Silence is ‘golden’

Remember Sharpeville? Yep, thats the place! On 21 march 1960, thats where 69 Black people were shot by South African police. Sharpeville was a Black township near Vereeniging, in what used to be known as the Transvaal. Remember how the newspapers all over the world clamped on the story like live limpets? Remember how the terrible scourge of Apartheid had taken the lives of innocents, who were only demonstrating against the hated Pass laws, and how the newspapers of the world were spreading the message that the Nationalist Government of South Africa had sliced one more scar into the flesh of the Black people? Of course you do! Everyone remembers Sharpeville! And so they should! It was a terrible act against unarmed people, and there was no defence against these deaths. It was terrible, and the world is still reminded of that day, when White and Black policemen panicked, drew their guns in fear of their lives and shot down 69 people, and injured 180 others. Some mark that day as the beginning of the end of Nationalist rule in South Africa, and they might well be right; and it is good that that day, and the memory of those people who died, are thus remembered!

Strange, is it not, that similar massive black-underlined newspaper headlines have not appeared for a modern massacre? Cannot really understand why there are no television reporters, complete with floodlit cameras at the ready, awaiting interviews with any of the people who have intimate knowledge of this new massacre? Cannot get my head around the strangely-silent BBC television reporters who don’t appear to have literally anything to say about twenty Black people shot down at a gold mine? Okay, there aren’t sixty-nine dead, there are only Twenty, but that is still a massacre, isn’t it? Or does it only become a massacre when it is White people holding the guns, and Black people dying, instead of Black security guards killing non-South African Black people? Is the fact that the mine is owned by the nephew of President Zuma and the grandson of Nelson Mandela any influence upon the strangely-silent news media? Is the silence that deafening that no-one, apart from one Black newspaper, a small by-line on the BBC website, and a few bloggers, have anything to say at all about a modern Sharpeville?

X-posted from A Tangled Web