Zimbabwe: UK Media’s Covert Racism Laid Bare
By Philip Dzumbunu, the Zimbabwe Herald, 14 April 2010
ANYONE who lives in Britain would have been shocked by the way the murder of Eugene Terre’Blanche — the white supremacist and racist leader of Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) was portrayed in that country’s media.
It was almost unbelievable!
Terre’Blanche was an undefiant, divisive person who never repented. After his release from prison for killing a black person, he quipped: “I was never wrong to honour my heritage and to love my people, and to be there when they called me!”
I hear the world’s media descended in droves on Ventersdorp ahead of Terre’Blanche’s funeral on Friday, with guest houses in the normally sleepy North West town inundated with bookings.
“We have never experienced anything like this; we have had bookings from journalists in France, Spain, Germany,” said the owner of the Ruimte Guest House on the edge of Ventersdorp.
“I am sending all my bookings to the other guest houses in town. It’s all journalists and they may have a problem because many of them can’t speak Afrikaans. They’ll need translators to help them get around Ventersdorp.”
Terre’Blanche, the evil, racist, far right Boer was beaten and hacked to death on his farm outside Ventersdorp two weeks back after a wage dispute, apparently. The status he was accorded was unbelievable and made a lot of people cringe.
Sky News and BBC even substituted the return of golfer Tiger Woods and the election campaigns of Prime Minister Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg to televise the death of a man who advocated division in South Africa and the perpetuation of Apartheid.
What was more interesting was that there was another story running concurrently with the burial of that racist Boer: the story of ANC Youth League president Julius Malema kicking out a British journalist, Jonah Fisher, out of the ANC headquarters for constant interruption as he gave his brief on a recent trip to Zimbabwe.
The BBC almost crucified Malema for that incident, and remained quiet about Fisher’s uncouth and unbefitting conduct.
Interestingly, the BBC reported that: “Terre’Blanche’s killing has unearthed racial tensions in the small town — tensions which are a rarely spoken fact of life in many South African rural farming communities.”
Where was the BBC over the last 10 or so years? It wasn’t Terre’Blanche’s killing, but his life, that encouraged “racial tensions” in South Africa.
One commentator wrote: “The tone of BBC journalists in Africa has always been to undermine and patronise . . . If you follow the reports of Eugene Terre’Blanche on the BBC website, there is almost a sadness, a sense of regret from his death by the BBC. Suddenly the brute is sanitised and spoken of in almost reverent terms.”
British newspapers also warned of “an impending race war ahead of the 2010 Soccer World Cup”, because of Terre’Blanche’s murder. Unbelievable!
Do they think this man was so loved that his killing would almost spark a national crisis? What exactly do they think about South Africa that we do not know? We thought Zimbabwe was the worst country in their eyes.
The British Daily Star newspaper, under the headline “World Cup machete threat”, warned of “machete gangs roaming the streets” of South Africa after Terre’Blanche’s murder.
The newspaper warned that a “civil war” could erupt and threaten South Africa’s hosting of the World Cup.
Unfortunately calm returned to Ventersdorp despite the BBC and other media’s scaremongering.
The racism of the media in Britain has gone unchallenged, unquestioned leaving many minorities without any faith in the media or any voice with which to counter the racial stereotypes it perpetuates.
One need only glance at the daily British papers to read reports of Yardie drug gangs, fraudulent asylum seekers, foreign prostitute rings, and the perpetually negative portrayal of entire ethnic communities by the media.
The UK Commission for Racial Equality chair Trevor Phillips talked about tackling the snowy peaks of industry. In the media, particularly the mainstream printed press, there are snowy lowlands with almost all-White newsrooms.
These newsrooms have fostered a distorted and pernicious public perception of Africans and African countries, especially Zimbabwe.
President Mugabe spent almost all of his political life called names by the BBC media. From day one, he was called a terrorist for fighting imperialism and colonialism.
The history of Africans is a centuries old struggle against oppression and discrimination. The BBC and international media have played a key role in perpetuating the effects of this historical oppression and in contributing to Africans’ continuing status as second-class citizens on their own continent.
As a result, many white people have suffered from a deep uncertainty as to who Africans really are. This has raised doubts, amongst many Africans, about the white man’s value system.
Indeed, it has also aroused the troubling suspicion that whatever the “white media” reports on Africa is untrue.
The social, political and economic factors of racism have become more than just a bias. They are also a profitable industry, in which the West will continue to suppress the developing world in order to maximise profits.
One fact remains: international, especially British media is not as impartial as it claims to be. The world is still a “white, white world”.
This article was published by allAfrica.com.