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Race

Children learn about race from the state of their classrooms

IOL racism school

Children might not have the language about race, but they do have the language about what they do not have, says Equal Education’s Tshepo Motsepe. South Africa is now a country that services three types of people. At first, there were two: if you were black, you knew where you were supposed to be. Everyone else […]

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‘Black in Cape Town’s’ Kiné reflects on THAT column

kine arms

  It’s been nearly two years since Kiné Dineo Mokwena-Kessi’s column “Black in Cape Town? Brace yourself” was published on IOL and in the Cape Argus and sparked a backlash that eventually saw comments being closed on the IOL website. We spoke to Kiné , who is now based in the UK. How do you feel about what happened? […]

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How apartheid sold its racism

On the morning of June 8, 1988, dozens of children from Washington DC schools spread out across the well-manicured lawns of the US Capitol. Holding hands, the pupils walked one by one into the domed building. This was no ordinary field trip. The children weren’t there just for a civic lesson; they were also there […]

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Five unhelpful responses to racism

Let's get on with the debate then.

Some people have called for “a dialogue on race relations”. So let’s get on with it then. I want to list here, and discuss, five unhelpful responses to racism that pop up all too frequently when there’s an item in the news cycle – thank you Cape Town – that make us awkward about racism. […]

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Fighting the resurgence of racism

Anti-racism work tends to focus either on socialisation dialogues or on educational efforts and is concentrated in only a handful of under-resourced organisations, says the writer. Picture: Denzil Margele

The Anti-Racism Network of SA hopes to find a response to a hardening of racist attitudes, but it must be grounded and open, writes Luke Spiropoulos. This weekend, the Ahmed Kathrada and Nelson Mandela foundations hosted the first of what will become a series of historic workshops and conferences of the Anti-Racism Network of South […]

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The reality of racism

DA members find proceedings amusing during question time for President Jacob Zuma. A number of whites, including senior DA leaders, refuse to face up to racist realities, argues the writer. Picture: Jeffrey Abrahams

Part A: Oh my word, guys, isn’t South Africa, like, just the most awesome place to live in now that apartheid is over? So many bad things don’t happen any more. It’s totally cool. Racism, for example, doesn’t exist anymore. Ja, sure, we like have cultural differences and stuff, and poverty and unemployment are bad. […]

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Let’s talk about sex education: race and shame in South Africa

Sarah Emily Duff, University of the Witwatersrand There are many ways for young people to learn about sex. In talks between parents and children, in the sharing of information between peers, in initiation schools and in ceremonies preceding marriage, young people have learned about sex and sexual reproduction. They also learn about how societies define […]

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How science has been abused through the ages to promote racism

Tim Crowe, University of Cape Town Race in human taxonomy – the science of classifying organisms – has a long, disgraceful history. Individuals have used race to divide and denigrate certain people while promoting their claims of superiority. Some of these individuals were, and are, respected in their time and their fields. They include philosopher […]

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It’s time to take the curriculum back from dead white men

A pyrotechnician lights a flaming depiction of William Shakespeare during a firework display at the Royal Shakespeare Company marking the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth in Stratford-upon-Avon, southern England April 23, 2014. Known as the Bard and regarded as England's greatest playwright, Shakespeare, whose 450th birthday is celebrated on Wednesday, let his imagination roam as widely as his characters.    REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett (BRITAIN - Tags: SOCIETY) - RTR3MDLX

Sarah Pett, University of York Dead white men rule the roost at South African and British universities. They preside over open spaces and lecture halls. They clog up reading lists and dominate the syllabus, particularly in subjects like philosophy and English literature. In eight years of university teaching in the United Kingdom and South Africa, […]

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Racism defies logic – so don’t go searching for any

Adam Goodes

Many commentators have found it difficult to define the actions of spectators in the Adam Goodes booing affair; are these actions racist or not? This confusion is understandable because racism is best described as irrational – and irrational events often defy definition. Many have tried to use logic to support racist thinking. In the 19th […]

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