Browsing Tag

Race

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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Not talking about racism is not the solution

It’s not cool to talk about a “global war on terrorism” (GWOT) largely because former US president George Bush gave the expression a bad name. His successor, Barack Obama, explicitly dropped the expression, stating that: “We must define our effort not as a boundless ‘Global War on Terror’, but rather as a series of persistent, […]

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Let’s tackle racism where it lives

Ant-racism campaign with iol

It has been an interesting few months in terms of race relations in South Africa, with social media storms over remarks made by KZN estate agent Penny Sparrow, mobile gym owner Justin van Vuuren, economist Chris Hart and eNCA anchor Andrew Barnes, among others. Sparrow and Van Vuuren made seriously derogatory comments about black people, […]

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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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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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Why culture, not race, determines tastes in music

Music is culturally - and not racially - ingrained. Reuters/Andrew Winning

Winfried Lüdemann, Stellenbosch University One frequently hears questions such as: Why do different races generally listen to specific genres of music? Why do music genres have a huge racial divide? In societies obsessed with and manipulated by the notion of race, these questions are understandable. But it is also understandable that, for many forward-thinking people, […]

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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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