21st Century Apartheid

The Institutional Apartheid

21st Century Apartheid

Over the past few years I’ve been fortunate enough to explore much of the Southern African Countries and Regions. It’s become increasingly hard not to miss the wall of outright racism one seems to instantly encounter after leaving cushy city life behind. Most South African’s are oblivious s to what really happened in the Apartheid years & more importantly what was left in its wake! This made evident by engagements with people who unequivocally believe that Apartheid was a good thing, convinced that coloured South Africa a making a big whoopla over nothing.

The Bad Black man

We could rant on for ages about some of the egregious acts of hate speech & racism that occurs in South Africa with the country handing out its first 2-year prison sentence to a woman for her racial outbursts. This is clearly a problem, but its not what I want to highlight in this article… There is another type of Racism that the world at large seems perfectly happy to ignore. It is this institutional racism that is the actual cancer that continues to eat at & oppress black communities the world over. One of the nails that shut the coffin for non-whites in South Africa in my opinion was the Group Areas Act briefly outlined in the District 6 and The Group Areas Act. A legislation that systematically forced people of color into areas with piss poor infrastructure with no access to basic human rights, areas that many of us still live in to this day. Black people got the short end of this straw being forced to move into places that didn’t even have housing let alone electricity, sewage, schooling or running water! These communities where breeding grounds for inferior complexes, crime & substance abuse which has assimilated into the very fabric of the colored people in these communities. Black people are now accepted to be prone to substance abuse & crime because they are black, and not because they were systematically oppressed by a perverted political regime a fact that we all seem happy to overlook.

Institutional Racism

The apartheid government were so successful in their mission that it is not only white south Africans that view black people in this way, but this inferior complex appears to have found its way into the hearts & minds of the very people it sort to oppress. Many non-whites hold sentiments that clearly demonstrate that as black people we associate our disposition to being black and not as the direct result of a corrupt system. Furthermore, wealth of all kinds is something that is accumulated over generations, a privilege that until a decade ago was categorically denied to people of color. We are basically born into a deficit of extreme poverty & a gross lack of access simply by virtue of being born colored. You need only take a stroll to your nearest building site, mall or filling station to see that almost all remedial labor is being performed by people of color as if it is a perfectly natural thing. Surely these people should just be able to work hard so they can be as wealthy as white people. Surely, they can just not do drugs; surely they can just not resort to a life of crime; Surely they can just not live in some run down dwelling place made of corrugated steel, boxes & ply wood. It is anything but simple when every influence, every role model from birth is steering you down a clearly defined self-destructive trajectory set out by an colonial government intent on your demise.

Black Pride

A poor & often miss understood consolation prize afforded to black people. Not to entirely discredit the movement but most completely missed the mark when talking about black pride. Black pride is so much more that parading the street in Zulu, Bantu, Khoi or Cape Minstrel attire… It’s so much more than the celebration of native languages & culture… Black pride should be just about that, restoring the pride and dignity that black people have purposely been stripped of. To be-able to walk down the street and not be viewed as vermin, miscreants, ignorant or filthy! Its having to not beg for handouts for the basic right to housing, employment, water, education and respect. This is the restitution that is needed in all regions where people of colour have been oppressed, it grieves me greatly to see that no single country has even made a dent in being able to restore what they’ve taken from colored human beings.

Get Over It Already

Not one White person alive today has ever owned a black slave. Not one black person alive today has ever been a White man’s slave. A common argument posed to black people after which they’re promptly urged to get over being fucked up the ass and to leave the past in the past. But it’s very clear to those of still here 20 years after Apartheid officially ended, the past is not in the past! It’s still very much part of our present lives, the conditions that colored people were forced into in 1950 are still very much alive today. I would go so far as to say that its worse, as the corruption & inequality is now self-perpetuating, as previously mentioned the Apartheid Regime did their job well. This is something no black or white person should be getting over any time soon. The problem of systemic inequality will not go away by ignoring it or “just moving on”.

Where To From Here

The perpetrators get away scot free, and the oppressed are ill equipped or just too busy trying to stay alive to realize that they deserve & are entitled to better. I would not presume to know what need’s to be done to solve this problem, it surely cannot be as simple as white people “giving back the land” or “paying special levies” as restitution. But certainly, much more needs to be done to rectify the deficits purposely engineered into all non-white communities. But we seem to be too busy scwobbling about who should not take responsibility for this cluster fuck, the clear aim of the popular quote: “No white person alive today owns a slave”. In the meanwhile the situation in townships continue to worsen with each parsing generation entrenching it’s self deeper and deeper into this perfectly orchestrated mess. It is my opinion that as a collective we should be having a far more open dialogue about this issue. Perhaps an awareness of the situation’s true nature is enough to prompt the response & action that non-whites need and emphatically deserve. Until then I suppose we can all continue to be as complacent in condemning 90% of colored people to live their lives as sub-human simply because We were born with dark skin. The sad truth remains that we have not and likely will not see Freedom In Our Time.

3 thoughts on “21st Century Apartheid

  1. Dear Skeptic

    Apartheid and Institutional Racism is a topic much like religion that has and will for centuries to come, have many different but very strong, emotionally driven opinions.
    The reason I believe is because each generation will inevitably see it form a different perceptive. An article around the Rhodes Univerty #rhodesmustfall movement articulately expresses this in context.

    “One such glimpse relates to the university’s art collection, which includes a body of photographic work intended to reveal the callousness of apartheid. Black people are shown in the wastelands of the Bantustans, in desolate squatter camps, and in the dehumanising grip of the migrant labour system. Photographs of white people, in the same collection, portray them as powerful, privileged overlords.

    Beyond any doubt, the photographers involved – Peter Magubane, David Goldblatt, Paul Weinberg, Omar Badsha – intended them as ammunition in the struggle against apartheid. But if you are a black or even colored student born well after 1994 what you see is a parade of black people stripped of their dignity and whites exuding wealth and success. Even if you know the historic context of the photos, a powerful contemporary context may overwhelm this, leading you to conclude that the photos are just one more indication of how this university views black and white people.”

    The Bad Black Man – Location Location Location
    How the geographical move influenced us,
    Studies have over many centuries proven that the geography directly influences the how a community develops. Whether deliberate or not, the move (District 6 and The Group Areas Act (apart from the forceful and traumatic effects of the act)did not only give coloreds and blacks the short end of the stick, the geographical change would have implication on their psychological understanding of human value that carried on to the generations that followed essentially creating the cascading chain of anger and hate. When examining home-work locational ties, geographers found that spatial proximity to work strongly influences many decision makers, particularly those constrained by economic, social, ethnic, or other barriers. “Spatial mismatch” occurs when some disadvantaged workers must live only where they can afford to and consequently travel long distances to a workplace – as when female members of ethnic or minority cultural groups living in high density, low quality areas must travel long distances to high income homes and offices to perform domestic or cleaning duties. Even social justice concerns are based on geographic concepts and geographic information. The areas colored and black people were moved to would become
    cauldron of poverty crime and mostly hatred and anger to be consumed by those who live in those circumstances. The after effects of which are still carried into the present day. The children born into “free” Post Apartheid years would be so in debt to the their circumstance that what was everyday (such as having food on the table) for a white child would be viewed as white privilege by someone of color living in a colored area.

    Institutional Racism – Programming the hate gene

    Some forms of learning and behavior is involuntary such as in classical conditioning. Classical conditioning is defined as a conditioned response to a neutral stimulus after having been paired repeatedly with an unconditioned stimulus. Growing up, everything you’re told to do is for no other purpose than to earn the approval of others around you. It’s to satisfy somebody else’s standard. It is clear than that the generations following the apartheid era would grow up knowing nothing other than what is handed down to them. It is extremely difficult to unlearn an algorithm once it is programmed into the human psyche as a norm. This is probably one of the most malicious outcomes of institutional racism, though seemingly unintentional it has been the subtle kind of racism conditioning minds to continue believing that it is OK.

    Sadly, generations of hate-filled programming does not bode well for a future that will ever witness change.
    This brings us to generational hatred
    Get Over It Already – Generational Indoctrination

    “Not one white person alive today has ever owned a black slave. Not one black person alive today has ever been a White man’s slave.” The statement clearly benefits the white majority that would be more that happy to forget the past, none the less the statement also expresses the desire to want to move on. I find myself thinking that nothing can be clearly black and white with the simplicity of ignoring the thousand shades of gray that this statement holds. (I digress)

    Generational hatred is still nurtured on both sides of the post apartheid coin. Families and institution still influence either hate or complacency for inherited situations. In some forms very explicitly indoctrinating youth with their views on the matter.

    Where To From Here – The Unknown
    Only by breaking the generational chain of hatred and intolerance—through reformation—is there any hope it will ever end. In the words of the great Bob, “emancipate yourself from metal slavery”. So much of this controversial conversation is due to our willingness to be shackled and chained by the general views and propaganda from both sides. I am a a firm believer that racism no matter what shape it take will be around for as long as we humans are purely because we are such immature self destructive beings. However I do have hope that someday we may be able to move past the barriers that keep us from having an open mind.

    The Collector

    1. We are going to have to enlist you in contributing to the content of this blog should you persist in providing such elaborate responses 🙂

      I find the Geographical influence on a population to be a rather fascinating subject, it’s something that deserves an article in its own right. I’m quite interested to know more about how you think the Geography of the Group Areas Act influenced non-whites. I’ve always imagined that the Geographical influence is restricted to “What You Can Farm” in a region which directly affect how people congregate, their technologies and their cultures. I would imagine the Geography in this context to be an entirely artificial construct as opposed to the type of Geography that would affect a population at scale. That is to say that the Government put them in an area & deliberately didn’t provide adequate infrastructure for their social well-being, they did not move them to a place with barren soil or where only a certain type of crop could grow which is ultimately how Geography affects populations. I would imagine that it was the lack of social infrastructure that gave rise to the Persona of the bad black man more that it was Geography as far as the lay of the land is concerned.

      With respect to programming the hate gene, I’m not entirely sure what their ultimate intention was with the group areas act or apartheid in general. Or if they ever dreamed of what it might become in the years to follow. But the subjugation of black people was a clear & unambiguous intention, and this has been ensured for generations to come thanks to the social conditioning employed by the Apartheid Government.

      The Hate factor is something of great concern to me, something I did not address in this Article. I would argue that resentment & anger are perfectly justified emotions felt by all people of color. Unfortunately Hate is something that follow’s all too easy afterwards. This isn’t aided by the camps that white South Africa seems to have organized it self into. That being the:

      • The mental cop-out – We did not hold slaves thing
      • The all too vocal we still hate blacks
      • Playing the victim – We are now being victimized with this reverse racism
      • And the minority that agree that the situation is un-acceptable

      The problem is that Post Apartheid black people have been left with a ceremonial hand shake between a white & black president and effectively left to crawl and dig them selves out of a mess they had no choice being in.
      I would like to see all people of colors take personal responsibility for the situation. Black & White people should both be up in arms to march on the state demanding that they rectify this deficit. This is as much a white problem as it is a black problem, and more needs to be done by everyone.

      1. Dear Skeptic

        You do describe your website as a platform on which to promote critical and free thinking. There was no mention made of how “on topic” or “long” comments should be. I will take your comment about it as a compliment. 🙂

        Though I agree that the geographical aspect leaves much to be desired, it is my current opinion and I may feel inclined to elaborate at a later stage.

        With regards to programming the hate gene- I too agree that this was perhaps, (and I say “perhaps” because I have no doubt that there were narcissist amongst even that generation)not intentional but inevitable. It would be and is the natural human response to everything that was done to those living in at that time. I would even go so far as to say yes, justified. However Hate – is a powerful emotion and has in this case been carried over to many generation. – Should it still be the driving force behind a movement for peace ?

        The different white Post Apartheid camps are a definitely a discussion on their own.
        I agree that not enough has been done to level the playing field, however I feel that is not necessarily the responsibility of government to effect such change.

        I hope the discussion that encompasses the above and the many other aspects around this topic continues.


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