The Cape Independence Advocacy Group (CIAG) found itself in hot water over the weekend following a tweet that was widely perceived as racist.
Said tweet entailed a pictogram bearing the title ‘We’re Just Different’ and included ‘artwork’ of South Africa that depicted the Western Cape versus the rest of the country. It portrayed three categories: friends, politics and people, but not in way that was well-received.
— Cape Independence Advocacy Group (@LetsFreeTheCape) April 2, 2022
Many Twitter users expressed their concerns that the take was racist, and obtuse in claiming that the rest of the country are all communists and are without any racial difference. On the latter, one user noted that “this graphic looks a lot like separate development – or perhaps even some kind of apart-ness. They should really come up with a word for that.”
One of the Twitter users who ended up receiving a response from the CIAG said, “I support Cape Independence, but I feel this looks racist,” to which the CIAG responded “what is racist about it? We propose Cape Indenedence for ALL of the people of the WC regardless of race, religion or culture. Are demographics a taboo subject?”
The CIAG also noted in responding to another user who said the ‘people’ portion was inaccurate (as people pointed out, ‘so there’s no white people in other provinces?’ that “the shading is simply to demonstrate that the WC is much more ethnically diverse than the rest of SA, and unlike SA it supports non-racialism.”
Since the matter caught fire, the CIAG has issued a statement, but have decided not to remove the tweet.
“It is clear that many people have misinterpreted our true intentions. Some will have done so wilfully, but it is also clear that others who support our cause have also misunderstood us and given that the responsibility for communicating that message accurately was ours, we accept full responsibility for this misunderstanding and apologise profusely for any offence which this misunderstanding may have created,” the statement read.
The CIAG further touched on what the tweet was intended to be, expressing that:
“The Tweet was intended to be a visual representation of these ideological differences…The Western Cape government, which was elected by a clear majority of Western Cape voters, is broadly aligned with western countries and advances western ideologies. The South African government is broadly aligned with the old communist bloc countries and has a strained relationship with the west. The opposing positions taken up by the national and Western Cape governments on the Ukraine crisis were an example of these differences.”
Picture: Cape Independence Advocacy Group/ Twitter