Simpson report: Not worthy of the BBC

I am appalled that a seasoned journalist like BBC world affairs editor John Simpson should produce – in his piece “Is there a future for whites in South Africa?” – such a half-arsed, skewed view of reality. He appears to have fallen victim to the voice of a few paranoids, a narrow interest group who see things through a crude racial perspective.

Of course there are poor whites, and of courses there are farm killings, but Simpson appears oblivious to the fact that most murder victims are black, as are the overwhelming number of poor people. He seems to think it is a problem that there are fewer white farmers than before and white share of income has dropped – but these are necessary, even desirable, aspects of change and the move towards a more equal society.

The piece also demands some basic fact-checking: 400 000 poor whites? Eighty white informal settlements around Pretoria?

I suppose if you set off to ask a narrow, ethnocentric question, one that so clearly reflects your own preconceptions and racial concerns, you are likely to get skewed answers.

This piece is a caricature of how the West’s media perceives and portrays Africa.

Most comical is this trite conclusion: “Those who fit in and succeed will certainly have a future. As for the rest, there are no guarantees whatsoever.” You could say the same of any minority anywhere, let alone one that has the protection of a strong constitution, a sympathetic constitutional court and a vocal media in which whites still have a disproportionately strong voice.

This is an appalling piece of journalism, not worthy of the BBC.

One thought on “Simpson report: Not worthy of the BBC

  1. It saddens me to read articles such as these. This articles unfortunately represents the lack of knowledge people outside of South Africa really have. Furthermore, you make the all too common error of generalising South Africa as “Africa”. On top of this calamitous series of ignorant references, you show a clear lack of understanding in as to what the article is really saying. At no point is black poverty undermined in comparison to white poverty. This is because black poverty is not even the topic of the article. Unfortunately, this naive and rather melodramatic complaint is perhaps blinded by the misguided view that white people in South Africa are bad people. A racist is not a bad person, as Mandela frequently mentions in his Autobiography. They are ignorant people and ignorance was the source of all evil under Apartheid. In any case the Message of Mandela’s SA was forgiveness, thus the crimes of apartheid must be forgiven. What this article shows us is that they have not been, and that is the most interesting part of the article. Whites in South Africa deserve their place at the table, and this article points to the fact that the current government is only willing to provide for the black community. And all too often blacks take advantage of their colour because government policy allows them too. This article exposes the fact that government in South Africa, underneath all the political bull shit, doesn’t want a fair society, as a fair society would not fill the pockets of politicians such as Zuma and Malema. Please next time, think before you criticise. My name is Ed, and I have been living in a black township, working in a high school, just outside polokwane for the past 6 months.

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