Sun | Nov 28, 2021

Blissful ignorance gone wrong

Published:Thursday | July 17, 2014 | 12:00 AM


While I continue to celebrate my team's win in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, one thing about the experience stands out and reminds me of how far we have to go as a people. Our local television coverage of the biggest single-event sporting competition in the world ended with cake, laughs and confetti.

A day later, I realised I was not the only one who, while listening to the post-World Cup show, heard when CVM's Rohan Daley, himself a German fan, shouted "Heil, Hitler!"

As I read my friend's remarks about the incident, which sparked a conversation about Germany, the Nazis and all associated with that part of Germany's history, it became increasingly obvious that excitement and victory can be overshadowed by one statement.

Perhaps you would need to be interested in learning about Germany's history to understand any of it; however, the country, just like the teams in the World Cup, is not about one person - in this case, Adolf Hitler.

For the journalist, however, it can be excused that he was so caught up in the joy of the moment he just blurted out the only association he could make with the country, but is that an excuse worth accepting? What of the station? Should an apology be issued for the carelessness of its employee? We still are Out of Many, One', a country made up of migrants from all over the world - Germans, Polish, Jews and other nationalities, and groups affected by the Holocaust included, I am sure.

Unfortunately, the journalist made what could be considered a very ignorant celebratory remark, which will not be forgotten soon. What of the phrases "Die Mannschaft!" (The Team)? How about "Die Adler!" (The Eagles)? Or, perhaps, the very neutral sounding "Weltmeister!" (world champions).

It is full time we learn as a people that every individual comes from a lineage that has some significant moment in history that defines them. Some from the 'oppressors' and some from the 'oppressed'. If we are mindful of this fact, then there would be fewer cases of ill-treatment towards each other, as well as ignorant and insensitive statements.

As 'journalists' or 'broadcasters' your role as communicators indirectly dictates that you carefully express your facts, views, thoughts and emotions. Your ignorance is not everyone's bliss.

C.J. Clair