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Former Wits SRC President Mcebo Dlamini. Picture Credit: Gallo Images
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storm in a teacup

By unknown | Feb 27, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

I have been following with keen interest the recent furore about the "exclusive" Forum of Black Journalists meeting that was addressed by ANC president Jacob Zuma behind closed doors.

I have been following with keen interest the recent furore about the "exclusive" Forum of Black Journalists meeting that was addressed by ANC president Jacob Zuma behind closed doors.

I am inclined to think, based on past experience, that this is probably a storm in a teacup and, in the broader scheme of things, inconsequential.

The reality of our collective situation in this country is that we have underestimated the negative impact of living segregated lives - under the auspices of colonialism, which was later modified into apartheid.

All of us, black and white, powder blue and lime green, cannot escape the mental victimisation that was injected into our everyday experiences.

I have resigned myself to the regrettable reality that none of us will ever see the end of discrimination and racism, at least not in this lifetime. So my general outlook on life is of personal nature because, in most cases, my blackness does not always translate into a co-existence with other black people.

As a person living with HIV, one who also happens to be a member of the Fourth Estate, I know and have accepted that there is a mountainous amount of hypocrisy in the profession.

Secondly, it must be borne in mind that journalists are also members of a generally polarised society, and therefore, not immune to the skewed circumstances that often shape our thinking and our perspective and our judgements - and the ultimate pronouncement of our shared environment.

While I readily admit that black journalists, as is true in other spheres of our lives, face the brunt of racism in the workplace, I contend that the solution to these existing challenges cannot lie exclusively among black people.

In my 17 years of living with HIV, I have resisted the overpowering temptation to separate my issues, my challenges, my experiences and aspirations from that of other people living with HIV, all over the world.

In the same way that I have rejected, unequivocally, the notion that I should belong to a men's only forum simply because the abuse and discrimination is largely perpetrated by those who resemble the same features that define me as a man.

I religiously believe that the solution to most social ills that continue to divide our society lies within each and everyone of us, irrespective of race, creed, colour or religious confinements.

I believe that humility and simplicity and honesty are the only attributes that can assist all of us as we strive to find one another.

It is imperative, therefore, that our resolve to find shared common ground is pursued with a decisive resolve that is strictly guided by the noble principle that we all belong to the human race.

As fully fledged members of the Fourth Estate, it is incumbent upon all of us to lead the way because our influence in society is immeasurable.

Let us sustain the dialogue in a conducive environment because we all have an important role to play in shaping the future, not only for ourselves but for generations to come.

History will judge us.


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