Letter: Don’t confuse the messenger with the message - Businesslive

29 April 2020 - Ismail Lagardien mistakes the Daily Friend, an online media platform published by the Institute of Race Relations (IRR), for the institute’s website and goes on to mistake the sentiments of a columnist published on the platform as the institute’s opinion (America First and ‘economy first’ are not the only options, April 28).

Ismail Lagardien mistakes the Daily Friend, an online media platform published by the Institute of Race Relations (IRR), for the institute’s website and goes on to mistake the sentiments of a columnist published on the platform as the institute’s opinion (America First and ‘economy first’ are not the only options, April 28).

This is akin to him asking BusinessLive readers to take his own opinions as those of the publisher, Arena Holdings. In his column, Lagardien cites — though without naming him — Daily Friend columnist Ivo Vegter, taking issue with his view that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has grown “fat, authoritarian and ineffective”.

But Lagardien fails to report that a footnote on Vegter’s piece states:  “The views of the writer are not necessarily the views of the Daily Friend or the IRR.”

As for the argument about the WHO and its head, Tedros Abhanom Ghebreyesus — and Lagardien’s imputing racist sentiments to the IRR — he might wish to consult my own piece on the subject headlined “Has Covid-19 killed the US-China rapprochement”, also published on the Daily Friend.

Evidence suggests that the WHO abetted the Chinese Communist Party’s suppression of information vital to combating Covid-19. Tedros, in his time as Ethiopia’s minister of health, denied three separate cholera outbreaks in the face of scientific evidence, raising real concerns about his credibility, then and now.

Denialism of this sort has a painful history in SA, with Aids denialists once accusing their critics of racism too, and the politics of race deflection fixating the country as Jacob Zuma’s keepers accused his critics of racism, shielding him for a decade. 

Far better to seek truth from facts than fall for race-baiting.

Gabriel Crouse
Institute of Race Relations

https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/opinion/letters/2020-04-29-letter-dont-confuse-the-messenger-with-the-message/

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