Tag Archives: race

A comprehensive guide to white privilege in South Africa

After spending two hours on Aubrey Masango’s Radio 702 show [email protected] this week, fielding questions and accusations around my views on racism and attempting to explain white privilege to white callers, I decided to write an extensive guide to recognising white privilege, borrowing from this anonymous Thought Catalog document, which extrapolates from Richard Dyer’s work…

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The eight ways of being white

As the recipient of much anger from the white liberal echelon to the intolerant right, I was relieved to be sent this link by a Facebook friend and anti-racism activist from Canada. The writer of this blog has extrapolated the essential messages from Professor Barnor Hesse’s course “Unsettling Whiteness”. This is ground-breaking work around whiteness…

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An Afrikaans arts festival and fish out of water…

I always wondered about that phrase, “a fish out of water”. To me, it always seemed like a chosen emotion. That is, you can only be a fish out of water if you chose to be one. In my head, any situation can be accommodated by opening yourself up to it, learning about it and…

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Tribal identity vanishing fast

Recent debates on tribalism and other related matters have generated more heat than light. Agang SA leader Mamphela Ramphele has reportedly accused the government of sponsoring tribalism to divide the country. At an address to students at Unisa in April this year former president Thabo Mbeki uttered similar remarks that rang alarm bells on the…

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SA remains a bastion of racism, while the rest of Africa moves on

How has the rest of Africa succeeded in putting its traumatic racial discrimination past behind it? Speak to anyone doing business in Africa and they will tell you that “race” is not an issue. They will tell you that doing business is not impeded by requirements to have “black” partners and that the concept of…

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Who is black and who is not?

There has not been a time in the history of racial identity in this country when the number of people who describe or define themselves in terms of their race or language group or tribe has been so low. Far too few people continue to see themselves as black (or white even) (8.8%) compared to…

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The black double agents among us

By Tshepo Mogotsi “You speak English so well, where did you go to school?” That could easily rank in the top five annoying questions asked to products of the “Model C” system. And when I answer “Hillview High” (a name that has never and will never feature in any Easter Rugby tournament) a dense cloud…

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Black to white migration: Why black South Africans are moving away from black

Sometimes I wish my skin were lighter, my nose more narrow, hair that would allow a pencil to fall freely when slid into it, with my forehead slopping back a bit, a pair of ocean blue eyes and cap it all off with the white man’s accent. At least that would make my shopping experience…

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Survivor Mamelodi and the limits of empathy

Ena and Julian Hewitt were both 15 years old in 1994. Ninety-four, that sluggishly revered year which we consider to be our glorious break from the horrors of the past. I imagine that they were brought up well. The comforts of a suburban white, middle-class life in check: a good education and great future prospects….

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Trayvon Martin: Fear wears a black man’s face

I wrote this article last year in March in response to the killing of Trayvon Martin. I am republishing it now as a tribute to his parents who not only have to mourn their teenage son, but also deal with the anger outrage and hurt that their son’s killer has been acquitted. Justice for Trayvon…

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