• http://twitter.com/mcollinknight O Clare

    I found York’s article to be largely full of anecdotal evidence – in which case it’s important to note that York likely faces a good deal less danger than many South Africans, given his status as a marginally affluent white foreign man. Not that that makes him completely target-free, of course: foreigners and those who appear wealthy are often at risk of muggings, and York likely has to travel to many areas for his line of work. But other people – South African women (clearly, in Steenkamp’s case) – face great danger at the risk of guns; those living in more dangerous neighbourhoods or who lack the social protection that York is afforded by his status as a known Canadian journalist are likely to feel more in danger or to face violence on a more regular basis than York does.

    I think that the attempt York is making to temper the story of South Africa as crime-ridden and dangerous is a good one: it’s important to counterbalance the stereotypes that many people hold (and the stereotypes that this horrific event is inadvertently reinforcing and drawing attention to). It’s important that York share his perception of South Africa as a place where he feels safe, and where danger is not omnipresent. But I also think that York’s reliance on anecdotal evidence of his own experiences doesn’t support his case as strongly as he thinks it does.

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