OPINION: I feel absolutely no sympathy for that silly little woman who gave “Sparrow-Fart “ an entirely new meaning and brought the wrath of the media and the bulk of the South African population down on her head.
There are still far too many people like her who think in terms of “them” and “us” with shameless superiority.
But, it is not only whacko whites who are guilty. Even big business plays the race card for all its worth, still trying to convince us, for example, that there are two entirely different markets for their products in South Africa – a “White” market and a “black” market.
They keep doing this, in spite of the fact that as long ago as 1997 the South African Advertising Research Foundation (Saarf) decided to scrap race from it research data simply because it found that race was no longer relevant in terms of marketing and the media.
The use of racial demographics was originally put in place during the apartheid era when blacks and whites were separated by law and when marketers needed to know what blacks living in black areas thought, bought and aspired to and what whites living in white areas thought, bought and aspired to.
When this was scrapped, a lot of insecure idiots in the marketing fraternity blew a fuse and insisted that Saarf continue to produce research data showing blacks on one hand and whites, coloureds and Indians on the other.
After the parliamentary hearings into racism in advertising about 15 years ago, SAARF once again decided to scrap the iniquitous WCI/Blacks element from its research. Once again there was whingeing from marketers who claimed they desperately needed this data.
But then and more so right now, there can be no possible good reason to keep perpetuating what is nothing more than blatant racial discrimination. There can be no reason marketers want to keep this other than as some sort of crutch.
If one looks at Saarf’s own figures they showed that in the apartheid years ago rich and middle class whites held all the wealth and blacks were mostly poor.
But these days the middle class is almost completely black. And among the wealthy classes, blacks have reduced whites domination of this sector considerably.
What happens in any marketplace these days, is that the most powerful drivers of brand loyalty and the very basis of advertising, are emotion and desire. And there is no question that according to research there is no difference between what black upper and middle class consumers aspire to compared with whites, coloureds and Indians.
Then look at research from 16-24 year old youths – black, white, male and female.
94% believe all people are equals regardless of race, gender or religion
This is a quite remarkable statistics that adds up to the fact that young people today all aspire to the same things. And our youth makes up the vast majority of our population.
Certainly, in terms of the middle and upper classes one cannot possibly argue that white and black youth think so differently enough to create the need to produce separate market research data.
But, in spite of all this, until such time as politicians, business and to a certain extent the media, stop playing the race card for personal or corporate gain, South Africa will never ever be free of racism.
Follow Chris Moerdyk on Twitter @chrismoerdyk
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