Equality

An equality fairytale

I identify at least 50 instances in this story that we affluent members of our society take for granted – see if you can spot them all or more. “Thandi was born in hospital by emergency Caesarean section six hours after her mother went into labour. Her mother had been careful to keep all her…

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Not all pale-skinned people are ‘white’

In certain circles I could suggest, “the real problems of the world are those caused by white masculine capitalist hegemony!” I might get a few heads to nod. I could then assert, “Down with white power! Whiteness must fall!” In the right circles this may well get me some applause. There would be others, however,…

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Decolonisation and the end of white male hegemony

Western civilisation has, since the dawn of patriarchy, privileged white masculine reasoning and meanings and depreciated the experience, knowledge and voices of women. With the advent of colonialism people indigenous to the Americas, Africa and other colonised lands, were also brutally constructed as less than human, “othered” and devalued by this monolithic white masculinist logic….

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On violence: Whose bodies matter?

By Barbara Boswell Violence is never acceptable. In a democracy, where legal instruments exist as a remedy to injustice, the use of brute force to seek and maintain power or settle scores is abhorrent and unacceptable. Yet we live in a country saturated with violence. Violence is in sharp focus as it spills over into…

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When institutional integrity trumps student rights

We have seen many frightening, exhilarating and liberating things over the last few months in South Africa. Student protests have swept the country and grabbed international attention for pushing back against an unjust and exploitative economic model. Since the announcement that there will be a 0% hike in student fees in 2016, some campuses have…

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South African women should fight for 100% renewable energy

By Yvette Abrahams South African women should be fighting for a 100% renewable energy future for our country. A completely renewable energy future will be good for everyone, but it could be particularly good for women. At the recent South African International Renewable Energy Conference in Cape Town, it was striking that one of the…

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Now is a good time for South African whites to show courage

I can sum up my feelings over the last 20 years of democracy in South Africa as being a progression of emotions, from concern (pre 1994) to euphoria (elections) to “this is not so bad” to “quite comfortable thank you” (Mandela days) back to concern, (Zuma) then to anger (Nkandla et al), followed by frustration…

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Out of control: South Africa’s obsession with authority

The last month has been historically and politically significant for South Africa. The student protests have – and continue to – present a great opportunity for citizens to hold their government accountable. Although this social movement represents the potential of our politics to mature and become meaningful, this potential will be squandered if we do…

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On whiteness and white guilt

There is a refrain that is often heard around the braai or the water cooler, and it goes like this: “Why should I have to apologise for apartheid? I wasn’t a part of it/was only a child/wasn’t yet born.” There is another one that I’ve been seeing more often lately, on Facebook and in thinkpieces,…

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Are violent protests cleansing, like Fanon said?

By Liezille Jacobs and Julian Jacobs Frantz Fanon, often referred to as the psychiatrist who prescribed violence, would turn in his grave at the condemnation of the student protests because he believed overcoming oppression could be realised through a violent uprising of the masses. Fanon said the slave thinks of overthrowing his master while being…

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