Tag Archives: race

Times are changing…

It was at a girl’s varsity residence room the morning after we had sex that I read, for the first time, Steve Biko’s I write what I like. I was lying next to her, naked, and she had a handful of books on a bedside table. I read the first few essays, which left me…

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David Saks and the naturalness of white contempt

In Ubuntu: Curating the Archive (edited by Leonhard Praeg and Siphokazi Magadla), Ama Biney notes in the chapter “The Historical Discourse on Humanism: Interrogating the Paradoxes” that Aimé Cesaire notably made the case that Hitler’s crime was mainly that “he applied to Europe colonialist procedures, which until then had been reserved exclusively for the Arabs…

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Mandela Day – a neocolonial exercise in the commodification of the good black

While every other black leader in a post-1994 South Africa has been constructed as an inferior “other” by the dominant discourse, Nelson Mandela has been deified as a saintly black and is held in high esteem by whiteness. He has been hailed as a decent and rational African by the moderate liberal white discourse and…

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Confessions of a not-so-proud Capetonian

By Nicola Soekoe Okay, I said it. I’m from Cape Town and, sure, I love the place, but still my reply to the come-from question usually takes the form of: “My family is from Joburg, but I live in Cape Town.” Four years ago when I first went abroad alone Cape Town wasn’t the sexy…

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How to challenge your whiteness…

I am a white South African man, and when I wrote about the problems of white masculinity I faced a barrage of abusive tweets, threats and even a phone call to one of my work colleagues to complain about my writing. Ironically, all of this proved the argument I was making. More importantly: it proved…

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Reducing Zille-Mazibuko saga to race a dangerous game

By Kameel Premhid and Dan de Kadt In a recent article for the Mail & Guardian, Verashni Pillay, an associate editor, argues that “white mentors need a wake-up call”. Her central thesis is that white mentors are prone to feeling a sense of ownership over their “black protégés” and that they struggle to cope when…

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It’s time to challenge our assumptions about domestic work

Growing up in South Africa I don’t think we realise just how accustomed we are to the sight of domestic workers, nannies and garden workers; people who work for low wages taking care of and cleaning up after individuals that are wealthier than they are. When travelling and experiencing other cultures, this subtle exploitation, which…

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20 years on: A short guide to being white around black people

It’s been 20 years and my how times flies. So much has happened and in the midst of it all people have continued to try and exist within the paradigm of a “rainbow nation”. This effort has come off less like the Mrs Balls advert where everyone really loves chutney (and each other) and more…

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A Biko moment

I’ve been having a Biko moment for a while now. A “Biko [1] moment” is that moment when someone says something racist but I’m left wondering if I’m reading too much into the situation. That moment when I have to debate in mind if I feel welcome in a space because there’s an atmosphere of…

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Khaya Dlanga…white South Africans are trying

By Jordan Griffiths In a recent article Khaya Dlanga looked at race relations in our country 20 years on and presented the argument that in his view black people have made more of an effort towards the process of integration. He cited how black South Africans move to white suburbs, learn English and Afrikaans and…

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