Equality

The Remember Khwezi protest has shone a spotlight on our society’s patriarchal nature

In the last chapter of The Kanga and the Kangaroo Court, author Mmatshilo Motsei starts her concluding remarks by quoting Sello wa Loate: [w]e need to re-evaluate our value system as a society. The highly competitive environment we have created and the resultant conflict and pressure on different sections of our society make post-apartheid black…

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It’s that time of the year: Women’s Month

The notion of being “a woman” vis-à-vis some other type of specimen has been in my mind lately. Blame the great advertising apparatus that kicks in every August. South Africa, unlike any other country I know, celebrates not just a Women’s Day, but a full Women’s Month. One would be forgiven for assuming that women…

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Rejecting postracialism: Whiteness, morality and decency

Beginning with the contention that most white people view racism conceptually as bad, evil or at least something that is undesirable to be associated with, it is disheartening to see so much support for reactionary #AllLivesMatter, #BlueLivesMatter and similar postracial rhetoric from ostensibly decent people. White America must seek to understand our own existence and its relation to the…

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The cold white shoulder to shoulder

On Youth Day weekend, thirteen South Africans gathered at a retreat centre in the Underberg to experiment with Insight Dialogue as a way of dealing with the pain and anger caused by the racism and prejudice that is thick in our country. We were an Indian woman, 6 black people (all women), 6 white people (including two men),…

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Turning human suffering into refugee chic

There are currently more than 65-million refugees and displaced persons in the world. It is one of the biggest human rights crises of our time, and deserves as much media attention as possible. But what refugees don’t need is to have their plight reduced to a fashion statement. “Refugee chic.” On Friday, there was a…

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#AndreOlivier: A world where white people took nothing from black people is not a real world, it’s an imagined one

By Sheena Jonker A South Africa where white people gained the position in society that they occupy and the place in the economy that they enjoy through sheer hard work, is an imagined South Africa. It’s not real. When Pastor Andre Olivier says “We (white people) took nothing from black people” he was accessing this…

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Open letter to a black South African, release the chains of an enslaved mind #AndreOlivier

By Lesego Setou Dear Black South African, I write to you from one soul to the next. I would like to know at what point did we forget our divinity that we seek affirmation of our worth from pastors? Could it be that we have things we need to heal within our self? That we…

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Racism, an idea whose time has come, again

As Britain votes to leave the EU, Polish immigrants have come under fire with xenophobic and racist attacks in the bastion of parliamentary democracy. This is no coincidence, as millions of migrants from north Africa, eastern Europe and the Middle East pressurises the once hospitable European community on issues of immigration and race relations, there…

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Whiteness – it must be possible to transcend black and white divisions (Part 2)

In many ways, this is a time of awakening. I should say “rude awakening”, because the awakening I am speaking of holds many unpleasant surprises. With “awakening”, I mean the sensation of seeing something for what it is for the first time. Waking up from false preconceived notions. A flash of recognition after which nothing…

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A woman’s work is never done…

By Mary Otieno When I was a child, it was taken for granted that during my school vacation visits to relatives in Nairobi, I would spend much of the time doing household chores in exchange for little more than food, transportation, and the excitement of being in the city. Not until years later did I…

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