to gain support for the DA, this has caused you damage beyond repair. It has repulsed just about every black man in this country. Good luck moving yourselves forward. I’m now going to vote for Pieter Mulder. At least he understands that I have an identity and would love to keep it.”

Cillie: “To me it means the DA is trying to break the lines which keep us different from each other. Trying to make us see what we have in common. Instead of how we differ. Good approach.”

Toni: “Clearly, what so many people miss is the underlying message at the heart of the poster. NOT sex, not even necessarily love. But compassion and a true relationship, a nationwide relationship that bridges both cultural and racial divides.”

Bafana: “The racist and patriachal undertones are evident… a white baas screwing the black maid! South Africans must stop believing this rainbow hogwash. Go to Alexandra, Soshanguve or Khayelitsha (to name a few) and tell me if you witness a rainbow society.”

Ncedo: “The sooner we become colourblind I think will be the end to many of our problems in this world (in an ideal world). Im also not ignorant of the DA s stance with this poster they are actually playing on our weakness as South Africans.They know that race is still a big issue in our country.”


What’s your take?



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A Letter to the Matrics

I know my letter might have come a bit too late as your exams are over and all that is left is that long wait for freedom to come in the newspaper with EVEYONE watching. I want you to know that, you really need to have passed your final year of studies with flying colours, not only for your sake but for the good of the country. I know, I know! It may seem like you have such a huge weight on your shoulders and that you are too young to have such an enormous burden to carry, but quite frankly our country needs you.

We need you to scrape up the little reputation and measly positive image we might still have left from what was the highlight of the decade …the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

If you look back at the glam and glitz the soccer brought us last year, it’s obvious that we really did mess up this year. I mean, we were the best place to be, we have a beach, fancy stadiums, a rich culture and Terry Pheto! It does not get better than that. Now this year, eish we are back to being THAT country. So dear students, pupils, scholars, uniform wearers, mall fillers or whatever the government calls you, you have to have excelled this year and this is why…

The world has this year seen us as the country that produced the fallen ANCYL president Julius Malema, who later turned on the president and openly disrespected anyone and everyone older than him.

Our very own policemen killed an innocent protestor Andries Tatane. We are the people that Read the full story

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A Walking Generation: Every Generation Needs A New Revolution

If one takes into account all the talk and noise from our leaders, it’s understandable for one to be convinced, depending which side you’re on, that we’re at the dawn of a time of delivery. It is worth noting that the expectations we have are justified but as the same time they require one to be reasonable. It’s becoming clearer that in this system we live in that one has to think differently and shift his or her source of expectation. It requires one to have an enquiring or educated mind that can clearly distinguish between what’s been said and what’s been done, and what needs to be said and what you need to do.

It’s important that we move away and cleanse ourselves from a system or culture that holds us back – the culture of entitlement. We need to understand that politicians will say what they need to say to achieve their desired outcomes and as much as we cannot totally dismiss their mission and vision but we need to know what is it we can do on our own within that vision to achieve our dreams and change our lives for the better.

The New Growth Path says it must provide bold, imaginative and effective strategies to create the millions of new jobs South Africa needs. Whether the NGP will achieve its objective remains to be seen but we, the young people, cannot wait for the NGP or President Zuma to save us. We must welcome their intervention and their efforts but they should meet us halfway. We look forward to a time when our economic system will finally be able to deliver jobs and sufficiently fight the scourge of poverty but we can no longer sit and mourn. It’s time we roll our sleeves.

Thomas Jefferson once said every new generation needs a new revolution. It is evident that our revolution won’t be on the streets, but within. It’s a revolution that requires us to shun ignorance and to be the seekers of knowledge and understanding… to embrace curiosity, chase inspiration and be obsessed with ideas.

Our qualifications alone don’t seem to be delivering us and maybe the world or employers are looking for something extra. It calls for us to be an educated generation way beyond class room; a confident, creative and passionate generation. It is said that a tree does not move unless there’s wind. Maybe our wind is too weak and needs a little push. We are not and can never be a lazy generation, and we need to show that through our actions and behaviour.

I propose four steps we can take right now Read the full story

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