Tag Archives: race

Heritage Day: What’s wrong with this picture?

I have a love-hate relationship with Heritage Day. Beyond the warm and fuzzy feelings of seeing people in different and beautiful outfits representing their heritage — our diversity as the rainbow nation — it’s also a point of tension and possibly pain. In the wake of a cultural appropriation incident a few months ago, Heritage…

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Does racism exist in a world without races?

If one does not believe that race exists, then one will not believe that racism exists. Since racism is real, we should not reject the existence of race. This simple argument appears to stand behind the rather vicious repudiation of “colour-blindness”, “not seeing race”, and other variations of the cardinal sins of our racialised social…

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The cold white shoulder to shoulder

On Youth Day weekend, thirteen South Africans gathered at a retreat centre in the Underberg to experiment with Insight Dialogue as a way of dealing with the pain and anger caused by the racism and prejudice that is thick in our country. We were an Indian woman, 6 black people (all women), 6 white people (including two men),…

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#AndreOlivier: A world where white people took nothing from black people is not a real world, it’s an imagined one

By Sheena Jonker A South Africa where white people gained the position in society that they occupy and the place in the economy that they enjoy through sheer hard work, is an imagined South Africa. It’s not real. When Pastor Andre Olivier says “We (white people) took nothing from black people” he was accessing this…

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Open letter to a black South African, release the chains of an enslaved mind #AndreOlivier

By Lesego Setou Dear Black South African, I write to you from one soul to the next. I would like to know at what point did we forget our divinity that we seek affirmation of our worth from pastors? Could it be that we have things we need to heal within our self? That we…

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Whiteness – it must be possible to transcend black and white divisions (Part 2)

In many ways, this is a time of awakening. I should say “rude awakening”, because the awakening I am speaking of holds many unpleasant surprises. With “awakening”, I mean the sensation of seeing something for what it is for the first time. Waking up from false preconceived notions. A flash of recognition after which nothing…

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The unbearable whiteness of being a middle-aged Afrikaans male

When I was recently asked to perform a few of my songs at the private birthday party of an old fan from the Voëlvry era, I agreed. “I don’t like performing at private parties, but at least these people won’t be a bunch of potbellied Afrikaans right-wingers,” I said to my wife. “This guy says…

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How do we fight racism properly if we still can’t define it?

It is easy to recognise overt racism when practiced by a white person as in Penny Sparrow’s now infamous “monkeys” incident over New Year. But when a black university student wears a “Fuck white people” T-shirt there will still be many people, predominantly but not exclusively black, who will say that that is not a…

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The question every white South African has to ask

“What if I were black?” I am beginning to understand as a white person why the fundamental causes of the inequality that persists in South African society have to be addressed, and the critical role that we whites have to play in bringing about changes towards removing inequality. Without white buy-in to the notion of…

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Silence is golden, nobody likes an angry black

Six years ago I was awarded an Open Society Foundation media fellowship. My assignment was to spend three months in the old Transkei, interviewing the rural South Africans of Pondoland and Thembuland about what democracy had – and had not – brought to their lives. I set myself up as an objective reporter on an…

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