Woolworths vs Solidarity: The one with cheap salmon wins
This weekend I went to Woolworths in part to see what was happening with the whole Solidarity boycott.
Solidarity was calling for a boycott of Woolworths over them advertising vacancies for “African black” applicants only, something which Solidarity figured was racist.
Entering the Nicolway Woolworths, provided a scene straight out of an advert, as a group of little girls descended on the free sample plate of strawberries and cream, and merrily munched their way through it.
Meanwhile the queue to the tills wound around the various Woolworths specials, with a stand offering ginger beer and litchi juice set up more or less in the middle of it.
There were a lot of white faces in that queue, because when you get right down to it the fact of the matter is this; the bulk of Woolworths’ customers aren’t interested in getting jobs as till operators and we have all noticed that most job seeker websites include codes for Black Economic Empowerment and Affirmative Action positions.
We also know people who complain about how they can't get jobs because of affirmative action, and we know that we would have serious doubts about hiring them ourselves.
According to Stats SA, as of the second quarter of 2012 the unemployment rate amongst white people is still lower than everyone else's*. The job market is not hostile to white people, it is just an excuse for those white people who wouldn't have jobs whatever the economy was doing.
The fact of the matter is there are a lot of us who recognise that pro-white affirmative action was in place for over 40 years and that to get huffy about what is really an inadequate attempt to address that history of injustice isn’t really on, particularly given that a lot of that history is still at play in our country.
And we showed that over this weekend by buying cheap smoked salmon.
Growing up I remember my favourite saying from a teacher being “The empty boat is often the noisiest”. I was of course a talkative child so it really shouldn’t have been something I found amusing, but it was pretty true nonetheless.
And that I think is part of what the constant slamming of Woolworths is; a bunch of empty boats. There are a lot of things wrong with South Africa, and while a minority of a minority moans, the rest of us are more willing to boycott Solidarity than a grocery store.
*You can find the unemployment per race figures on Page 17, figure 18