The South African Communist Party's (SACP) general secretary Dr Blade Nzimande.

THE South African Communist Party (SACP) has called upon the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) to take decisive action against Clicks for controversial racist advertisement posted on its social media platforms.

The SACP said it strongly condemned the advertisement by the Clicks Group.

“On Friday 4 September 2020, Clicks published on its website a TRESemme hair product marketing campaign portraying Black natural hair as damaged, frizzy and dry, and White natural hair as fine and normal. The Clicks message in the advert is nothing but racist, in more direct words-the darker the skin the uglier it gets, the lighter the skin the more good-looking it gets,” SACP said in a statement.

“The Clicks racist advert is not a mere publication of ‘insensitive and offensive images’, or an ‘error of judgment’, or an act of some junior employees, as per the claim by Clicks Group CEO Vikesh Ramsunder. It is a direct product of a capitalist industry rooted in the history of White supremacism and economic super-exploitation of the oppressed, with Black women the worst affected as they suffered all forms of oppression-national oppression, gender domination and class-super-exploitation.”

The SACP added: “The racist attitude spread by Clicks through the advert is an old age racist attitude consistent with the histories of slavery, colonial and apartheid capitalist exploitation. It is also an act of desperation by Clicks to woe more Black women into the deep-rooted stereotype that European hair is more beautiful than indigenous African hair.

“The ‘beauty industry’, in particular, banks on the intensification of racial and gender inequalities and stereotypes. The latest incidence merely marks Clicks being ‘caught in the act’ rather than a ‘slip of the tongue’. The fight against Clicks’ racism can never be a principled fight without the intensification of the class, race and gender struggle, led by the working-class.”

The SACP said the multinational corporation Unilever, the owner of TRESemme, is not new to similar racist scandals in the ‘beauty industry’.

“Unilever has courted controversy in Asia for imposing their skin-lightening products on women. One of the most recent scandals was the pressurising of Cosmopolitan to fire the magazine’s Sri-Lankan editor for her refusal to promote skin-lightening creams made by Pond’s-also owned by Unilever, which has also posted similar racist adverts in recent years and merely ‘apologised’, just like Clicks has done.”

Meanwhile, Clicks Group has confirmed that a senior executive responsible for its racist advert has resigned while all other employees involved in the matter have been suspended.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) said it would intensify its efforts to ensure Clicks does not operate – despite an interim court interdict in favour of the retailer.

(COMPILED BY INSIDE POLITICS STAFF)

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