Equality

The ductile edges of racism

By Thabo Seseane There is a tide, to borrow a phrase, in the decibel level of recriminations about racism in this country. And it is usually triggered by unexpected provocative utterances or deeds by private white people. For a time this jars us all into the reality of this land and its society namely, that…

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Change is happening worldwide…

On October 15 and 21 2012 the Current Affairs programme on the BBC’s Radio 4 broadcast a documentary in the form of an interview with the most cited sociologist and social theorist in the world, Manuel Castells, at The London School of Economics on his (then) recently published new book, Aftermath: The Cultures of the…

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On the streets of Cologne

By Gaia Manco Paris 2005 Evening, I’m walking home with my roommate, we live in the 10th arrondissement: A man follows us, makes vulgar advances, we walk away, we ignore him. He doesn’t stop, we are afraid, he keeps on following us until we get to a busier avenue. 2008 Bastille food market, grocery shopping…

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The Mandela Rules: A diplomatic success but will they lead to better care of SA prisoners?

In December 2015 the UN General Assembly adopted without voting the revised UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners now known as the Nelson Mandela Rules “to honour the legacy of the late president of South Africa, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, who spent 27 years in prison in the course of his struggle for…

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What is the colour of South Africa’s soul?

In the movie 12 Years a Slave, Solomon Northup asks, “What difference is there in the colour of a soul?” Such a question will raise eyebrows and tempers in South Africa, where the word “colour” sends a rush of emotions flooding down to angry hands from polarising thoughts. We are a rainbow — but our…

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African leaders, please give us back our dignity in 2016

[dignity / noun, the state or quality of being worthy of honour or respect.] It’s taken me a short while to figure out what upsets me so much about power cuts in Africa. The experience is in both measurable and immeasurable ways un-dignifying. You are in the middle of cooking a meal for the family,…

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Fanon and the South African father

While there is an exciting movement, especially within neuropsychological disciplines, to highlight the contemporary value of Sigmund Freud’s notion of the unconscious mind, it is important not to dismiss the archaic Eurocentric societal tenants on which much of his work relies. However Freud’s psychosexual work need not be entirely derided on grounds of irrelevance. Particular…

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Blacks ‘portraying’ victimhood: Gwen Ngwenya’s tall (reckless) ask of a nation

Unfortunately I am about to do something that I’m not often a fan of doing, namely engage in debate on the internet. One thing I’ve learned about the online space is that it is where people often come to take a mental dump due to its accessibility. God bless us all if Twitter decides to…

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Racism, a distraction that keeps us explaining our existence

“The function, the very serious function of racism, is distraction. It keeps you from doing your work. It keeps you explaining, over and over again, your reason for being. Somebody says you have no language, so you spend 20 years proving that you do. Somebody says your head isn’t shaped properly, so you have scientists…

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Thank you Penny

A preamble: just as Penny Sparrow does not speak for me, I do not speak for any of you. But I am hoping that some of you will at least listen, and think, and reflect. As a white South African, I’d like to say thank you to Penny Sparrow. Without her, we wouldn’t be having…

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