Equality

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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‘Don’t you want to be white?’

By Lorato Palesa Modongo “Coming to a new country always forces you to confront things about yourself that you never considered before.” — Staceyann Chin, poet. I am from Botswana. Literally next door. I came to South Africa in 2013 to take up postgraduate studies at Stellenbosch University. I had three reasons. Firstly, psychology is…

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The burden of black privilege

By Sinegugu Ngwenya What an absurd notion. How offensive. What an insensitive response to a people deep in struggle. The thought of privileged blacks is a spit in the face of the “underprivileged” badge we so rightfully wear. For years I despised everything that happened to me, how I was reduced to melanin. From a…

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Stop invoking Mandela’s legacy to advocate respectability

Recently, I saw a Facebook post about an event where the keynote speech was titled “What would Mandela do?” The speech, unsurprisingly, criticised the recent student protests. For the love of intellectual discourse, can we please retire this phrase? Don’t misunderstand me. I have nothing but respect and admiration — and gratitude — for Nelson…

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Whiteness is like herpes

You know now that you have it but prefer not to talk about it. Every now and then it surfaces like a rash, provoking discomfort, not in you, but in others. You have lived with it for so long that for most of your life you didn’t even notice it. In fact, you were surprised…

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#WitsOnFire: Student factionalism must fall

By Phaphama Dulwana The past two weeks have been something to marvel at. I watched for the first time in my life young black people take a stand against institutions and systems that perpetuate the poverty we have regrettably become so immune to. Every single day filled me up with an overwhelming sense of emotion…

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So #FeesHaveFallen but let’s not celebrate too quickly

By Marlyn Faure It’s all too easy to think now things can go back to normal. Of course, if by now you still don’t understand why students are protesting, please stop questioning the legitimacy of the struggle but rather the fibre of your conscience (or lack thereof). Over the last while there have been a…

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Forget ‘developing’ poor countries. It’s time to ‘de-develop’ rich countries

Heads of state recently gathered in New York to sign the UN’s new sustainable development goals (SDGs). The main objective is to eradicate poverty by 2030. Beyoncé, One Direction and Malala are on board. It’s set to be a monumental international celebration. Given all the fanfare, one might think the SDGs are about to offer…

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