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Celebrity Status Meets Ignorance: Tyrese Gibson Angers South Africans With Social Media Post
Tyrese Gibson's recent Instagram post about "white slavery" shows the dangers of perpetuating false narratives about Black people—especially in a country that is not your own.
Embattled American actor Tyrese Gibson has angered South Africans with a recent social media post, and with good reason. Gibson took to Instagram recently to post a collage of several images which depicted the "white slavery" allegedly taking place in South Africa. To add fuel to the fire, the actor doubled down on his ignorant stance when followers fired back telling him that he was spreading misinformation. Gibson claimed that he was unlike "other folks from America who just have opinions", TimesLIVE reports.
The now-deleted Instagram post showed four images including white men in chains with a Black man as their "master"; a white woman breastfeeding a Black baby while the child's mother prepares for work; a young white girl looking at Black dolls and white women giving foot massages to Asian women. Take a look at a screenshot taken by a social media user and referenced by Africa Matters below.
Gibson, who did not issue an apology despite the appearance of doing so, wrote, "I am not offended by the feedback, it was an attempt at a compliment based on that YouTube clip that I have already referred to." He added, "Not the general overall SA but specific areas and specific groups are doing well, based on my own 10+ visits to SA and seeing things with my own eyes." The Youtube clip he makes reference to is unknown to OkayAfrica at this point.
At a time where Black Lives Matter protests have catapulted into the spotlight conversations around racist narratives and especially ones that directly affect and harm Black people, Gibson's post is dangerous. Additionally, his celebrity status and reach on social media platforms have the power to fuel the further spread of misinformation circulating already.
Black South Africans especially, continue to contend with racist propaganda pushed by so-called "civil rights groups" such as Afriforum to the rest of the world. For the longest time, news of an alleged "white genocide" has made recurring headlines in the US and Australia despite the country's crime statistics unequivocally showing otherwise.
To celebrities such as Gibson and especially those abroad: Do better.
Here are a few reactions to Gibson's post below:
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