Forced Removals - South Africa: Overcoming Apartheid

Even after the shift from the apartheid to free political elections in South Africa, racism still remains a huge issue. Although there are now laws in place to prevent racism, it hasn’t made much of a difference in the way that racism affects the people of the country. It has been a challenge that the country has faced for years, and now is seen as a post-apartheid obstacle. The National Association of Democratic Lawyers had a panel discussion at the Cape Law society and stated that, “Racism in the current context has a different meaning to what it was during apartheid; and although the context is different the notion of non-racial activist is still the same as it was in the old days.” In summary, the laws regarding racism in South Africa have changed, but the attitudes and thinking of the people have not changed much since the apartheid. Penelope Andrews, dean of the faculty of law at the University of Cape Town stated that people still unconsciously responded to different races the same way they did under apartheid. Another aspect that contributes to the racism problem is that there is a huge gap between the wealth of black people and white people in South Africa. Andrews also says that racism is a problem, but economic inequality and poor governance creates that problem.” This panel discussion raises historical questions about the root of racism in South Africa and how it has (or hasn’t) evolved over time. The panel also takes into account that the goal of non-racialism in South Africa has become more widely known since academics and intellectuals have been adding insight on the issue.

Around the 1940’s South Africans have coined a policy for this racism, “apartheid”....

Long Night's Journey into Day exposes some of the mechanisms of repression used by the apartheid system. It also lays bare why and how people resist oppression. While its locale is South Africa, it simultaneously helps explain some of the tensions and conflicts raging today amongst many people in the US.

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Figure 2: Students protest against the apartheid in South Africa, 1985.

The film is hard for some black Americans because it reveals injustice that is not entirely resolved in the end. The intense frustration and long-simmering anger we feel as black people living in the United States propels us, I think, towards a politic of revenge. It is extremely trying for us to assume the deliberative quest for the restorative justice, discussed by Archbishop Tutu in the film, as opposed to the more natural drive for retributive justice. Viewing the film, most black Americans will identify with the anger of ANC combatant Robert McBride and the four youth who killed Amy Biehl. And it will seem outrageous that anyone who killed activists in the service of apartheid would be given amnesty. But Mandela, Mbeki and the South African experience itself reminds us that rage is not discipline. It does not win wars and develop countries. Further, it should be recalled that retribution has never been the political rationale of the South African liberation struggle.

South African TRC - Truth and Reconciliation Commission

American observers of South African apartheid and the TRC may be compelled to point at South Africa as a country that has much work to do in terms of healing the injustices of racism. When we draw our gaze back home to the US, what do we find? Are we more advanced than South Africa in our work to combat racism? With the dismantling of Jim Crow and the rise of the Civil Rights Movement, is our task in this country complete? Recent facts and figures about the American criminal justice system and rates of incarceration for Blacks suggest that we are, in fact, far from finished in our struggle to end institutionalized forms of racism in this country.

The Untold Story of Cuba’s Support for ..

Through the South Africa Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the new majority Black government and its allies of diverse ethnicities/races sought to document the human rights violations that were commonplace during apartheid and make modest financial recompense to identified victims and/or their families. The TRC also sought to promote contrition by perpetrators and spare the nation the expense and protracted antipathy that would flow from mass trials of persons believed to have committed grievous acts. Through truth-telling, the TRC helped to purge South Africans of the ignorance, denial, pain, anger, violence, hatred and division that would rob the fledgling republic of the unity and stability needed to create a shared and workable future for all, irrespective of race. The TRC could not, however, dismantle the institutional practices, inequality and Black poverty that are apartheid's legacy. These gross disparities continue to generate societal conflict at all levels in South Africa. Redress lies ahead.

South African Political Geography

Long Night's Journey into Day is centered upon South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The TRC has been a multi-year process of investigations and hearings that goes toward the heart of race and class matters in apartheid South Africa. The process has included investigating and documenting the stories of more than 22,000 victims and 7,000 perpetrators of the apartheid system. The film depicts four specific sagas from the apartheid system and the struggle opposing apartheid. All are about ordinary people, not famous names like Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu or Winnie Mandela. They are representative stories, characteristic of the anguish, pain and suffering which thousands endured, both under apartheid and during the struggle to overthrow it.