OPINION

Penny Sparrow's remarks corrosive - FW de Klerk Foundation

Former estate agent's comments reinforce black stereotypes of whites as insensitive and supercilious racists

FW DE KLERK FOUNDATION CONDEMNS REMARKS MADE BY MS PENNY SPARROW

The FW de Klerk Foundation condemns in the strongest possible terms the deeply insulting and racist remarks made by Ms Penny Sparrow regarding black South Africans who enjoyed KZN's beaches on News Year’s Day.  

Our Constitution calls on us to heal the divisions of the past and to establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental rights. Non-racialism is one of the foundational values on which our new society has been created. Human dignity is another.

In multicultural societies such as ours it is of paramount importance that we should treat all fellow South Africans from other communities with respect and consideration. We should above all honour and acknowledge their right to human dignity and should avoid hurtful negative stereotypes.  

The trouble with Ms Sparrow's remarks is that they reinforce black stereotypes of whites as insensitive and supercilious racists. These stereotypes are also unfair and further erode relationships between our communities.

We should seek to understand and appreciate one another's cultures and should treat everyone with the respect that we would like them to show to us.

Statements such as those of Ms Sparrow - whose damage has been compounded by her subsequent attempts to explain herself - cause enormous hurt and seriously strain relationships between our communities.

We call on Ms Sparrow to make an unqualified apology for her remarks and to acquaint herself with the values on which our new society has been established.

Issued by the FW de Klerk Foundation, 5 January 2016