Interracial ad sparks controversy in South Africa

(Courtesy DA Youth Facebook page)
It’s been nearly 20 years since apartheid in South Africa ended, but one political poster depicting an interracial couple has caused a furor throughout the country. The poster, which depicts a white man and a black woman in a presumably nude embrace was created by the student wing of the Democratic Alliance party’s student wing. The tag­line reads: “In OUR future, you wouldn’t look twice.”

The poster has dominated conversation among politicians and the media in South Africa, theGlobe and Mail reports. While many have been supportive of its message, some have taken issue with the poster’s supposed promotion of sex.

Others have traded racist remarks on the Democratic Alliance Youth’s Facebook page, with one commenter posting a photo of an all-white, blonde family with the remark “Now that’s how it should be!” People who do not support the poster have also made parody versions of the image that some might consider to be more offensive.

Some black South Africans have objected to the fact that the man is white and the woman is black, because it implies a certain dominance among traditional cultures. “Who is the head of a house? Yes, a man, and the man makes the choices and the women listens,” wrote one commenter on the Facebook page. “So to some it has been offensive that the man is white and the woman is black, because it places the black nation under the head of the house, so to speak.”

Still, many have supported the poster’s message of tolerance and open-mindedness. “This picture served a greater purpose. In hindsight, it has unearthed a conversation we should’ve had 18 years ago,” wrote one commenter on Facebook.

DA Youth isn’t backing down amid the media firestorm: Federal Chairperson Mbali Ntuli issued a lengthy and strongly-worded statement that included the declaration: “We will not defend people who try to force others to comply with their preferences when those preferences show intolerance, unkindness, lack of imagination, failure of sympathy, absence of understanding, ignorance of alternative interests and needs in the human experience and arrogance in believing theirs is the only acceptable way.”

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