Furore over TV ad beggars belief
THE “outrage” over a single TV advert that failed to show a black face on Father’s Day is so unbelievable that one cannot but think the whole negative reaction was carefully manipulated and contrived.
I have canvassed a number of working blacks and a professional black I met, on what they felt about the advert and the hullabaloo that followed. Most had seen it but had not even registered that no black dad or child was seen.
It seems incredible that a respected newspaper like The Star saw the incident as so threatening that it weighed in against Outsurance in its top editorial – traditionally the place reserved for a paper’s own comment on real matters and developments of concern.
Our country is about to be swallowed by a gigantic sinkhole of state capture, corruption and mounting anger because of promises which have not been kept.
The rot reaches all levels of government and includes ministers and top office-bearers in state enterprises and it implicates President Jacob Zuma, his family and allies, including the Guptas.
South Africa is on the verge of imploding – we have been plunged into junk status, investors are backing away and we are in a recession with nearly a third of the population jobless and not able to put food on the table.
Yet we find it of paramount importance to blow up one all-white advert into a racial scandal, and dent the image of Outsurance which has been seen to contribute to the well-being of the country and all its people in a tangible way over many years.
Have the avid self-appointed watchdogs not noticed that other population groups like the Indians and coloureds, nominally black when it suits the government, are seldom if ever seen in mixedrace adverts? But that seems acceptable.
Then there are numerous adverts that feature blacks only. But, with the double standards applied, this too is never negatively commented upon.
One could project anti-black slurs on to a number of oftflighted adverts if one wanted to. Does the Koo advert mean to imply the winner of a cooking contest, in which a black contestant is convinced she has won, is superior because of her skin colour? Of course not.
Should that delightful VW advert of a loving black father and daughter singing in their car be slammed for not meeting the so-called racial criterion? Of course not.
One must be deaf, dumb and blind – or in denial – not to have noticed the sustained smear campaign of scapegoating and blatant attacks on whites since last year in which we are blamed for everything from rising unemployment to the drought.
However, more perturbing than the corrosive corruption pervading our society is the inherent damage that these racial attacks could do to the genuine – but as yet tentative – interpersonal interracial fabric of tolerance and acceptance. It has taken 23 years to reach this point with goodwill on all sides.
Petty actions and dredging up imaginary racial slurs must not be allowed to damage these beautiful bridges and set the country back by nearly a quarter of a century.
Imaginary racial slurs must not be allowed to damage bridges