Man Who Embarrassed HuffPo with Hoax Article Loses Job After Outlet Tracks Him Down at Work
A South African man who, posing as a feminist activist, convinced the Huffington Post to publish an article calling for white males to have their voting rights removed has now lost his job after HuffPo editors tracked him down and confronted him at his workplace.
On April 13, HuffPo published a piece entitled “Could It Be Time To Deny White Men The Franchise?” written by supposed feminist activist “Shelley Garland.”
“Some of the biggest blows to the progressive cause in the past year have often been due to the votes of white men,” wrote “Garland” in the article. “If white men were not allowed to vote, it is unlikely that the United Kingdom would be leaving the European Union, it is unlikely that Donald Trump would now be the President of the United States, and it is unlikely that the Democratic Alliance would now be governing four of South Africa’s biggest cities.”
“If white men no longer had the vote, the progressive cause would be strengthened,” she continued, adding, “At the same time, a denial of the franchise to white men, could see a redistribution of global assets to their rightful owners.”
Garland has now been revealed to be the pseudonym of Marius Roodt, a think-tank employee from Johannesberg, who created the persona in order to expose HuffPo’s racism and “lack of fact-checking.”
In the face of public outrage, the Huffington Post initially defended the piece. According to Verashni Pillay, editor-in-chief of HuffPo South Africa, “dismantling the patriarchal systems that have brought us to where we are today, a world where power is wielded to dangerous and destructive ends by men, and in particular white men, necessarily means a loss of power to those who hold it.”
Only after learning that “Shelley Garland” did not exist, and that they had been trolled, did the Huffington Post retract the article and affirm that they “fully support” universal enfranchisement.
In a later post, Verashni Pillay also apologized for initially defending the piece.”I did not make it clear enough in my initial response that I absolutely do not agree with the disenfranchisement of any group of people,” wrote Pillay. “I don’t hate white men.”
Following the humiliation, the Huffington Post decided that their hoaxer needed to be punished rather than praised for exposing the clear weaknesses of their editorial process (which HuffPo themselves admitted to, and pledged to improve, in the post announcing the retraction of “Garland’s” article.)
The man behind “Shelley Garland,” Marius Roodt, was identified after the Huffington Post digitally traced his email and used facial recognition technology on the picture of “Garland,” which was actually a picture of Roodt altered to look like a woman.
Armed with video recording equipment, three HuffPo editors then arrived at Roodt’s workplace to confront him.
Putting him on the spot in a video interview, the HuffPo editors then asked him a number of questions including, “Are you sorry for what you did?” HuffPo editor-at-large Ferial Haffajee also told Roodt that she thought his hoax had been an example of “his own anger coming out” and had been a “very angry thing to do.”
The HuffPo editors also drew attention to some of the consequences caused by the publication of the piece. Despite the fact that the Huffington Post made the decision to publish the article, they called on Roodt to answer for them.
“Did you think that this might – if this were published – might lead to racial discord, or might harden attitudes on both sides?” asked Pieter du Toit, deputy editor of HuffPo South Africa. “It’s led to a white Twitter outcry. It’s led to some terrible things being said about South Africans across the board, and terrible things being said personally about our colleagues [and] the title we work for.”
And yet, it was Roodt, not anyone at the Huffington Post, who ended up losing his job. Roodt tendered his resignation with his employer, the Centre for Development and Enterprise, a prestigious South African think-tank.
The resignation was accepted by Ann Bernstein, the CDE’s director. Roodt has yet to explain why he felt the need to resign, given that he appears to have done a service to South African journalism by exposing lax editorial standards and a troubling level of racism at a major online publication.
From Breitbart (April 20, 2017)
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Here Is The Hoax/Article As It Originally Appeared On Huffington Post:
Could It Be Time To Deny White Men The Franchise?
By Shelley Garland
Some of the biggest blows to the progressive cause in the past year have often been due to the votes of white men. If white men were not allowed to vote, it is unlikely that the United Kingdom would be leaving the European Union, it is unlikely that Donald Trump would now be the President of the United States, and it is unlikely that the Democratic Alliance would now be governing four of South Africa's biggest cities.
If white men no longer had the vote, the progressive cause would be strengthened. It would not be necessary to deny white men indefinitely – the denial of the vote to white men for 20 years (just less than a generation) would go some way to seeing a decline in the influence of reactionary and neo-liberal ideology in the world. The influence of reckless white males were one of the primary reasons that led to the Great Recession which began in 2008. This would also strike a blow against toxic white masculinity, one that is long needed.
At the same time, a denial of the franchise to white men, could see a redistribution of global assets to their rightful owners. After all, white men have used the imposition of Western legal systems around the world to reinforce modern capitalism. A period of twenty years without white men in the world's parliaments and voting booths will allow legislation to be passed which could see the world's wealth far more equitably shared. The violence of white male wealth and income inequality will be a thing of the past.
This redistribution of the world's wealth is long overdue, and it is not just South Africa where white males own a disproportionate amount of wealth. While in South Africa 90 percent of the country's land is in the hands of whites (it is safe to assume these are mainly men), along with 97 percent of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, this is also the norm in the rest of the world. Namibia has similar statistics with regard to land distribution and one can assume this holds for other assets too. As Oxfam notes eight men control as much as wealth as the poorest 50 percent of the world's population.
In the United States ten percent of the population (nearly all white) own 90 percent of all assets – it is likely that these assets are largely in the hands of males. Although statistics by race are difficult to find from other parts of the world, it is very likely that the majority of the world's assets are in the hands of white males, despite them making up less than 10 percent of the world's population.
It is obvious that this violent status quo will not change without a struggle, and the only way to do so will be through the expropriation of these various assets and equitably distribute them to those who need them. This will not only make the world a more equitable place, but will also go some way to paying the debt that white males owe the world. Over the past 500 years colonialism, slavery, and various aggressive wars and genocides, have been due to the actions of white men. Redistributing some of their assets will go some way to paying the historical debt that they owe society.
It is no surprise that liberalism – and its ideological offshoots of conservatism and libertarianism – are the most popular ideologies among white males. These ideologies with their focus on individuals and individual responsibility, rather than group affiliation, allow white men to ignore the debt that they owe society, and from acknowledging that most of their assets, wealth, and privilege are the result of theft and violence.
It is time to wrestle control of the world back from white males, and the first step will be a temporary restriction of the franchise to them.
Some may argue that this is unfair. Let's be clear, it may be unfair, but a moratorium on the franchise for white males for a period of between 20 and 30 years is a small price to pay for the pain inflicted by white males on others, particularly those with black, female-identifying bodies. In addition, white men should not be stripped of their other rights, and this withholding of the franchise should only be a temporary measure, as the world rights the wrongs of the past.
A withholding of the franchise from white males, along with the passing of legislation in this period to redistribute some of their assets, will also, to a degree, act as the reparations for slavery, colonialism, and apartheid, which the world is crying out for to be paid.
As we saw after the recent altercation between a white man and Lebohang Mabuya at a Spur restaurant in Johannesburg, white males still believe that they are in control, and people who aren't white or male (in particularly black female-identifying people) have to bow to their every whim. There are numerous other examples of white angry male violence in South Africa and abroad, often against black bodies (Dylann Roof's terrorist actions in the United States is only one of many examples). It is time to wrestle control of the world back from white males, and the first step will be a temporary restriction of the franchise to them.
Although this may seem unfair and unjust, allowing white males to continue to call the shots politically and economically, following their actions over the past 500 years, is the greater injustice.
From The Huffington Post (April 13, 2017)