Campaign aims to curb racial polarisation in SA

2010-04-24 00:00

AT a time when neutral and anti-racist voices are marginalised while hate speech takes centre stage, two advertising executives have launched an innovative campaign against racial polarisation.

Jacques Shalom and Shane Geffen of Cross Colours advertising agency came up with the “I’m South African Neutral” campaign while having a casual chat about the tension that arose between blacks and whites following the death of Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging leader Eugene Terre’ Blanche.

“With all the recent ranting from both the far left and far right, we realised that 99% of people in the middle aren’t being heard. If the vast majority of the country is saying enough fighting, enough hatred and enough finger-pointing, our democratically elected leaders on both sides should deliver on that,” Shalom and Geffen said in a statement.

The two, both creative ideas men, are mainly concerned about the public outbursts of the two extreme groups whose conflict sidelines the South Africans in the middle who are opposed to the idea of a white and black South Africa.

“It’s not about left and right. It’s about belonging to something that stands for a peaceful South Africa. There are so many amazing things that we as South Africans have to offer, but unfortunately the wrong message is getting out,” the originators said.

With the help of industry colleagues, Shalom and Geffen came up with a logo which they intend to push via mainstream and social media to attract support for their “I’m South African Neutral” campaign.

“The movement hopes for companies to place this logo on their websites and e-mail signatures, and for individuals to change their Facebook statuses to ‘I’m South African Neutral’,” they said.

“By using the logo, we are providing a means through which people can demonstrate their commitment to a peaceful South Africa. Our hope is that the campaign will create a forum in which people can show their solidarity with one another, regardless of their background.”

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