What about demographic representation?

South African politics can be amusing and it can also be surprising what upsets people. The new big controversy has been a cartoon published by Eye Witness News which has been condemned as racist. Even more ridiculous, the ANC actually claims the cartoon undermines the democratic process. Sure, it’s going to upset some people but it’s hardly undermining democracy. Continue reading

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Was Varsity Newspaper’s article racist?

UCT's dating poll (source: News24)

UCT’s dating poll (source: News24)

It seems a graph in UCT’s student newspaper, Varsity Newspaper, has caused quite a bit of a stir after publishing a pie chart with the title, “UCT votes on most attractive race.” (Story on News24 and iol.)

With South Africa’s extreme sensitivity to racial issues it didn’t take long for people to start denouncing the paper. According to News24:

Some Twitter users, including human rights activist Zackie Achmat, voiced their disapproval. @ZackieAchmat referred to the chart as “racist nonsense”. Another user, @ednake89 tweeted “this is the kind of bullshit UCT’s Varsity newspaper publishes”.

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Divisive views promoted by the President

South African Coat of Arms

You would think the president would make an effort to unite people to create a stable country where people can go about their lives in peace and equality. You’d be wrong. What we actually get is the president saying this:

Let us solve African problems the African way, not the white man’s way.

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A replacement to affirmitive action should address the effects of Apartheid

In the past weeks there have been two big news stories surrounding affirmative action and racism. First was the story that South African Airways was rejecting applications from Whites for their cadet pilot programme which was followed by news that Woolworths was excluding Whites from it’s recruitment process. SAA later ammended the programme to allow White applicants while Woolworths has denied the accusations of racist employment practices as they are in line with employment equity policies. SAA for example claims that 85% of it’s pilots are White compared to 9,2% of the general population so it was just trying to address the imbalance. While there may be an imbalance I believe that this is entirely the wrong way to go about fixing it. Continue reading

Stop looking at race and start solving our problems

Apartheid Sign: Is it really different to reserving job positions for blacks?

The idea of writing this came to me a couple of weeks ago when The Telegraph published an article about Richard Dawkins. The article, strangely, criticised Dawkins because it found out that some of his ancestors had owned slaves. This is peculiar because Dawkins can not be held responsible for the actions of his ancestors, especially people that were alive before he was even born. It is true that he might have benefited from any wealth that had been amassed by those ancestors, but that is just an accident of fate, again something he has no responsibility for.

This got me thinking about issues of affirmative action in South Africa and whether it makes sense. Everyone knows that South Africa has a history of racial discrimination. Some races were considered inferior and that has left a large wealth and education disparity today. None of that can be ignored and we need to find some way to undo the effects of apartheid. Continue reading