I started my day out quite happily this morning. Central Texas had a great snow day yesterday, everything seemed so fresh and clean outside when I dropped the kids off at school.
I was ready to take on the day and have a good one… until I saw a news report on Fin24.com…
It is a report on the appointment of a new CEO by SAA (South African Airways). The report talks about how the former CEO, Khaya Ngqula, was fired by the SAA Board after allegations of corruption emerged. Chris Smyth was then appointed acting-CEO until a suitable replacement could be found. Now came the announcement that Siza Mzimela has been appointed as SAA’s new CEO.
Now one could quite legitimately ask, what’s the big deal? One person got fired. Another person was appointed as a temporary replacement, and then a third person was appointed person as a permanent replacement.
The thing that struck me though was that the person who was fired was a black person, the temporary replacement was a white person, and the permanent replacement was a black person. I was wondering why the white person wasn’t good enough to be permanently appointed. Afterall, he was good enough to be temporarily appointed.
Then I remembered… this is BEE (black economic empowerment) South Africa we’re talking about. Black people are supposed to get the top jobs. That’s what black economic empowerment is all about.
Yes, apartheid and its racist policies are long gone. It has been replaced by a new set of racially-based policies. These new policies are of course not racist in nature. No, they are merely supposed to “address the injustices of the past”. This is apparently not reverse-racism at all.
(If you think I am kidding about people being excluded from certain positions only because of their race, a friend of mine recently told me about how he can’t get fulltime employment at a big TV company in South Africa because they have a specific policy that prohibits hiring white males! That’s a double-whammy… racism and sexism!)
Now I’m wondering: When will the day come where all South Africans, regardless of race or sex, will have an equal shot at jobs and other opportunities? There were the apartheid-years where white people were favored. Now South Africa is in its 16th year where black people are favored. Will there ever be a time where race is not a primary issue?
Maybe I shouldn’t worry about this. At least I live in the US and my kids won’t be subjected to this stuff!