We Write What We Like

Black Perspectives on the South African Human Rights Ruling

Against the Forum for Black Journalists

The details surrounding the Forum for Black Journalists (FBJ) and Radio 702’s Katy Katapodis showdown have been rehashed in the media ad nauseam and while these may soon be blurry bits of yet another tantalising ‘racism’ story, what is likely to remain stubbornly in our memories is that the HRC ruled in favour of the complainant. This decision, which made little or no reference to the submissions made at the hearing called by the commission (other than Katapodis’), has been warmly accepted by those who preach the gospel of non-racialism, integration and transformation in the New South Africa.

Mainstream media reports have been inundated with praises, from both blacks and whites, of this essentially anti-black ruling but this is hardly surprising in a white supremacist country where black interests are often shelved and hardly recognised as such. It is even less surprising then that there have been few voices in the media that represent the marginalised black perspective that rejects the decision not only in terms of the immediate consequences for the FBJ and other black organisations but its implications on blackness as a whole. Granted some black organisations have come out with their hands behind their heads desperate to show those who matter that they are the custodians of non-racialism but the conspicuous absence of black voices is hardly a reflection of a blanket acceptance of the HRC’s decision. There are quiet rumblings among blacks who are slowly being hit by the hard reality that this decision is perhaps an unapologetic, institutionalised affront on our blackness.

We Write What We Like (wewrite) is calling for contributions on this issue not only to give space to those whose unpopular views have been rejected in the mainstream but to engage black thinkers in a much needed dialogue.

Wewrite is an online journal for black thought, which was launched in 2005.

Send your submissions to wewritejournal at gmail dot com by the 30th of May 2008.