With reference to the opinion letter “What is wrong with the TRESemmé ad?” (Mail&Guardian, September 16) by Terence Grant.
As an Indian South African, I am extremely annoyed by this piece. It lacks any sort of empathy, any sort of connection to black people, and further reinforces the fact that many South Africans and white South Africans, in particular, continue to dehumanise black people by dismissing their pain.
For those who are simply ignorant: I wouldn’t expect a male to understand what women feel like when they are objectified, raped or discriminated against. Imagine if there were an “outcry” from males when women protested against gender-based violence? Similarly is it not absurd that white people are weighing in and criticising issues concerning racism?
Don’t pick the advert apart and attempt to analyse it to prove there isn’t racism in South Africa — that’s an absolute farce.
It might take a certain amount of intellect to see the racism in the Clicks ad. For years everything “black” or “African” in South Africa has been ridiculed and oppressed in favour of whiteness. We (black people) are neither blind, nor stupid to see what keeps happening.
The racism is ingrained in society, in systems and, yes, in advertisements.
I understand freedom of speech and the opinions section, but M&G has the responsibility to publish information that is factual and that unites South Africa.
I suggest South Africans and white people stop poking the lion. Start reasoning and relating to black pain and having discussions instead of ridiculing and shutting down the issue.
Kyle Raman is professional civil engineer at KwaZulu-Natal department of transport and a social justice and human rights activist