Boo-th!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.