The song of the rented crowd

2011-11-09 13:00

Are black people really supposed to celebrate the comments made by some of you in the Voices section of City Press last week?

With the exception of Fikile-Ntsikelelo Moya’s comment, editor-in-chief Ferial Haffajee, Pinky Khoabane and Babalwa Shota sang the same song. Their commentary constituted the following: black people should celebrate their social conditions, however poor or dire.

After reading their highly opinionated articles, I could not help but come to the following conclusion: the editor-in-chief has succeeded in what she has always accused Julius Malema of doing – renting a crowd.

Haffajee has managed to string together a chain of female writers who dance to her tune. Anyway, it is an undisputed fact that City Press, like many other publications in the Media24 stable that narrate similar topics on blacks, is owned by a cabal of white conservatives.

As readers, we shouldn’t be surprised to read from time to time articles in City Pressthis paper celebrating a measly 17% of wealth being in black hands.

This, by the way, is the case in a country where blacks constitute 80% of the population.

This insignificant percentage of wealth is always hyped up so as to misrepresent the real facts. For example, white South Africans are still reigning supreme at the expense of the black majority.

While we black South Africans cringe every time these trivial figures are released, members of the fourth estate tout them to paint success stories. By the way, it is Prince Mashele who once commented: “Our journalists are incapable of exposing mediocrity.”

When blacks are supposed to be challenging issues of land, the economy, the means of production, the media and other ownership patterns that make whites perpetual masters of direction, the black editors, together with their rented crowds, make sure that blacks are made to fight for the smallest available cake.

In fact, it’s not just enough to fight for that cake. Those who manage to get the quarter of the smallest available cake are told to make noises about what they have fought hard for.

In his book I Write What I Like, Steve Biko was on point when he wrote: “Not only have whites been guilty of being on the offensive but, by some skilful manoeuvres, they have managed to control the responses of the blacks to the provocation. Not only have they kicked the black but they also told him how to react to the kick.”

Madam editor-in-chief, shame on you and your obliging crowd for even daring to write about how insignificant, in the bigger scheme of things, blacks are.

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