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Monday, March 3, 2008

International Foolishness:South African College Students Trick Black Women into Eating Urine Tainted Soup and other Pranks

No that isn't a typo. Students at University of the Free State in South Africa appear to have fed a beef stew (might be dog food) to Black women who were cleaning staff as part of a "fear factor" type activity where they had the staff perform various tasks and mocked them. This story has been out there about a week, but I was waiting on the YouTube clips so you could see what the headline is talking about. Apparently the White students claimed to be protesting the school's decision to integrate the college residence halls:

In the homemade video, four white students at the Reitz Residence hostel are seen encouraging five black female housekeepers to participate in what the students call the "Reitz Fear Factor," an apparent reference to a television show in which contestants eat live worms or compete in other feats.

In one scene, a student mixes what looks like a beef stew in a plastic bowl and adds garlic and other items. Then he tells the camera he will add the "special ingredient." The student then appears to urinate into the mixture, which he later stirs and puts in a microwave. Other students can be heard laughing on the tape.

The next scene shows a different student urging at least three housekeepers to drink cups of the stew, saying, "This is our dorm's 'Fear Factor.' We want to see who has the best 'Fear Factor.' "

On the video, the student does not say anything about urine in the mixture.The women, on their knees, spit the stew into buckets after tasting it. Some appeared to vomit, but the women also laughed during the incident, as the student urged them on.Next, the women struggle to run in what appears to be a race. The video is put in slow-motion as the theme from "Chariots of Fire" plays.

The women also are seen playing rugby with the men, which is a sport usually associated with the white Afrikaans-speaking community.Throughout the tape, the women can be heard calling the white students "baas," meaning boss or master, which was a term blacks were forced to use during apartheid when addressing whites.

Finally, one of the students awards a large bottle of whiskey to one of the women, telling her she has won the "Fear Factor."At the end of the video, a message appears on the screen in Afrikaans saying, "That, at the end of the day, is what we think of integration." cnn.com via AP

There have been protests on campus and another mass protest is planned for tomorrow:
On the segregated campus of South Africa's University of the Free State this weekend, tensions were thunderously high as black students planned a mass protest for tomorrow against the white students who made a video humiliating their black cleaners.SOURCE

Here is the original video:

If you want to see it with the English subtitles you can go here.
As for the video makers, some are saying that it was just a prank and all is okay because the Black folks featured saw the video last year and were entertained by it:
Dippenaar, 37, said the video was made as part of last year's initiation events for first-year students. He explained: 'It was just a prank. Reitz has a strong tradition of initiation. The first year students have to make the tea and there's this thing we do where we pee in the teapot. So we have a lot of jokes around urine.

'We made two other films for culture day, do you want to see them?' A laptop is produced. One film begins with sound effects of a student masturbating in the lavatory, another with mock drug-taking. All participants are white. 'The black ladies are our friends. They had a good laugh at the film. They saw it in September and they worked here without saying anything until a few days ago when the university put them on leave. SOURCE

However, two of the students pictured in the video are appologizing:
The two, Roelof Malherbe and Schalk van der Merwe, said in the statement they are not racists and "most certainly had no intention of humiliating or degrading the employees concerned or black people in general or of detrimentally affecting their dignity." CNN.com

My question is this... if Black folks had done something like this to each other, would there be riots in the streets tomorrow? Just last week I put up a video of people appearing to volunteer to play part in another video whose sole purpose was to demean the participants except that video was apparently made by other Black folks.

If the Plies video had been made by Kid Rock and the people sitting at the casting call table had been all white instead of Black women and Black men, there would be rioting in the streets. The sad truth is that some kind of way non African Americans are going to make lots of money off of the" Bust it Baby" video whether it is the DVD manufacturer, the distributor or whoever broadcasts it, but because the frontmen and women are Black, most of the ire related to the Bust it Baby DVD is directed at the women who chose appear on camera.

An interesting juxtaposition. Racism and sexism, two peas in a pod- two totally different reactions. They are going to riot to defend the honor of these Black women in the South African video, but did they riot about this?
A Jan. 30 appearance in Johannesburg by convicted rapist Mike Tyson, a former world champion boxer from the United States, angered South African women's rights activists, Reuters reported. Tyson went to South Africa to help raise funds for a children's charity at a gala banquet, where one of the nation's most controversial figures, Jacob Zuma, was the keynote speaker. Zuma was accused of raping a woman while he was vice president but was acquitted of the charges. He is currently acting leader of the African National Congress and goes on trial in August for racketeering, money-laundering and other charges tied to an arms deal.

Activists from the group One in Nine--named for the 1 in 9 South African women who are rape victims--had sought government permission to protest outside the gala venue, but police denied the request.

George Lekgetho, an African National Congress member of parliament, was also met with criticism this week when he was asked about the legalization of prostitution during the 2010 World Cup, to be held in South Africa. "It is one of the things that would make it a success because we hear of many rapes, because people don't have access to them," he told the Johannesburg Times on Jan 29. Source