I Apologise –  Nickolaus Bauer Comes Up With A Pathetic Excuse After Causing Racial Tension On #BLACKMONDAY

Is he going to get away with this with only a slap on the wrist – On Monday, October 30th I misrepresented the #BlackMonday protest action by many South Africans when I posted images on my Twitter feed

Nickolaus Bauer writes while he may have wanted to make a point about contemporary South African politics and protests about crime and criminals, he did so without doing the basics.
On Monday, October 30th I misrepresented the #BlackMonday protest action by many South Africans when I posted images on my Twitter feed.
I illustrated my post about the necessity of moving beyond old racist ideas about South Africa using images of people wearing clothes marked with the apartheid era South African flag.The post was ill-conceived and the attempt to engage in that particular debate poorly timed on my part.

I apologise unreservedly and unequivocally to everyone who was offended by my actions.

While I may have wanted to make a point about contemporary South African politics and protests about crime and criminals, I did so without doing the basics.

I never checked the veracity of the photographs and fired off a Tweet which did not contribute constructively to that debate but skewed it.

I used old, rather than contemporaneous photographs.

I acknowledge now and should have done so then, that even if the photographs were from the day of the protest, they did not represent the majority of those who had gone on those protests.

Furthermore, in not verifying their origin, I failed in my professional duty as a journalist.

Additionally, it was discourteous to the journalist who did take some of the images, who had warned against their polemical misuse.

I accept that I distributed images unrelated to the specific newsworthy event in ways which made it appear as if they were.

My own personal anger against, and political opposition to lingering racism in South Africa may have informed my actions, but they do not excuse them.

Even though my mistakes of omission (not checking the origins of the images) were not committed with malice, the consequences remain no less serious than had they been.

South Africa continues to be blighted by issues of racism, and my attempt to be a productive participant in the battle against it has backfired, and not only on me.

In distributing those image with the lack of due consideration I have done the very cause so close to my heart much damage, and it has given me reason to pause and consider how better to engage in anti-racist activism.

The protests on 30 October 2017, across South Africa, were organized to oppose murder in South Africa’s rural areas and I could have seen them as a rallying point to oppose violence in any form.

And while there were indeed other images showing the presence of the old South African flag at some protest sites, those images were not truly representative of all the events.

I take full responsibility for having created that impression in my Tweet.

I continue to feel that racism and displays of symbols of white supremacy are fundamentally unacceptable in the democratic society we all hope to build.

It is my sincere hope that any future campaign against violence in rural areas – or anywhere in South Africa – will be characterized by unity of purpose among all South Africans.

Partly what I have learned from this experience is the limits of my own worldview and political position against racism.

I therefore commit to engage in working with those who teach about ‘race’ and racism in South Africa and elsewhere to learn better ways to channel my desire to combat racism, both as a citizen dedicated to the democratic project in post-apartheid South Africa, and as a professional journalist in a developing state committed to helping to undo the injustices of the past and the present.

The standards I am expected to hold the world to in my role in the fourth estate must apply more stringently to myself.

Once more, I apologise unreservedly for my ill-considered conduct and hope that with time my misguided actions on 30 October 2017 can be judged in light of my full record as a journalist and a citizen.

eNCA

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