Equality

If you’re racist and proud of it, try this on for size

By Lizette Louw Right, here it is, I’m issuing an acknowledgment of defeat – arguing with you on the rights or wrongs of racism has gotten us nowhere and so I am withdrawing from the discussion. Both of us have clearly remained unswayed in our opinions and are standing ever firmly in our convictions. Maybe…

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Excellence in education should be part of our daily discourse

By Busani Ngcaweni All the learners who passed their grade 12 examinations in 2014 should be applauded without reservation. The scores who were unsuccessful should be encouraged by Confucius who, centuries before the birth of Christ, correctly pointed out that “our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising each time we fall”….

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Harfield Village: The bold and the befok

I moved to Harfield Village in April last year. For a little village that basically lies between two roads (Imam Haron and Kenilworth Road) this place has a lot of issues. During the time I’ve lived here I’ve witnessed two domestic violence assaults in the street while others walked by. The first, described here, was…

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The politics of speaking English well

While reading Stephen Grootes’ article, “The politics of navigating the English Language”, I became increasingly annoyed. In a country with 11 official languages why are we overly concerned with how well people speak English? Grootes’ article looks at prominent political leaders and how they fair when presenting themselves in English. The unintended consequence of writing…

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A New Year’s epistle to whiteness

Dear white people, There is no kind way to put this so gird your loins and swallow hard. All whites are racist. Some may not practice racism and many may be anti-racist. Others may mistakenly believe that we live in a non-racist epoch. Some may be left wing and others may be moderate or right…

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Debunking the ‘five million taxpayers’ myth

To evidence the “unsustainability” of social grants, it is often pointed out that in South Africa “there are only five million tax-paying citizens and 15-million social grants recipients”. The insinuation made is that the five million single-handedly subsidise the poor, thus bearing the brunt of the social assistance burden. This argument, however, ignores that income…

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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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Cultural embodiments of the life and death instincts in human beings

Since the 19th century, when the heirs of 17th- and 18th-century British empiricism started thinking of the social implications of the empiricist doctrine, that all we know comes from experience, thinkers like Lord Shaftesbury and his ilk have believed that human society was “perfectible”. After all, if society could be arranged in such a way…

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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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