DA youth’s racy ad raises a storm, but is it missing the point?

2012-01-24 00:00

A POLITICAL poster or one for condoms?

That was the question on social networks yesterday after the DA Student Organisation unveiled its new recruitment poster showing a white man and black woman — both apparently topless — embracing.

“In OUR future, you wouldn’t look twice,” reads the copy.

DA youth leader Makashule Gana said the posters were due to be put up on campuses countrywide yesterday and the party was also handing out flyers.

Social networking sites were inundated with comments after the poster went viral.

“So how is the DASO poster ‘shocking’? Wonder how much longer it’s gonna take before there’s a colour blind bone in every South African,” tweeted Michiewill.

“It looks like an advert for teasers [sic],” wrote Lisa Olding on Facebook.

Alice Oliphant was more succinct: “So what seems to be the issue here?”

But there were also those who harked back to the days of the Immorality Act: “Racial toleration is what you are supposed to promote … But interracial relationships are an abomination.”

In a sign that Daso’s future might already be the present for some, the “shocking” aspect for many on Twitter and Facebook had nothing to do with inter-racial relationships.

Instead, they appeared concerned about the sexual nature of the poster.

“Why couldn’t they have clothes on and be holding hands?” asked Hayley Short.

Nigel Cameron-Davies said it was advertising sexual promiscuity and had no place on campuses.

Mndeni Nzimande tweeted: “See what happens when you get Durex to do a political campaign for you?”

Gana, who worked with the team that created the poster and gave it final approval, said he would defend it “to the end”.

He said people were making too much of the topless couple. “You can’t see their private parts and it’s not that different from underwear adverts that show a man or a woman alone. It’s only because it shows a man and a woman together that people are objecting,” he said.

He said the point of the poster was to make people think about how the future would look if race was not an issue.

DA leader Helen Zille declined to comment, while Freedom Front Plus youth leader Wouter Wessels felt the emphasis on race was “cheap politics”.

“It doesn’t help to make society less racist, but awakens racism,” he said.

Suspended ANC Youth League spokesperson Floyd Shiwambu declined to comment. “We have no comment and don’t ask the youth league for comment on DA questions ever again. We have better and bigger things to focus on,” he said in an SMS to sister newspaper, Beeld.

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