NEWS & ANALYSIS

Campaign against double standards on racism launched – Solidarity

Movement says it will run over next three months culminating in submission of collection of complaints

Solidarity launches major campaign against double standards when it comes to dealing with racism

22 February 2017

Trade union Solidarity today launched a major campaign that will run over the next three months, ultimately culminating in the submission of a collective complaint to numerous forums, including the International Human Rights Commission, about the selective way in which racism is being dealt with.

Solidarity also intends to publish a report on the double standards that apply when dealing with racism, and will host a conference on this topic. A collective complaint by which tens of thousands of South Africans will ask that all forms of racism in South Africa be judged by the same yardstick, will also form part of the campaign. At the end of the campaign, the complaint will be presented to Parliament, the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the United Nations’ Human Rights Commission (UNCHR), as well as to the UN’s Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination (CERD).

“The complaint will show that, as far as racism is concerned, different standards apply to different groups and that politicians and government officials are the main instigators of selective racism,” Solidarity Chief Executive Dr Dirk Hermann said.

According to Hermann, South Africans have had enough of the double standards applied with regard to race in South Africa, especially politicians and people in positions of authority who incite racial tensions. “Because of selective racism, forms of racism perpetrated by white people against black people receive disproportionate coverage. By way of illustration, take Penny Sparrow, an ordinary member of the public who was not in a position of authority. She was vilified time and again for unacceptable remarks she made about black South Africans while the remarks made by Levuyo Menziwa, an EFF student leader, that he wanted to kill ‘f**en whites’ with a bazooka or an AK47 have long since been forgotten,” Hermann said.

“Solidarity achieved great success last year at the session with the United Nations’ Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) and we are poised to resume the case and to make our voice and the voices of many South Africans heard again at an international forum later this year,” Hermann announced.

Issued by Dirk Hermann, Chief Executive, Solidarity, 22 February 2017