THE Alternative Media Forum (Altmedia-F) is contemplating a series of protests to mark the anniversary of the controversial expunging of an article about a well-known Mocambican immigrant guitarist and the suppression of comments made by a local jazz musician, from community press in Cape Town . The protests will form part of Altmedia-F’s, Media Apartheid Campaign against racism and racist bias in the media.
The censorship of double Sama winner, Jimi Dludlu, and the suppression of Cape jazz great, Robbie Jansen from titles owned by Media24, is controversial to say the least, since it involves complaints of racial profiling, anti-Semitism and xenophobia by jazz journalist and Altmedia-F convener, David Robert Lewis.
This comes as an unfair discrimination case lodged before the Labour Court by Lewis, who wrote the article and was subsequently fired for objecting to editorial policy, racial profiling and anti-Semitism, amongst other things, is coming up for review.
‘This case is about discrimination across the board anti-Semitism, racism and even xenophobia,’ says Lewis who was gagged by Media24 last year over this precise issue and has had to fight a battle simply to have his own voice heard. Unfortunately, due to negative coverage of the case by corporate media, which included unflattering and anti-Semitic remarks made by an Independent journalist, the case has dragged-on, and looks set to go into its second year.
An earlier application to the Human Rights Commission, was simply referred to the Labour Court, without any attempt at an investigation, calling into question the seriousness of those in positions of authority in dealing with racism and discrimination, as well as the ability of the commission to cope with case-load, and the motives of the powers that be, which include those who would simply divide-and-rule in the Cape.
‘Racism and discrimination is racism and discrimination,’ says Lewis ‘ the question whether it be black, white or brown or from Africa, Europe or Asia , is beside the point. The sooner we learn to live in a non-racial world without borders, the better is will be for everybody including those of us who are still considered to be aliens, by those in positions of power, despite a 300 year presence on the sub-continent.’
Lewis, like Dludlu, has an immigrant past, and his Jewish, Russian, Afrikaner, Dutch, French, Scottish and English heritage is set to make waves at the Labour Court, as the matter is adjudicated in the face of anti-Semitic, racist and xenophobic attacks by the respondents Media24, and very little support from Independent Media.
If you would like to be a part of this campaign, please call: +27+82 425-1454