Social Media: a true reflection of Society’s racial views

2014-11-04 07:21

Celebrating 20 years of democracy is not as merry as South Africans portray it to be to the world. While the media played a prominent role in helping oppressed South African’s conquer apartheid through their reporting. Recently the same media seem to be using social media as a tool to prompt racial division among South Africans. In fact, the rise of social media has become a true reflection of society racial views.

Within the media industry “bad news sells better than good news”. As a result, South African news agencies on social media instigate racial division, conflict and hatred among South African’s. However, what the media is promoting within social media only affects those who are still holding on the apartheid legacy as an excuse to cause division among South African’s. Nelson Mandela once said and I quote “No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” On the contrary maybe the media is not to blame but is just setting and agenda of what South African’s are really interested in. Therefore social media availed a platform for ignorant individuals who use it as means for hatred and disunity to prevail.

A recent incident of radio personality Gareth Cliff caused twitter to erupt when he questioned the costs of Senzo Meyiwa’s funeral. Although the issue had nothing to do with race typical South African’s once again had to use the race card against him. Actually as a concerned citizen of this country I’d also be curious to know the costs of that lavish funeral. Since our government lacks accountability their scapegoat to misuse of state funds will always be “you racist”. My honest opinion is that the world may perceive South Africa as a nation that has conquered racial issues. But in reality South Africans continue to define people according to their racial status, character is judged according to race and certain expectations about several individuals are racially motivated. In fact, as a nation we only learned to tolerate each other.

One would wonder what happened to the spirit of “rainbow nation”. A dub coined by Nobel Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu to describe post-apartheid South Africa, where people of different races and cultures unite. Comedian Trevor Noah could be on point when he acknowledged that “we use to be a rainbow nation but now the colours are going their separate ways”.

Of course I’m not saying we should forget apartheid which is part of the dark history of our country. Nevertheless we ought to find a way to move forward united as a nation and focus on more serious issues which are beyond our racial differences. Because it seems as though no amendments were made to reconcile South African’s although there was the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. But then again what do I know since my fellow African brothers and sisters just refer to me as a typical born free who never experienced the inhuman apartheid system.

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