Why Silence Over BLF’s Racism?

In that, The Mercury features the words “racism stops with me” as part of its masthead, its failure to report a major victory against racism concerning Black First Land First (BLF) is disconcerting (July 16).

An objection against the BLF’s registration with the IEC as a political party was lodged by the Freedom Front Plus in January on the grounds that section 16 (1) (c) of the Electoral Commission Act (51 of 1996) prohibits the exclusion of members of a political party on the basis of race or ethnicity.

Unfortunately, the IEC dragged its heels and declined to act against the BLF whose constitution (section 4) stipulates that only black people can be members. In other words, it excludes whites and is, therefore, racist. But on July 15, an appeal by the FF Plus was upheld resulting in the de-registration of the BLF as a legitimate political party.

The silence concerning the BLF case from the usual loud voices condemning racism raises questions about double standards when it comes to walking the talk. After all, acres of space were made available condemning the racial outbursts of Penny Sparrow and Vicky Momberg. Is there, perhaps, a difference between black racism and white racism?

Sent into The Mercury and published, 18 July 2019.

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