CAPE TOWN – Coinciding with the country’s “Anti-Racism Week”, Independent Media has launched the #RacismStopsWithMe campaign in an effort to combat the economic, political, social and cultural legacy of racism in South Africa. The campaign can be followed via various social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter.
A poster promoting the #RacismStopsWithMe campaign. Image taken from: http://stopracism.iol.co.za
The leading print media production company has created a “Stop Racism” website dedicated to their #RacismStopsWithMe campaign, which features an assortment of articles by different writers and leading thinkers on the topics of identity, privilege and race. The campaign has started in response to both the long history of racism and racial injustice in South Africa as well to the strangely prevalent notion that racism came to an end in 1994.
According to the “Stop Racism” website, the campaign aims to make the broader public recognise racism as a structural and systematic phenomenon within the country, which will only be defeated by a concerted collective effort. Independent Media is calling to all their major stakeholders (readers, commercial partners, advertisers, investors, company staff and general society) to be a part of this collective effort of confronting racism. Independent Media and Sekunjalo Investment Holdings Executive Chairman, Dr Iqbal Survé, stated that the company “is committed to creating an enabling environment that will engender a non-racial, more inclusive, tolerant and just South Africa.”
Independent Media also plans to partner with the South African Clothing and Textile Union, the AK Foundation and other willing organisations to tackle the economic, political, social and cultural legacy of racism in South Africa. The Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation has already voiced their support for the campaign on Twitter.
Not everyone is satisfied with the way that Independent Media has gone about marketing their anti-racism campaign. A disgruntled reader has already taken to Twitter to express his/her disdain for the company’s use of Gandhi on a poster for the campaign. The tweet reads: “#RacismStopsWithMe but @IOL has Gandhi to illustrate their point. WOW!! #FYI GANDHI was a racist DOUCHEBAG”. The tweet has already received numerous “retweets” and “likes” from other users. Another Twitter user has expressed his/her doubts on the likelihood of the movement’s success, stating that “racism will not fall as long as the white people are always given better opportunities than other races”.
In accordance with South Africa’s “Anti-Racism Week” (taking place from 14-21 March 2016), Independent Media’s online site is encouraging readers to send in their personal stories and experiences of racism under the claim that “there is no judgement here”. The site is also asking users to answer various online polls as well as selling t-shirts in support of the #RacismStopsWithMe campaign.
To read the Independent Media’s full anti-racism message, click here.