We should be colour-blind not racist

The Star Early Edition - - LETTERS - Rose Chin­ery

I HAVE read many silly let­ters in var­i­ous news­pa­pers over the years, but sel­dom one as silly as “Why is a black man­ager re­placed by a white one?” from Lau­rel An­goma of Kelvin.

And as a mat­ter of in­ter­est, why haven’t the usual rabid mob not shot out of the start­ing blocks shout­ing “racist” at this writer?

Is it be­cause the per­son she’s com­plain­ing about is white?

If so, why is it only racist when you crit­i­cise blacks but not racist when you crit­i­cise whites? Just ask­ing.

There is a word used to de­scribe dyes in tex­tiles – colour-fast.

Lau­rel An­goma is a colour-fast per­son, un­will­ing to let go of the past con­cepts of skin colour in­stead of do­ing what we should all be do­ing in our rain­bow na­tion – be­com­ing colour-blind.

How sad that this per­son, hav­ing pointed out that Thabo Dloti of Lib­erty Life per­formed dis­mally where head­line earn­ings were con­cerned, went on to com­plain that he or she had been re­placed by a white per­son.

Why not say that an in­com­pe­tent per­son had been re­placed by some­one com­pe­tent? Why harp on skin colour?

How silly is that? Did it not oc­cur to her that per­haps that white per­son was the right per­son for the job, never mind his or her skin colour?

I’d like to re­mind Lau­rel An­goma that back in the days of apartheid, stick­ing to one skin colour (ie white) where jobs were con­cerned was called “job reser­va­tion”. To­day, post-1994, that very same sys­tem is called ei­ther “af­fir­ma­tive ac­tion” or “trans­for­ma­tion” (ie black).

In­evitably in a coun­try where the ma­jor­ity of the cit­i­zens are black, even­tu­ally they will hold down the ma­jor­ity of the jobs avail­able.

How­ever, I think it’s more than time to let go of all this “colour-fast” non­sense and start us­ing merit as the stan­dard for em­ploy­ing peo­ple rather than the colour of their skin.

And while on this sub­ject, I know of two chem­i­cal en­gi­neers (both white) who left South Africa be­cause they were told that al­though they were the best qual­i­fied peo­ple for the jobs they were ap­ply­ing for, the per­son do­ing the hir­ing had been told that he had to hire some­one black, even though their qual­i­fi­ca­tions did not match up to the two whites.

Sadly, South Africa’s loss is Aus­tralia’s gain… all be­cause some­one was too “colour-fast” to be­lieve in merit rather than skin colour when it came to jobs.

Be­lieve in merit rather than skin colour when it comes to jobs


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