Martin Williams
3 minute read
8 Dec 2021
4:30 am

Spanish omicron cartoon: Are we Africans lesser beings?

Martin Williams

Stupidity arguably marks the western response to omicron. The variant didn’t originate in SA or Botswana.

Image: iStock

The Spanish cartoon spreading misinformation about the Covid variant omicron exposed something else in its portrayal of how South Africans are perceived in certain quarters. The Daily Maverick said the image was reminiscent of classical colonialist depictions of Africans, with swollen lips, etc. Open that door a little wider. Some who have seen the image may recognise traces of golliwogs and Bongo Bongo Land. Although there has been an apology, I haven’t seen one which walks away from the dated stereotyping. Such negative portrayals, which mock Africans as stupid, add to irrational fears about omicron. Yet stupidity arguably marks the...