Equality

The rainbow nation needs a paint job

By Franklyn Odhiambo Theorists say race is a representation of social differences in a code that defends interests and conflicts by referring to apparent physiological characteristics and the treatment of fixities from these references as social facts and thus empirical truths. They say too that racism and a race project occur when a group has…

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What is ‘post’ in post-apartheid? Reflecting on my experiences

By Iris Nxumalo In a very engaging, robust class discussion about post-colonial societies, my lecturer challenged us by asking, “What is so post about post-colonial societies?” I paused. Upon reflection, I started to unpack our categorisations of people’s lived experiences into neat, temporal frameworks that organise our histories. I started to interrogate the places and…

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Paris again: Has Huntington’s thesis been vindicated?

The recent events in Paris (not long after the Charlie Hebdo attacks), which have understandably shocked everyone who values peaceful interaction between people of different cultural orientations, will no doubt fuel renewed intercultural distrust instead. This is to be expected, particularly after reports that one of the attackers might have entered France a few weeks…

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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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