PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
Robert Andrew
 
Comments: 16
Article views: 557
 
 
Latest Badges:


 
View all Robert Andrew's badges.
 

Apartheid May be Dead, But What about Racism?

21 December 2013, 14:14

I think most South Africans would agree that institutionalised apartheid, as designed and implemented by the Nationalist Government, has been buried. Regrettably, many of the products of apartheid remain, like inequality, poor education, disparate economic freedom and disparate opportunities, still exist. Of great concern is that racism still seems to be freely in play.

Apartheid was a fertile breeding ground for racism as it was based on the belief that the sense of justice and desire for recognition of black people and white people are somehow different. The superiority of whites embedded in the apartheid system promoted the belief that the sense of justice of blacks was not as strong as that of whites and they did not have the same desire for recognition or the same need for self-assertion. This belief damaged the entire social basis of humanity among both whites and blacks and is still now implicit in the attitude of a black person who denies that it is possible for a white person to ever understand what it means to be black. The legacy of the hierarchical separation by culture, experience, recognition and worth within which each group was nurtured, and across which there was only the most limited of communication, is still imprinted on our society.

The roots of racism are sociological not biological. There are no such things as ‘human races’ in the way that biologists might previously have thought of them. Any description of a particular ‘race’ is only a casual social designation. 

Humans have an innate sense of justice that is the psychological stimulus for all noble virtues like morality, courage, self-sacrifice and honour. It provides them with emotional support for setting values and for determining what they believe to be right or just. They use this sense to evaluate and assign worth to themselves in the first instance but are also capable of assigning worth to other people. They are capable of feeling indignation for themselves and on behalf of others where they evaluate something to be not right or unjust. This can occur when an individual feels that the group to which it belongs is being treated unjustly, for example, a member of a minority group who feels its rights are not being upheld. The indignation that victims and non-victims feel against racism is a manifestation of this sense of justice. The indignation arises because the victim of racism is not being treated with the worth that the person feeling indignation believes they are due, that is, because the victim of racism is not being recognised and valued.

The inner sense of justice of people, and the desire for recognition that arises from it, is a form of self-assertion. It outwardly projects a person’s values. Feelings of anger will arise when such values are not recognised by other people. There is no guarantee, however, that one’s own values will correspond to those of others. What may seem right and just for a victim of racism may seem quite different to a racist, and vice versa.

Racism is thus an offence against human morality and only by emphasising this will we ever eradicate racism in our society. In his much-quoted speech, Martin Luther King visualised a society in which people would “not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character”. King did not say that they should be judged according to their status or talent but by their moral character and human dignity. He viewed all people equally as ‘moral agents’ irrespective of their intelligence, skill, talent or position in society.

Our fledgling democracy that is based on free market principles and a global economy will not prosper while natural barriers to equality exist. These begin with the unequal distribution of abilities or attributes within our population and the necessary division of labour within the economy. A modern economy cannot be productive without creating winners and losers as capital shifts from one industry to another or from one region to another. Our democracy is unlikely to grow if perceived differences in the equality of constituent groups cause a distorted view of nationalism or ethnicity. If this happens, and there are many signs that it is still happening, we will not be able to share a sense of nation or be able to accept one another’s rights.

To nurture our inner sense of justice and our need for recognition does not mean that we need to recognise everyone as equal. In fact, true freedom and creativity can only come about if we have a desire to be recognised as being better than others. We would never push ourselves to our limits if we simply wanted to be like everyone else. What is necessary, however, is that we need to recognise fairly and with a sense of justice the talents of others, irrespective of their status and perceived equality, and, most importantly, acknowledge their moral character.

South Africa has the potential to be a flourishing developing country with a strong emerging economy. As an emerging society, however, we are not doing ourselves justice. While there may be many other factors, residual racism is undeniably a negative one. We owe it to ourselves to eradicate this scourge and to put it behind us as soon as we can. As a start, the government needs to act with strong moral character. It is not enough just to ensure that the demographic features of our population are catered for in public sector appointments but that all appointments must be based on the strongest levels of moral character.

The eradication of racism may seem to be best undertaken by a ‘bottom-up’ process, i.e. by diverse individuals and individual communities mixing more freely with one another, which, it must be said is indeed happening. But, until the government shows high moral character, and embarks on a ‘top-down’ process to ensure high morals, just and ethical behaviour, racism, I’m afraid, will still be with us for a long time.   

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
16 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
CandK
The pearls of an Atheist Easter

I have an extended family that are Christian, and we are not talking the love they neighbour, forgive your mates and do the right thing, of the good old bishop Tutu kind. Read more...

156 comments 1485 views
Submitted by
Makate Rapulana
The colour of corruption

The word "corruption" is without doubt the most (ab)used and politicised word in South Africa.  Read more...

37 comments 784 views
Submitted by
Makate Rapulana
Who is watching the watchdog?

The late chief justice Pius Langa once averred: “I think judges should have a thick skin. We work in public, we give our judgments in public, and we give reasons for those judgments." Read more...

6 comments 263 views
Submitted by
Narian Chengiah Naidoo
A Civilized Society

Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. said, "Taxes are what we pay for a civilized society." Those words carry value and meaning only if "civilized" is understood as being good, happy and beneficial to all citizens. Read more...

8 comments 562 views
Submitted by
Rodney Bevan
SA under Zuma

Jacob Zuma, along with a handful of cronies has single handedly almost destroyed the country, its people and its economy. Read more...

38 comments 2973 views
Submitted by
The Fox 5366
Illegal Miners: Voiceless Prostit...

There's been a lot said about legalising prostitution so that prostitutes can be protected, receive healthcare and not be victimised. Read more...

11 comments 714 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Digital Media & Marketing Association
 
© 2014 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.