Is it at all possible that in this year of our lord 2012, 20 years after the end of apartheid, after we have declared ourselves a rainbow nation, after Oliver Tambo, my late beloved Dad, spoke of us being neither blacks nor whites, just South Africans ‘united in our diversity’; after the evolution of the world to this point in history; is it possible that there are still people who are shocked or offended by a poster depicting an embrace between a man and a woman? And is it possible that the source of their disapproval is the fact that the man and woman do not share the same hue of skin tone?
Is it at all possible in this 21st Century when the whole world is integrating that we in South Africa are still floundering in the murky residue of the ‘immorality act’ catechism of 1927? No. It is impossible.
I read an article in which the journo asked why it wasn’t a Black man and a white woman in the poster. Would that have made it more palatable to him? Why? Is that his particular fetish? He says there is intolerance of a white woman being with a black man. Really? Where is this intolerance demonstrated?
I don’t need to look further than my own family or my ANC to find black men married to white women and they are not the only ones. It is, in fact, quite a common worldwide phenomenon. People marry across the races. Here at home we have Dali Tambo and Rachel, Tokyo Sexwale and Judi, Pallo Jordan and Sue, and many, many more. Further afield there are Heidi Klum and Seal, Kofi Annan and Nane Maria, Tiger Woods and Elin, need I continue? No, I think the point is made. All over the world black men are loving and marrying white women. I am curious to know to whom these unions are intolerable?
But then this writer wrote of black men being with white women that “the majority of the white community in it’s entirety, questions such an act because of a racial superiority complex’. Is it the majority or the entirety? Or is this just a little bit of hysteria mongering that hopes to whip up a flurry of ethnological acrimony in our rainbow nation, and whip it up out of rubbish. Shame.
I don’t find the poster offensive, obviously. By what should I be offended? It depicts affection between a man and a woman of different races and I think that’s great. Let’s all love one another regardless of the colour of our eyes, hair, or skin; regardless of our sexual orientation, religious choices or geographical accidents. For God’s sake let there be love.
Perhaps the DASO didn’t go far enough. Perhaps they should have gone more ‘Benetton’ and put the whole rainbow in there, naked as the day they were born and cavorting together happily on South African sands and mountain tops.
We live in a country where there are real problems. We live in a country that still suffers from a history of institutionalised racism. It is a history from which we need to heal. How can that healing ever come if we are going to allow ourselves to be driven into a foul cavity of bigotry and racial divisiveness by the depiction of interracial affection on a poster? Are we still so unsophisticated?
As long as we still get stuck in racial division in South Africa we hand a trophy of victory to the apartheid system that we all abhor.
If the poster had only white people in it what would have been the complaint? If it had been an Indian man with a black woman, would there have been a complaint? It needed to be a black man with a white woman? Really? Why? I can’t believe I’m even giving consideration to this nonsense. Enough!
The poster reads ‘in our future you wouldn’t look twice’. Well, let’s live in that hope, because in our present we are being very retrogressive.