Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Everyone's a racist in SA these days, even Finweek magazine

I was one of Finweek’s last year Shanduka competition applicant around April/May 2007 – as a result I managed to win a one year once-off subscription to Finweek magazine, one of South Africa’s finest financial magazines.

It’s been almost a year since I enjoyed its cover stories and other features. However, I did not like something that Malcolm Ray & Troye Lund wrote on 28 February 2008 cover issue “Mission impossible.”

What both writers failed to indicate was the objectivity that I have always believed Finweek and some of its other writers or columnists have upheld over the years.

It is very important, I think, that journos should not take sides no matter the situations they find themselves in.

Ray & Lund reported what seemed like a racist. This is because notwithstanding some of the hardworking blacks, they went on with their report as if it’s only white people who are hard workers in all government departments.

Writers said: ‘due to a perverse combination of bad management and affirmative action – responsible for removing an entire generation of experience and institutional knowledge from State institutions – senior public servants were offered early retirement packages in order to address the employment equity challenges. Those post remain largely empty or are filled by inexperienced young black graduates or non-technical staff unable to train juniors, especially in civil engineering.”

As a graduate, and not in civil or any of the so-called scarce skills, I think it is very unfair of this statement which seems to generalize that all black people are incompetent and can’t do their work properly.

Yes, it cannot be disputed that there are these kinds of people in government – but having generalized they way the statement did – is unprofessional, and unlike journalism.

This seems to reinforce the mentality that many white people seem to be clouded with that: blacks are incompetent.

At the time of writing, I had graduated my Bachelors of Administration at one of South Africa’s best university last Friday. And it makes me want to think twice about what the minority seem to think about the majority in this country.

Personally, ‘inexperienced young black graduates’ is a racist reporting attack or whatever you want to call it.

I’m a young proudly black South Africa graduate and do not want people to confuse me with the rest of the incompetent blacks out there! I am an individual and need to be treated as such.

South Africa, many have thought, would have changed especially after democracy and become a non-racial nation – but given David Bullard and Troy & Lund’s attacks on us {black(s)} and our intellect – it seems far from achieving that.

I understand fully that we are all racist one way or the other, and whether we like it or not – but we have to try hard enough especially the media, to refrain from bias reporting.

We are people of different races, personalities – no matter how hard it can be – we need to be very objective in whatever we do or say and at least try to report objectively so that we won’t have these racial divisions that seem to have surfaced especially from examples of University of Free State’s disasters.


Wessel said...

Good on you for starting blogging. But can you explain to me where the racism lies in what they wrote?

Akanyang Merementsi said...

Well personally i think it lies where no "white" incompetent person has been mentioned and this seems to be the trend in South Africa especially whereby only blacks, the majority seem to be lacking all the skills that they - "white" are reported to have.

Maybe had both incompetent and inexperienced whites and blacks been mentioned - I wouldn't have raised this 'issue'