Racism In South Africa

Words: 1160
Pages: 5

Racism as a concept has brought a host of connotations, mostly negative, to society. Specifically, it aims to justify racial inequality (De La Rey & Duncan, 2003). In addition, it has paved way for the budding construct of whiteness. According to Wale and Foster (2007), whiteness studies aims to turn the academic attention from the object of racism to the subject of racism. The concept of whiteness has brought about a host possibilities and challenges to white anti-racism. Thus, this essay seeks to depict why white anti-racism is necessary for the progression of society. Moreover, it aims to illustrate whiteness in practice and how white privilege is maintained in post-apartheid South Africa. In addition, seeks to explicitly discuss the criticisms …show more content…
According to Wale and Foster (2007), this group is at the centre of interaction between class and race privilege and has a vested interest in maintaining its privilege. Hence, despite the decrease in inequality since its democratisation, SA is still not unshackled from the racial legacies (i.e. cultural privilege and economic privilege in terms of inherited advancement) of colonialism and Apartheid (Wale & Foster, 2007). Accordingly for Seekings and Nattrass (2005), whites in post-apartheid SA, no longer need to rely on an institutional system of privilege, owing to the way in which their race has positioned them in a class system that favours them, especially in terms of capital. Thus, racial injustices of the past will always live long in the memory South Africans, especially amongst its black citizens. Hence, the need for anti-racism mechanisms, especially white anti-racism. Nonetheless, the consequences of the racial inequalities of the past are still prevalent in the country and can clearly be seen in the maintenance of white …show more content…
For instance, one study by Thompson (1984), identifies three ideological strategies that are used by a dominant group (whites in this case) to maintain their system of dominance and identity. Firstly, according to Thompson (1984), legitimization as a strategy was used to justify unequal power distribution (e.g. colonialism in best interests). Secondly, for Thompson (1984), dissimulation as a strategy was used to deny domination (e.g. invisibleness of whiteness). Lastly, for Thompson (1984), reification as a strategy was used to deny history/time (e.g. removing legacy of Apartheid from post-apartheid). As a result, these strategies are examples of how privilege is perpetuated and protected (Wale & Foster, 2007). Hence why the progression of white anti-racism appears as a viable and necessary option, to help address this issue of privilege perpetuation amongst the dominant group, in post-apartheid SA.

Similarly to Thompson’s research (1984), Frankenberg (1993), identified three discourses in her whiteness studies. Firstly, for Frankenberg (1993), the essentialist discourse is where race is constructed as essential biological categories