Debating racism is good for SA

PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma's views not to debate racism goes against the spirit of the government' s 2001 World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance.

PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma's views not to debate racism goes against the spirit of the government' s 2001 World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance.

Since then, there have been many serious racial incidents against African people, including the incident at the University of the Free State where students fed the varsity's African employees dog food they had urinated in. Like most racist incidents in this country, it had its roots in socio-economics.

Non-racialism is becoming unattainable because racism and discrimination are not just attitudes displayed through imagined superiority, but represent expressions of social and economic practices that continue to deprive and marginalise the poor African majority.

The political education that President Zuma referred to should confront racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and Afrophobia in our racially polarised society. Moreover, the appeasement of certain groups who covertly propagate the philosophy of negative white ethnology is an affront to genuine freedom, democracy and good race relations.

Zuma's approach is reminiscent of Franz Fanon's lamentation on the limitations of national liberation once it takes state power. We can' t uphold and sustain the principle of non-racialism and at the same time sweep racism under the carpet or pursue programmes of false deracialisation without stirring a recipe for protracted social conflict.

MB Skosana IFP MP, Durban

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