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Friday, 27 January 2012

Interracial poster invokes racist backlash





A poster released by a South African political party that shows a young interracial couple in a loving embrace has sparked huge debate in the country. 
  
The image was released by the student arm of the Democratic Alliance, the nation's opposition party, and distributed around university campuses earlier this week. 
  
The image shows a white man and black woman, apparently naked, and has the tagline: In OUR future, you wouldn't look twice.  
But since the poster was released it has sparked fierce debate, with most of the reaction being supportive, but some elements being clearly racist. 
  
It has dominated the news agenda and shown that issues that last appeared during the apartheid era have not entirely disappeared from the nation's consciousness.
   
Hundreds of people have taken to social-networking sites to voice their feelings. One Facebook user described the picture as "an abomination". 

Some of the South African political parties' reactions are perhaps the most shocking however.
 
Most disturbing of all is the comments of the ruling African National Congress - the party once led by Nelson Mandela.

They use clearly racist language in their reaction to the poster.
 
Another party, the Christian Democrats, say the poster was "clearly promoting sexual immorality".
 
And a trade union also said that the poster implies "join the party to have an affair".
 
While the negative reaction has gained the headlines, most has been supportive.
Another Facebook user wrote: "That something so humanly beautiful, an embrace between two people, can cause so much disharmony and conflict."
"We live in such a beautiful country but we are so divided through sheer ignorance!"
 
The political party that released the image sad they were pleased with the strong reaction the poster had created.
 
Mbali Ntuli, the federal chairperson of the Democratic Alliance youth wing told theGlobe and Mail Newspaper: "With all the comments, good and bad, we have achieved our goal of engaging South Africans in a frank debate about one of the most defining issues in our country today - tolerance."

"Part of addressing the issue of intolerance is about bringing people’s prejudices to the fore."
  

   

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