ANC: Youth must defeat racism

2009-09-15 21:15

Bloemfontein - The country's youth must defeat racism and defy stereotyping which is often imposed by the older generation, the ANC said on Tuesday.

Free State ANC spokesperson Teboho Sikisi said there were many examples of racism, both subtle and overt.

"The disguise is often culture or freedom of association," he said in an article following comment in local newspapers on the University of the Free State's (UFS) announcement that first-year students would be fully integrated in residences in 2010.

This would be done as part of the university's objective to increase diversity in its residences.

Sad reminder

Last week, UFS rector Jonathan Jansen made the proposal to the UFS Council, which unanimously supported it.

Sikisi said the debate about whether the hostels of the UFS should be integrated was a sad reminder of a racial past.

"No matter how hard people try and justify these segregated arrangements, it boils down to racism."

Pigeon-holed in stereotypes

Sikisi said recent letters in local newspapers on hostel integration were "the worst insult" ever to both black and white students.

"They [students] are pigeon-holed in racist stereotypes by so-called academics who speak for themselves and their outdated belief and value system.

"The youth, especially white youth, must stand up in condemnation of such reckless insinuations because failing to do so, will only raise suspicion that perhaps such people are indeed speaking on their behalf."

Sikisi said differences of opinion about certain policy choices and programmes of the government would persist but the temptation to look at such differences purely from a black or white perspective must be resisted.