Gillian Schutte
Gillian Schutte

Unpacking the discourse of domination

Over this past year I have written a series of essays that attempt to deconstruct the “discourse of domination” and have provided the links to these articles in this piece. These essays were written in response to a series of racialised events that happened in South Africa in 2012 — occurrences, which I posit, are indicative of the possibility that the master narrative is showing signs of cracking up and being rendered irrelevant by an escalating alternative narrative that embraces diversity and provides the multilayered perspective, which the dominant discourse has, throughout modern history, sought to obliterate.

Perhaps this would explain the fear-based and vociferous racist and patriarchal defensiveness that appears in the commentary below the online blogs that advocate an alternate vision. It seems the more that this narrow worldview is called out as abnormal and challenged, the more hateful and ineffectual this commentary becomes.

Alternative and diverse language and free speech has a way of destabilising the discourse of domination.

This diverse alternative narrative is not new. It has always been there, struggling to breathe under the thumb of the dominant discourse. But I believe that it is fast gaining momentum and this is what has the haters running scared and reaching for their toxic arsenal of hate speech to try and defend their assumed “god-given” privilege to own the status quo.

I foresee a revolutionary language movement that deconstructs the lexis of domination, in which the paradigm of white “culture” claiming all the power to define the world, is finally undone.

But what is this discourse of domination?

Writer Richard Dyer, in his book White, contends that white culture possesses the power to “colonise” the definition of normal with respect to race, class, gender, heterosexuality and nationality. Ruth Frankenberg, in her writing on race matters, refers to whiteness as a “set of locations that are historically, politically, and culturally produced and intrinsically linked to unfolding relations of domination”. John Gabriel, posits in his book Whitewash, that a number of elements form the construction of “whiteness” through the systems of representation in the dominant culture. These include the print and electronic media, advertising, and education. He goes on to describe these elements as the capacity of “whiteness” not to be named and thus to remain invisible. He also speaks about the means by which phenomena, which are the product of social and cultural processes (such as high crime rates) come to be spoken of as an inherent trait in certain race groups. Lastly he points to the ways in which white Anglo-European beliefs, values, traditions and practices are assumed to be common to all people, a strategy that is used, often unconsciously, to defend and maintain white power and privilege as the master narrative.

Drawing from Frances Henry’s writings on racial profiling in Toronto and the discourses of domination, the gatekeepers of the master narrative include the judicial system, the media, the caretakers of knowledge and academia and the private sector.

The whitewashed lens that dominates these societal purveyors of discourse is still in place and it is this worldview that plays a critical role in shaping issues and in identifying the boundaries of “legitimate” discourse.

The dominant discourse is precisely that which uses its immense power to interpret and explicate major social, political, and economic issues and events according to its own construction. It is through this framework for example, that a black response to racism is often called “illegitimate and irrational”. By white folk calling it so, it ensures that only whiteness is seen as stable and legitimate.

When Marikana happens or the black president’s penis is exposed in “white political satire” the social conversation or debate is still largely framed within a white master narrative and presided over by the societal machinery that interprets it for the layman. The layman then reinterprets it through the common-sense everyday belief system into a less erudite but no less privileged white discourse. The manifestation of this common-sense discourse is largely seen in the narrow racially biased public commentary around these events.

While many will argue vehemently that the dominant discourse in South Africa is no longer one of white against black but one of the corporate and political elite against the citizen — I argue that this is not entirely the case in South Africa because, nearly 20 years into a democracy, the dominant discourse remains in the grip of a white and largely male elite. I draw on the current leftist argument that those with political power have merely adopted the discourse of domination to suit their own greedy agendas and have thus been coerced into protecting the whiteness construct. In this leftist framework it is argued that those individuals who make up our ruling elite are no more than the puppets of white capital and the managers of the white corporate privilege, paid off in minority shares to act as a buffer zone between the people and the elite.

This creation of a black elite was a cunning move on behalf of white capital, since it ensures that only a black face is demonised in social ruptures and provides protection and disguise for the white corporate elite who skulk in the black man’s shadow in order to remain invisible and blame-free.

The absurd spectacle of our black leadership posturing a discourse that is representative of independence and black pride while remaining obedient to the master narrative and using the master’s tools to brutalise a disenfranchised majority, thus plays itself out to effectively prove to whiteness that it alone is “just and rational” and, in this worldview, blackness remains a violent, irrational and laughable entity.

This is particularly seen in the “satire” of the likes of Murray and Zapiro, whose relentless use of imagery steeped in the colonial constructs of the inept buffoonish inefficient black minstrel and oversexed black male sexual deviant, speaks volumes about the inherent superiority white males feel over blackness.

The same discourse of domination was revealed around the heinous Marikana massacre when the media pushed the story of the strikers as armed and dangerous, in attack mode and smeared with muti that would protect them from the enemy. Thus they were depicted as irrational, savage and a danger to all. A demonised rendering of normal family working-class men served to justify the massacre and maintain white power and privilege.

But not without using the black man as the fall guy. After all, it was largely black policemen who did the shooting and the awful truth of Cyril Ramaphosa’s “baas” correspondence with his white business partners also provided a useful catalyst to pin the entire debacle onto a black face.

Not that Ramaphosa was innocent. He deserves to be exposed by the media for seemingly sanctioning the heinous act of the massacre. But surely then, the white masters who hand him the crumbs from their banquet table in the form of hefty minority shares, are indeed the monster controllers in this hierarchy of elitism that insists that a bought-off state uses draconian measures against the cheap, black labour force to protect their majority capital. Surely they should be equally crucified by the media. Both roles are repulsive, individualistic and ultimately anti the collective.

When we observe the power-based response to the One in Nine Campaign’s political stunt at the Gay Pride march we witnessed the unfolding of the common-sense element of white privilege. These perpetrators of violence towards the black lesbian and gender non-conforming protestors, were not mining magnates, political leaders or chief executives of multinationals. They were ordinary white, moderate, liberal citizens who happen to belong to the LGBTI community. But their white privilege became evident and exposed in their aggressive handling of the protestors and their unrepentant discourse in the media after the fact — in which they continued to admonish the protestors for not asking permission, as if this justified their racist and brutal physical handling of them. Again, the message was clear. White is right.

In a racialised society like ours “whiteness” pervades the reality of daily experience, and this construct is woven into the invisible fabric of the dominant culture. Hence it very often does not occur to the public that these acts of violence against black people or people of colour, or lesbians and transsexual individuals, or marginalised women, or any people that fall outside of the white patriarchal mainstream, are intrinsically wrong, often illegal and a gross breach of human rights — even when the violence is not perpetrated by themselves directly.

I contend again though, that we are moving into an epoch where this narrow discourse of domination will eventually be rendered irrelevant and powerless. It will be eventually be critiqued into nothingness. This will happen through the deconstruction of the discourse that upholds this belief system. It will happen through people’s movements, which will demand equality for all. It will happen through open and diverse voices taking over public podiums en masse and challenging a construct that seeks to dehumanise all those who do not fit into the narrow confines of a white phallocratic worldview.

It has already begun.

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    • The Creator

      Mine “magnates”, please.

      The gist of white supremacy is that it is unthinking and self-legitimating. However, it is also scary — for instance, it is perfectly understandable that Hermann Giliomee has written a book trying to reposition Hendrik Verwoerd as a caring sharing non-racist, because telling lies about history is what white supremacists naturally do. However, that this book has been praised in a leading Sunday paper and in South Africa’s only politically critical magazine speaks volumes about the decay of any vision alternative to the white one.

      I see no sign of any “people’s movements” demanding equality for all. I see loads of self-appointed messiahs leading the masses to kiss the behind of either Zuma or his white masters or both. Sorry, but if you want freedom of thought you’re going to need a whole new intellectual structure, because the current South African intellectual structure serves only the corrupt and the rich.

    • Sandile Memela

      This is as moving as the speeches of the genuine Nelson Mandela who was, above all, an African freedom figher; as profound as the analysis of whiteness intellectual, Rick Turner who was murdered by the apartheid state and as exciting as the articulations of a Steve Biko.
      All I can say is: right on, dear girl!!! We need more women of your caliber: insightful, articulate, concise and straightforward and simple in their truth telling.
      There is absolutely nothing complicated about the National Question: it isthe issue of land and minerals and how we share it relatively well for everyone to have a decent life with dignity and respect.
      However, you are really optimistic and a bit naive in thinking that the system has got its back against the wall. Not when they have recreated black men in the image of the white man. Clones of white men are in power. And, sadly, white is right despite the selfish and greedy values it espouses.
      But your voice is authentic, brilliant and prophetic. I am proud to be on your side which is the side of the Trut that transcends race, class and other man-made barriers.
      Those who wish you were not here or white do so at their own peril.
      The freedom train is fast gaining momentum and there is no stopping it.
      As for me, I am glad you are here!!!!
      May the African spirits guide and protect over the festive and beyond.

    • Kennedy

      Considerably clearer and better argued than the last 2 blogs, and it a relief to see an attempt to define ‘whiteness’, one of those odd terms to rational sociologists. Is there an equivalent definition of ‘Judentum’ or ‘blackness’? Unfortunately the definitions of whiteness contain many strawmen and sweeping generalisations which those whose interest in history and sociology are a bit wider than SA (in which race is the only interest) will find obviously illogical. For instance, white society is hardly homogenous – the Cold War was fought between many nations in East and West containing many white people whose views and beliefs were so diametrically opposite (totalitarian communists and defenders of individual freedom) that they created the greatest clash of ideas this century. The SA fascination with race and race only rather than values or ideals which in many cases are held by individuals based on personal beleif rather than racial determinism, is not only narrow but often irrelevant regarding history as a whole. SA’s obsession with racial stereotyping has weakened its relevance in the world and created a whole massive industry of underdogism and grievance. Presenting minorities as a dominant culture, both threatening and unauthentic, was exactly the logic of German National Socialism, which had many of the same arguments in form as the logic shown here.

    • Academic

      The writer notes that ‘This diverse alternative narrative is not new. It has always been there, struggling to breathe under the thumb of the dominant discourse.’ This suggests that ‘anti-whiteness’ ideas – or broadly speaking ant-white, anti-male, anti-Western, anti-rational, anti-science and anti-capitalism ideas are radical, new and unusual and battling to get a word in. However, the reality for those who listen to what is said on campuses and in academia is these ideas are PC, mainstream and fully accepted as dominant and almost beyond question. In fact, rather than presenting these ideas as new and alternative, they could be considered completely mainstream. Certainly in SA anyone advancing ideas that differ from the above would be pilloried for not being Politically Correct. The real need for freedom of speech and of ideas may be very different from the argument advanced in this blog.

    • Stephen Browne

      Cue indignant posts insisting that this is all a load of tosh: “White people are struggling in South Africa for god’s sake! Why just the other day a friend of mine had to move continents just to get a job!”

      Anyways, as brutally true as this all is, most of the readers here will write it off as ‘lefty, communist drivel.’

    • Hopeful

      To be fair to the author, this blog is less strident and aggressive than previous polemics, and it appears that it genuinely means well, and means to support black pride and self-awareness, or black consciousness. In these motives, it is sincere and well-intentioned. However the other odd thought one has is that it also assumes that black ideas and values are homogenous and lack much opportunity for individual decision and volition. In this sense it is a bit behind more current thinking, which assumes that individual values are not determined by race, and it is just as possible to be a black capitalist libertarian as a white totalitarian Marxist. A bit ironic, really.

    • I Phallus Leap

      “a white phallocratic worldview.” Sorry. I have to smile at this – it is impossible for anyone with even the mildest sense of humour not to. What is ‘phallocratic’? For normal people with ordinary logic, it presumably means ‘aggressive, dominating, phallus-like (….?????), rampant, arrogant, contemptuous of other views, and totally certain of itself. (I have to assume this without a good defintion). But the irony unfortunately is using this logic, this article itself is rather – in fact very in many cases – phallocratic. It is definitely not vaginocentric if that means nurturing, receptive, tolerant, understanding and open to other views. There is a bit of Lady Macbeth in all of this, despite the good and often noble intentions.

    • Anti Polemicist

      Perhaps if there is one point that these blogs do prove – and they prove nothing one way or another about black, white or other – is that polemics are tiresome, because they rely on stridency and aggression, rather than logic or reasoning. In this sense, they are not valuable effort – as they are not designed to convince those of an open mind, but rather to reinforce strongly held beliefs that are already there and maybe to castigate those who don’t share these beliefs, if that is an intention. But surely even the basic principle of high school debating is one should have an argument that is reasonable enough to convince people and maybe even change the opinions of intelligent and well-intentioned listeners? I find it unlikely that any of these objectives have been achieved. Maybe a lot of mud slinging will result with people arguing and shouting at each other. Is that really much of an achievement?

    • Rich Brauer

      Moderator: Pardon the following outburst. As the guidelines state, occasional use of strong language is acceptable, given the appropriate circumstances.

      @Sandile Memela: “All I can say is: right on, dear girl!!!”

      Are you fucking kidding me?

      You’ve made two TL posts in the last 7 days, and both of them either ignored the existence of women, or presumed that women simply weren’t of *any* importance in the political or economic life of South Africa.

      And now this?

      Let me ask you a simple question: How would you like it if I replied to one of your posts, and addressed you as “boy”? You’d find that pretty damn offensive, wouldn’t you? I’m white, and I’d find it offensive, directed at either you or me.

      I don’t know if I just missed it before, or if for some reason it’s recently come to the forefront of your writing. But your casual patriarchalism (and, shall we say, at the very least, flirtation with misogyny) has grown offensive.

      I’d suggest that you consult with a few members of the Women’s League, but I’m not sure it would be all that helpful.

    • Richard

      I can’t work out whether this is taken from a Monty Python sketch intact, or has been altered in some way.

    • Loudly Safrican

      This article sounds interesting.
      Could someone please translate it into English?

    • Brent

      You are ‘white’ so guess you are right


    • Lisa

      Sadly this piece inspires the follwing racism akin to nazi Germany: “And, sadly, white is right despite the selfish and greedy values it espouses”. Replace Sandile’s comment with black, Jew or any other ethnic or racial group.

      This is a hate fest.

    • Mouse

      great analysis, suspect it will elicit some truly toxic and rabid responses!

    • Boots

      Your words are filled with hatred for white males. Is it your and your followers wish that each and every white male commits suicide? Will you be happy then? Will life be magically transformed into a paradise for blacks and whoever else is left?

      Since when is hard work, risk taking and honest entrepreneurship such a humongous sin? How many of these businesses have gone through hardships, even bankruptcies, before becoming profitable? But no, nobody sees that. Public enemy # 1 i.e. the white male must just hand over his business and then disappear.

      Since you hate all that is white so much, why have you not changed your German surname to one more pleasing to Africa or your own imagination.

      You are a nasty person :(

    • Brendon Shields

      The only part of the analysis against domination I do not get is the part where the dominant world view has to a) admit that its dominating and b) feel some sort of remorse for this.

      The only worldwide threat to white male domination (and as a result – feelings of superiority) is that of male Chinese domination. Sadly the world equates power to financial riches whereas the white man attained his domination via military organisation and strength, as well as through religious ideas and imposing its cultural norms on their subjects.

      Yet until the Chinese mail replaces the white male at the top of the food chain I cannot see the white man suddenly feeling guilty or sorry for the fact that he leads – if only by a whisker – current world ideology.

      Black domination, in my opinion, will only stem from a scenario where Africa dominates world economics.

      Until that time the fight is merely for some sort of soft ‘equality’.

      Its not rational that’s for sure. I bet the world will be a much better place if women of all races with he help of some creative gay men- ruled the world.

    • Brendon Shields

      pardon the spelling mistakes. I am raising a baby boy who sits on my lap (and will no doubt be pissed off at the prediction that his ‘gang’ will not dominate by the time he grows up)

    • Mr. Direct

      @Boots – you see, this is the new fashion – telling us that our concept of right and wrong are also completely skewed because we are white males, and that our western way of thinking is inherently evil.

      @Author: After the 10th blog with the same theme, OK – we get your point:

      – Apartheid dreadful
      – white man bad
      – white man control economy
      – black man struggles against white man
      – you support the black man

      I did not realise there was a section of this website called “Thought Follower”. Unless you have something new, perhaps even some form of solution to make the world a better place, I fail to see why you even bother…

    • Tofolux

      @Gillian, the glaring question is WHO sets this discourse and also let me say that you too have fallen into the trap re Cyril Ramaphosa and I suggest that you await the outcome of the commission and read it to est the facts. But in asking the question one must consider the material conditions for this discourse to be imposed. I suggest we look at the Rupert Murdoch issues and ask how far from that reality our very own media has succumbed. That apart, you touch on capitalism and I think you need to interrogate the relationship betw capitalism,democracy(the western concept) and the dominant discourse. My contention is that capitalism not only sets the conditions but it creates the material conditions. Historically if we take the system of feudalism, industrialisation and capitalism lets look at eg the nature subservience. Secondly, if one talks about the alternative economic systems, who wins? You only have to factually look at the SAmerican countries to understand the sheer violence perpetrated against those who sought the alternative.Those who set the national discourse uses racial polarisation as a tool. The real question is in whose interest and to what end? The fact that the sustained attacks against ANC and Africans in particular is no co-incidence. These attacks have a strong relation with their economic and industrial policies and there is a particular reason y the rand went up with the new leadership at Mangaung. Evidently if one traces and map the attacks it leavs no

    • Bert

      @Loudly Safrican

      Translation: White = BAD. White Male = VERY BAD. Any other colour = Good…….

    • Observer

      To Mr Brauer – I don’t believe that Mr Memela meant any insult in referring to the writer as ‘dear girl’, I think you will agree that his intention was simply to be warm and affectionate – it would make no sense if this were a patronising comment, as the rest of his words don’t reflect this. I think Mr Memela’s comments were sincere and genuine. If there is a good thing about this blog, it seems that opinions both for and against the arguments are not just people lining up in different race groups. I just find the blog very negative, and I think a more positive view of black consciousness a la Biko is driven by a sense of black pride and achievement, rather than just anti-white sentiment as per the blog.

    • Sean

      It is unfortunate that those with the loudest voices are those with the most militant opinions.

      The result is a whole lot of angry people entrenched in their worldview shouting at one another and definitely not contributing to us all living harmoniously alongside one another.

      Love, peace, compassion, tolerance, understanding, empathy, just a few characteristics we should be aspiring to in order to improve the world.

      None of that here !

    • Max

      Amazing how the most virulent violently vehement anti racists are pretty much at exactly the same level of thinking as the most braindead bilious bigots: Both are in the clutches of an immature thinking style known as BLACK-AND-WHITE thinking. Binary thinking.

      “White males are like this, Blacks are like that. I am right. You are wrong”.

      Not only immature but actually a quality of borderline personality disorder: Rigidity of mind. Fixed ideas. Dogmatic preachiness.

      Apocalyptic visions of a new world order when eventually everyone agrees with the one true view of things (my view). Righteous insiders and polluting outsiders.

      Overdetermined abstract meanings attached to concrete signifiers (e.g. skin colour).

      This is the primitive adolescent style, the stunted thinking style of the paranoid schizoid fanatical personality.

    • Sterling Ferguson

      @Observer, many people are mixed up about the difference between color and culture. It wasn’t whites that went around the world and dominated these countries, it was their culture that did this. The Western culture was superior to any culture in the world from the 15th century up until the present. The only country that understood this was Japan and they copied everything the West was doing. Black Africa has never done this and all they see is white but, never talk about these peoples’ cultures. In the US and Brazil the blacks in these countries share the same culture as the whites and both look at the world the same way.

    • Momma Cyndi

      Much better article. Far less shrill and illogical ….. until towards the end when the hysteria broke out again just a tiny bit.

      We all believe that our way is the only way. It is how we are brought up and how we know the world. It is only when it is questioned that we realise how illogical it is. I am South African which is nothing like being English or French or German (all of whom hate each other and think their way is the right way). Lumping us all into one little cubbyhole on the pure basis of skin colour is VERY lazy thinking.

    • The Creator

      Tofolux, the rand went up after the coronation because Zuma is largely, and Ramaphosa entirely, in the back pocket of white big business. You can actually see the strings when Ramaphosa’s little wooden mouth moves; sometimes there is even a big white hand in the upper part of the frame!

    • Lennon

      One could argue that our leaders are still kissing white (especially foreign white) arse when they neither need to nor should whether it be here in SA or across the continent.

      Having considered the “rantings” of Julius Malema and comparing them the what Moeletsi Mbeki has written, I’m forced to wonder who really sold the country out. The argument that it was De Klerk doesn’t really fit, at least not with the narrative that he sold whites out to blacks (that’s just lunacy). If anything, I would say that De Klerk, Mandela and the entire crew at CODESA sold the entire country out to foreign (white) corporate and industrial interests for a slice of cake.

      Just take a look at all of the mining houses (for example) which moved the HQ’s to London – making it difficult to hold them to account. Why is it that our minerals MUST be exported to be refined and turned into useful products before coming back? Why do we not refine and produce locally before exporting (which would be more profitable)?

      Look at how companies have influenced government policy to the extent that our industries were squashed by cheap imports; pay differences between workers and CEO’s are now ridiculous and PRICE CONTROL is virtually non-existent. Another BS story is VAT. Under GST essentials like bread, milk and meat were not taxed, but luxuries were (and somewhat more so).

      Who suffers? Everyone, especially the working class and the poor.

      Why was this allowed to happen?

    • ntozakhona

      Max, Mommy Cindy et al the issue here is about our national discourse. Who sets the agenda, how is the agenda deliberated upon and who owns the means of disseminating that agenda. This is no rocket science, the discourse of the colonial master is the dominant discourse and the master shall insult, slander and gossip if it fails to stand the test of analysis and intelligence.

      Gillian it is progress that some of us who play into the hands of the dominant discourse possibly in the name of objectivity (whoever defines objectivity) were amongst the first to embrace your posting.

    • http://thoughtleader Andrew Martin

      Regarding Gillian’s column on the ‘discourse of domination': i defend her right to hold these opinions but that doesn’t mean I don’t see them as dismal and sad. One example:
      “This is particularly seen in the “satire” of the likes of Murray and Zapiro, whose relentless use of imagery steeped in the colonial constructs of the inept buffoonish inefficient black minstrel and oversexed black male sexual deviant, speaks volumes about the inherent superiority white males feel over blackness.” Sometimes a snake is just a snake, not a phallus. Satirising Zuma for sleeping with his friend’s daughters (while publicly commenting on morality) and for his feeble responses to social issues is hardly a colonial construct or a racist response. It’s robust commentary – the sort of commentary that Gillian dishes out. I suspect that if Helen Zille started bedding the sons of her friends behind their backs, and giggled idiotically at questions about the state of things, she would also feature more regularly in Zapiro’s cartoons. The game that Gillian is playing is not unlike the one that right wing conservatives play – dehumanising those they disagree with by reducing them to stereotypes, generalising them as homogenous groups with homogenous opinions, oversimplifying their ideas and, above all, singing a chorus of trite labels. Maybe I’ll meet Gillian in a Checkers queue one day – hope she doesn’t spot my purchase of cucumbers and vanilla ice cream.

    • Sterling Ferguson

      @Momma Cyndi, very good comment because the culture difference is very important in the world. The Japanese and Chinese are the same race of people but, there is a great difference in their culture. As a matter of facts, the Chinese suffered a lot from the Japanese aggression in the 20th century. The same can be said about the Russians and the Germans during the 20th century. The Russians lost over twenty million people in the second WW from the Germany’s invasions.

    • Sterling Ferguson

      @Bert, the discussion should be about culture and not color. It’s a culture that divides the people in SA more than anything else.

    • Gillian Schutte

      ” He who recognizes no humanity in others, loses it in himself.”– author unknown

    • Grant Walliser

      When I read this article I detect the same racial hysteria and perverse obsession with race that I do when I read right wing blab. It may come as a massive surprise to you but most people just want to get up in the morning, go to work and come home to their loved ones and slowly and messily improve their lives no matter what colour or stratum they are from. They do not want to be part of of some twisted racial narrative from the extreme left or extreme right. They do not want your definitions, your self-flagellating white guilt, the PC framework that you are trying to construct.

      You try to control and shape the minds and thinking of people based on racial lines and that is not only twisted but it is completely parallel to the thinking of apartheid. It is a dangerous game played by those who will not just live and let live. We have a more than equitable system in South Africa now so lets drop all the whitness/blackness bullshit and get on with it. Sure, lets fix problems and lets not go out of our way to insult or hurt. I think that your suggestions here divide further instead of allowing healing.

    • ntozakhona

      Oliver Tambo had always insisted and taught us that the dehumanisation of African people also dehumanises those who perpetuate the evil.Gillian Schutte uyigqibile ( you have eloquently said it all).

    • BillyC

      Gillian: Surely your quote applies to you more than anyone?:

      She who recognizes no humanity in others, loses it in herself.”– author unknown

    • Richard

      It would be good for Ms. Schutte to spend a bit of time in the UAE to witness the treatment of workers from the Indian subcontinent, or as a non-Japanese in Japan, or a non-Chinese in China, or non-Muslims in Pakistan or Saudi Arabia, or black Africans in Libya, or, well, the list is a long one. The teeny-tiny world of South Africa is quite ingrown and self-obsessive, a bit too much navel-gazing to be taken too seriously.

    • Sterling Ferguson

      @Ntozakhona, the dehumanizing of the black Africans by the other black Africans, started with the slave trade.

    • ntozakhona

      BikkyC I suppose in your warped logic my amplification of Gillian’s qoute with Oliver Tambo’s teaching applies to me to too.

    • Zeph

      Whites have no humanity. This has been shown throughout history. If you are white you are a psychopath that coverts money and eating all other races cooked rare.
      If a white feels compassion it is not so but a case of remorse for a lost opportunity to exploit others.

      I often wonder about the word ‘humanity’ and how real it is. Where was humanity in WW2, Rwandan Genocide, in the Congo today or in China when Japan colonized it? Humanity seems to disappear very quickly when our base nature rises.

      We do live in a wonderful world where we can actually afford to look at these issues…

    • Tofolux

      @Andrew, I wonder if and when you use your tools of analysis, if any ray of objectivity is used in your measurement? I ask this because when one read articles in mainstream media, can you say with all honesty conclude that what we not being ”force-fed” manipulated news? I ask this against a background of our very own history of years and years of indoctrination when information was used as a tool. Noting this, one would expect a level of sophistication in our alertness and ”red-flagging” post democracy. In fact, it talks to your moral detectors. Secondly, the western concept of devaluing people, devaluing morals and ethics is not going to fly that easily with those of us who respect and observe certain protocols within our traditions. The dishonesty that couples this devaluation of human beings is overtly and covertly racist. These undertones and nuances are recognised by those of us who live in townships and squatter camps. They recognise it because it was a tool of oppression that was used against us for 350yrs. Hence when we talk of moral decay within our society firstly look at those who lie and is blatantly dishonest and those who call us refugees. Not only is this demeaning, it is disgusting becos it reaffirms a superiority and inferiority complex which warrants correction and rehabilitation. And yet, what we see is a clear anti-black campaign by those who fear the self-determination of Africans in particular and blacks in general.

    • Bert

      @Sterling Ferguson

      Yes, I agree. Ms Schutte’s essays are riddled with race, as opposed to culture. While taking the ‘haters’ to task, she comes across as a ‘hater’ herself.


      Quite so…….

    • Momma Cyndi



      Are you seriously trying to tell me that the discussions in (for example) a Xhosa household would follow the ‘colonial’ discourse? Or are you trying to say that only the ‘colonial masters’ ever discuss anything?

      When I was a kid, I was told that if you don’t like the game then don’t play it. If the discussion isn’t to your liking then create a new discussion which is. Why is it that we, as South Africans, always seem to play by the rules of others instead of being like Steve Biko and doing it our way?

    • Momma Cyndi

      Sterling Ferguson

      Unfortunately, tribalism is a global phenomenon. When times get hard, it is always ‘us and them’. Possibly going back to pre-historic times when ‘outsiders’ could bring in diseases which we were not immune to or poach our valuable food resources?

    • http://google smoked fish

      I take it that the author has no idea of how many petty coated species are in the united nations.It’s a mans world, blondie, accept it or face further self inflicted frustration. b.t.w. stress kills.

    • Sterling Ferguson

      @Lennon, SA doesn’t have the Capital nor do they have the technology to develop their resources. The West is able to dominate the world because they are rich in the capital and technology. This is the part that Gillians failure to mention in her article the domination of the west by science and technology. Black Africa can’t get nothing going for them because the African leaders haven’t embraced science and technology. How often does your hear Zuma talking about spending money on developing science and technology? When Obama became the president of the US, the first thing he talks about was developing science and technology to create new industries.

    • Rubinbanana

      Your tirade against whiteness reminds me of a similar campaign against Jewishness. And that campaign was so effective, it reduced the number of transgressors by six million!
      Why don’t you organize a march to Parliament, shouting: :”Whiteness bad, blackness good!”
      You could even organize a guillotine, or even some gas chambers to punish those who had the audacity to be born white.
      Sorry Gillian, you are doing nothing to bring the races together.
      Let us stop blaming and moaning and start discussing what we can do to make this country a better place. How about it?

    • Sterling Ferguson

      @Cyndi, tribalism isn’t a global problem like you described in your comment, tribalism is a serious problem in Africa. In Africa, many people on one side of the river have been at war with each other for the last hundreds of years.

    • Sterling Ferguson

      @Bert, Western societies were able to dominated the world because they embraced science and technology. The Europeans built ships that could cross the oceans with gunboats, developed guns, built factories to make goods and did a lot of research in science and technology. When the Europeans went into other countries, they took from these countries things that could be used in their countries. Take for example, in the morning the people around the world are drinking coffee, however, this coffee came from Africa. Look at all of the things being made in Europe and N America that came from China. How many of us know the origin of the tomatoes we like to put on our salad? The Europeans color didn’t do this, it was their culture that did this. The only country that was able to adopt was Japan and she became one of them.

      Black Africa will never be equal when she produces 0.05% of all the goods in the world. There is hardly any research being done in Africa in science and technology. The sad part about it, most of the African leaders aren’t spending money on research.

    • Gillian Schutte
    • nguni

      I watched the Gay Pride march being interrupted by a handful of 1 in 9 activists, all carefully recorded for posterity by the ‘social media video’ folk.. Classic example of this woman’s (GS) racially polarizing influence on the country. What looked like a peaceful, fairly multiracial event was quickly twisted into a racial conflict by the video’s semi-literate commentator.
      When someone like that useless burocrat Memela praises your work in his own patronising way, then you should KNOW you’re on the wrong track.
      This is no thought leader, she’s a sh*t-stirrer with a biiiig chip in her shoulder.