Equality

Why we’re wrong to celebrate CEOs for simulating poverty for 12 hours

By Natasha Skoryk and Caitlin Spring We’re a generation of clicktivists, incessantly raising awareness for a wide assortment of causes and social justice issues. But we rarely follow through with any tangible action or put our money where our “shares” are. So, logically, when initiatives do attempt to physically address societal problems, we should be…

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Take it down USA

Nine African-Americans attending an evening Bible study session at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, US were murdered in cold blood last week. US news outlets say that South Carolina resident Dylann Roof, a young white man, has confessed to the killings. He hasn’t been convicted in a court of law…

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South Africa is not a ‘fatherless’ country

By Nick Malherbe In the lead up to Father’s Day, one is often made to think of those who are “fatherless” and the high rate of father absence as a “crisis” of fatherhood. But such thinking cannot continue. I would argue that such a “crisis” stems primarily from the narrow way in which we think…

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The June 16s of tomorrow

Yesterday we honoured Youth Day in South Africa, a day when we remember the hundreds of young people who were massacred in 1976 by the apartheid regime for their peaceful protests against a state education system that sought to forever keep them as economic slaves. It took the courage of children to bring the apartheid…

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#RachelDolezal, I cannot escape being black

We live in a world where we are told we can be whatever we want — a doctor, lawyer, astronaut. And black? Recently the Washington branch president of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People was “outed” as being white after posing as black for more than a decade. Black twitter was on…

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South Africa and other orphaning nations (Jani Allan Part II)

Even now, a quarter of a century later, here in Auckland, New Zealand, I have mentioned to other South Africans Jani Allan’s newly released memoir Jani Confidential and they respond, “so what was she doing with that idiot ET (Eugene Terre’Blanche)?” “For God’s sake,” I reply, “give the woman a break”. As Jani Allan says…

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What is a ‘rhizome’ in Deleuze and Guattari’s thinking?

People who do a lot of gardening probably know what a “rhizome” is in botanical terms. It is a kind of plant (including the prolific “wandering Jew”) that pops out of the ground over an expanding area, giving the impression that many separate plants are emerging in close proximity to one another, but in fact…

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In a world obsessed with passport tiers, citizenship is personal and political

By Robtel Neajai Pailey Late last week, I was informed that I would not be able to travel to Dubai for an important meeting scheduled months ago. Like other countries across the globe, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) halted travel for those with Guinean, Liberian, and Sierra Leonean passports during the height of the Ebola…

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What is ideology?

Those of us who were studying at the time of the great “cold war” tussle between the superpowers would remember that, at that time, one thought of ideology as a more or less coherent system of ideas that demanded a way of living, or certain actions in accordance with those ideas. So, for example, communism…

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My name is Siphumelele, not Sipho

By Siphumelele Zondi Last week President Jacob Zuma joked about people who cannot pronounce Nkandla but now constantly use the word Nkhandla in conversations. The way in which the two words have been written is to emphasise the difference in how a Zulu-speaking person will pronounce it. There have been many debates about whether he…

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