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by Carlos Amato / 23.06.2009

Yassass, but these international newshounds can be dof!
Visiting reporters from leading Spanish paper El Pais and La Confidencial of Argentina fired off indignant articles this week decrying the “racist black fans” who booed Matthew Booth, Bafana’s only white player on the pitch against Iraq. Several other Spanish-language papers worldwide have reportedly also seized on the “story”.

Giggle or weep, the choice is yours. In their lust for cheap news-blood, these ink-stained Clouseaus failed to ask any of the 48000 South Africans around them why Booth was being “booed” – let alone cast a penetrative glance at the man’s surname. This is not Pulitzer stuff, hombres.

Perhaps it takes a racist to imagine one. Spanish football stadiums have long been rife with monkey chants, flying banana skins and other toxic gestures of hate for black footballers.

If you’re looking for racism in South Africa, you don’t have to look very hard. Lord knows we ain’t perfect, and we shouldn’t try to pretend we are – there’s a place for informed Afropessimism, just as there’s a place for an informed Europessimism. The whole world is a gemors right now.

But much of the transient foreign media coverage of South Africa is alarmingly stupid and sloppy — because to write properly about any country, you have to know it, or at least know what you don’t know about it. The Booth balls-up is a laughable symptom of a dangerous condition: the glib deludedness of a tourist with a laptop and a deadline.

Ah well. All we can do is enlighten these wandering hacks as best we can. But right now, I can’t escape the impression that they’re a miserable bunch of gits. Maybe they’ll get a life in the next ten days.

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  1. ? says:

    Er so why was he booed exactly for those of us who don’t know?

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  2. bee says:

    um because his name is boooo-th…

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  3. Ras says:

    It’s a South African football tradition. Someone with a unconventional name is given the honour (and it is an honour) of having their name shouted out by the entire stadium every time they touch the ball. Previous honorees include Mark Fish (Fi-i-i-i-i-i-i-ish), Lucas Radebe (Rho-o-o-o-o-o-o) and Shoes Mosheu (Sho-o-o-o-o-o-oes)

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  4. Andi says:

    Love it…

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  5. Sindy-Lou says:

    Bahaha, what dooshbags the international press can be. The effect is awesome when you hear the reverberating sound of the vuvuzelas replaced by a momentary “Bo-o-o-oo- th” and then back to the vuvus…classic!

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  6. ilovecarlos says:

    I love carlos amato!

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  7. looks says:

    All well and good, but did anyone actually correct the spanish “journalists”? Does anyone know if the “story” was retracted. At least the pharoahs were vigorous in denial; besides loosing to the US they made quite a heroic effort to deny they got robbed by prostitutes, they even roped in the ambassador; no prizes for guesssing why they were reluctant to get home!

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  8. Chuma says:

    I love to hear that other countries misunderstands the way we feel as South Africans.

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  9. J says:

    we live in a world of misconceptions, assumptions and suppositions and most of us lack the decency and humility to check our facts and stories before opening our mouths. we seem to enjoy “exposing” those stereotypes and to relish “revealing” those seemingly “alarming” incidents which in fact are nothing more than fun facts of life! Black, whites, indians, arabs… we all do it. all over the world!
    When will it end? when will we ever realize that we are all the same?

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