Mandela Rhodes Scholars

Confronting our white ignorance in a time when #RhodesMustFall

By Roné McFarlane As the #RhodesMustFall debate continues, there are aspects of white reactions that need to be talked about … by white people. There is, however, a danger in discussing whiteness in the time of the #RhodesMustFall protests. You could rightly argue that it would be detracting from black struggles that are receiving more…

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10 useless responses to #RhodesMustFall

By Ntokozo Qwabe As the Rhodes Must Fall movement at the University of Cape Town (UCT) approaches its third week, I thought it necessary to put down the 10 most useless responses people have made to it thus far, and jot down useful counter-responses to them. These counter-responses are collated and developed from real responses…

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Racism, sexism and homophobia: Which prejudice is worse?

By Matthew Beetar Racism is more of a problem than sexism. But sexism is more of a problem than xenophobia, which is less of a problem — occasionally — than homophobia. Transphobia we deal with sometimes, and ageism — what is that even? And dealing with ableism — let’s not take this “reconciliation” thing too…

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Of birth rights and gay rights

By Steven Hussey “Nobody is born gay” reads the headline of a billboard by a so-called “pro-ex-gay” non-profit in the United States. The ad shows identical twin brothers with the revelation, “One gay. One not.” Profound. Ironically, the openly gay South African model featured in the ad, who has no twin brother and whose image…

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South Africa, we can do and be better

By Andrew Ihsaan Gasnolar It would seem that racism is a divisive topic. It seems to me that the rattling of that word bothers people. It brings out such defensive reactions. It is troubling to see how easy it is to become self-righteous, indignant and defensive. We must guard against this tendency. Let us not…

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Racism in SA is real and it matters

By Andrew Ihsaan Gasnolar We have seen the distractions all around us. We have been confronted with a great deal of flash but not much substance: from the protection orders urgently brought (and then discharged), to the newsletters from Helen Zille to the battle between a Chester and Ms Zille. However, this sideshow distracts us…

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Africa, the dark continent?

By Matthew de la Hey “The world is like a Mask dancing. If you want to see it well you do not stand in one place” — Chinua Achebe Do they know it’s Christmas? Well of course they do. They’ll probably go to church, and then spend the day with their families. I find the…

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Listen to immigrant stories

By Anthea Paelo An Eyewitness News’ headline caught my eye the other day, “Zim home affairs call deportations ‘inhumane’”. Being a foreign national myself, I’m drawn to news articles like this but with the careless disregard of a person confident of their legal status in the country. This changed one weekend last month. It was…

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‘Start with the room you’re in, change that conversation’

By Suntosh R Pillay “We have too much faith in leadership. It lets us off the hook so we can say someone else messed up.” This was the warning of Rama Naidu, a panellist at the third annual Conversations for Change in Durban. An initiative of The Mandela Rhodes Community, it was held amid tense…

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Eskom and Sasol put a low price on life

By Alex Lenferna How much is a human life worth? How much is our future and that of our children worth? Well, the answer to both is “not too much” if Eskom and Sasol’s pollution-friendly tactics are anything to go by. Allow me to explain. On paper, South Africa has some pretty decent environmental legislation…

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