Feed our kids with dignity

2014-07-13 15:00

Dear Ms Rautenbach

Founder and CEO of Feed a Child

I trust this finds you well.

I have been a black consciousness political activist for more than 20 years. Had it not been for your antiblack and racist advert, our paths would have probably never crossed.

I am sure by now you are dealing with an avalanche of reactions to your advert. Since you decided to broadcast it for public consumption, I am sure you will afford me the opportunity to share my thoughts with you as well.

Your advert shows a black child being fed scraps of food like a dog by a white woman. In defending the advert, one of your colleagues argued the advert seeks to show that in South Africa some dogs are treated better than children.

Is this phenomenon that you seek to expose not synonymous with the white community?

And shouldn’t you rather have directed your concerns at the white community?

Contrary to popular perception, the poverty and deprivation of black people in South Africa and other parts of the world are not a result of laziness or lack of intelligence or entrepreneurial spirit on the part of black people – but a direct result of a deliberate, ruthless and bloody campaign of land dispossession, slavery and colonisation by European settlers. As uncomfortable as this might make you and your colleagues, it is a fact.

Organisations like Feed a Child are merely using the pain and suffering of black people to legitimise themselves and create the impression that they care about the plight of blacks – when all they’re doing is simply trying to appease their own consciences.

The picture gallery on your website suggests you work with both black and white children. But for some strange reason, in your advert, you consciously chose to portray a black child in an utterly undignified manner and – unsurprisingly – the white woman in a dignified manner.

If your advert is race-neutral and you merely wanted to make a point (as you claim), why didn’t you use a white child in this undignified manner?

Your advert reinforces the centuries of pain, suffering and indignity that black people had to endure (and continue to endure) at the ruthless hands of white supremacists in South Africa and across the world.

It exposes your white supremacist psyche and that of those in your organisation who defend this antiblack advert.

Yours in defence of black dignity,

Veli Mbele

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