Facebook group #ImStaying responds to 'extremely elitist' backlash

As the Facebook group #ImStaying continues to grow in numbers, some South Africans are interrogating its purpose and impact.

The group has been credited with giving hope to despondent locals by posting uplifting messages about South Africa, encouraging them to stay in the country.

RELATED: 'It's OK to have hope' - Facebook group #ImStaying celebrates SA's potential

Cape Town real estate entrepreneur Jarette Petzer started the page last month. It now has 416,627 members and counting.

Petzer says the page is fostering compassion and connections between South Africans from all backgrounds.

But some locals disagree, claiming the group is extremely elitist, catering to a privileged white minority.

Petzer denies this and maintains that #ImStaying is all-inclusive.

It's an all-inclusive group. We've got people from every religion, race and from all across the country. Everybody is contributing.

Jarette Petzer, Founder of #I'mStaying

The diversity is growing in the background.

Jarette Petzer, Founder of #I'mStaying

We're open for everybody. This group is for the country; it's for South Africa.

Jarette Petzer, Founder of #I'mStaying

A Woodstock resident feels the group serves a white, wealthy minority that is privileged enough to consider emigration at all.

The group is extremely elitist. It's a fake positivity that only affects a minority group.

Dee-dee, CapeTalk caller

Do they want to listen, or do they want to mute and delete us? Our reality is different to their reality. They need to learn to listen.

Dee-dee, CapeTalk caller

The page has also been accused of deleting posts and removing members who offer a critique of the platform.

Petzer, however, says the group does not allow negative comments or discussions about politics, religion or what he refers to as "contentious issues."

Another Cape Town resident, Brett Anderson, puts forward that the idea of sharing only "positive" experiences is in itself a privileged act.

He says that white South Africans need to do more than just share positive stories in order to address inequality and the harsh lived experiences of the disadvantaged majority.

The change needs to happen - our fear is that the #ImStaying group is cancelling all of that and saying 'Let's just be happy.'

Brett Anderson, CapeTalk caller

I don't know why, but there are so many pictures of white people with their domestic workers in that group. Those are the majority of the stories.

Brett Anderson, CapeTalk caller

He says a smaller Facebook group, Conversations For A Just South Africa, is having those difficult discussions about race, privilege and inequality.

Listen to the #ImStaying founder in conversation with Melanie Rice:

Listen to some of the critique:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Facebook group #ImStaying responds to 'extremely elitist' backlash


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
[LISTEN] Rising singer songwriter Georgia Rose talks about following her passion

[LISTEN] Rising singer songwriter Georgia Rose talks about following her passion

'My mom gave up on trying to tell me what to do at an early stage,' says Georgia and she has certainly followed her passion.

Equipment, food supplies needed after break-in at Karoo community centre

Equipment, food supplies needed after break-in at Karoo community centre

Grassroot Hope in South Africa runs a number of life skills projects for the kids of Richmond. A robbery has 'cleaned them out'.

You don't have to pay if your car is fixed without your prior consent

You don't have to pay if your car is fixed without your prior consent

It's simple. No quote, no work. The National Consumer Commission explains the basic consumer rights that vehicle owners have.

Televised Trump impeachment hearings to begin with key testimonies this week

Televised Trump impeachment hearings to begin with key testimonies this week

The US president faces the hot seat as the impeachment inquiry into his political manoeuvring begins on Wednesday, live on TV.

Refugees in Cape Town meet with officials to discuss their options

Refugees in Cape Town meet with officials to discuss their options

Many of the refugees remain determined to leave South Africa despite ongoing discussions with UN agency and government reps.

'It's OK to have hope' - Facebook group #ImStaying celebrates SA's potential

'It's OK to have hope' - Facebook group #ImStaying celebrates SA's potential

The Facebook group, titled #ImStaying, started off with uplifting messages and is now connecting local initiatives with investors.

Popular articles
Aunt of slain student Jesse Hess confirms murder suspect is close family member

Aunt of slain student Jesse Hess confirms murder suspect is close family member

Sandy Hess says police made a breakthrough in the double murder case after linking suspect to rape of 16-year-old on Monday.

Unions and SAA get ready for fight that threatens to break the ailing airline

Unions and SAA get ready for fight that threatens to break the ailing airline

Joanne Joseph plays audio from the media briefing over the impending strike.

White pupils at posh Kingswood College refer to black scholars as 'snoobab'

White pupils at posh Kingswood College refer to black scholars as 'snoobab'

"This problem is bigger than just a Kingswood problem. The relevant processes will unfold," says College Head Colleen Vassiliou.

Vintage car auction set to blow enthusiasts’ minds (and collectors’ budgets!)

Vintage car auction set to blow enthusiasts’ minds (and collectors’ budgets!)

There'll be Rolls-Royces, Bentleys, Jaguars, MGs and other great brands. There’s even a Ferrari like Tom Selleck's from the 1980s.

[WATCH] 'Fourth industrial revolution' braai has social media talking

[WATCH] 'Fourth industrial revolution' braai has social media talking

Khabazela shares tweets and Facebook posts that have gone viral.

[WATCH] Pre-school class erupts as boy returns from RWC, goes viral

[WATCH] Pre-school class erupts as boy returns from RWC, goes viral

Khabazela shares tweets and Facebook posts that have gone viral.

We’ll shut you down! – unions to SAA ('overstaffed by any measure globally’)

We’ll shut you down! – unions to SAA ('overstaffed by any measure globally’)

The money-pit airline is fighting for its life. Bruce Whitfield interviews Theto Mahlakoana, a senior political reporter at EWN.

[WATCH] Gay teen fights back against school bully as teachers do nothing

[WATCH] Gay teen fights back against school bully as teachers do nothing

Khabazela shares tweets and Facebook posts that have gone viral.

[VIDEO] Family saved from being hit by speeding SUV goes viral

[VIDEO] Family saved from being hit by speeding SUV goes viral

Khabazela shares tweets and Facebook posts that have gone viral.