rights of minorities
A guide for human rights activists and civil society organizations
The perception of minority towards Somaliland.The minority tribes have played a vital role in Somalia.
Child Support Grants prove critical to reducing child poverty in South Africa.Positive impact...
Human Rights Watch says political prisoners are commonly abused by government of President Islam Karimov.
Torture of political prisoners is widespread in Uzbekistan, a Central Asian country courted by the West as a transit point for forces fighting in Afghanistan, the Human Rights Watch (HRW) says.
In a report entitled Until the Very End: Politically Motivated Imprisonment in Uzbekistan published on Friday, HRW cited the cases of 34 prominent political prisoners as evidence that torture, kidnapping, incommunicado detention, solitary confinement and extension of sentences were all widespread. The watchdog group also added that local human rights bodies believed the number of political prisoners in Uzbekistan was in the thousands.
President Islam Karimov, 76, tolerates no dissent in the ex-Soviet state of 30 million people, which he has ruled since 1989.
HRW, whose Uzbek office was shut down in 2011, said its findings were based on more than 150 interviews with detainees’ relatives, former prisoners, human rights activists and a former prison official.
“Whether behind bars for 20 years or a shorter time, these people have been wrongfully imprisoned and shouldn’t spend even one more day behind bars,” said Steve Swerdlow, HRW’s Central Asia researcher and the former head of its Uzbek branch.
|People & Power: The Long Arm of the Dictator|
The report cited the case of Kayum Ortikov, a former employee of the British embassy in the capital Tashkent, who said he had been tortured for nine months in 2009 after being convicted on what he said were fabricated charges of human trafficking.
He said his torturers in the Tashkent city jail had burned his genitalia with flaming newspapers, pushed needles under his fingernails, and threatened to have allegedly HIV-positive prisoners rape him if he did not confess to being a spy.
After a public campaign by his wife, rights groups and British journalists, Ortikov was released in May 2011. He and his family fled Uzbekistan and finally resettled as refugees in the US this year.
Uzbek officials could not be reached or declined to comment, but Karimov has in the past said his tough methods were needed to keep Islamist militancy in check. Karimov’s relations with the West worsened when his troops notably crushed popular protests in 2005 in the eastern city of Andijan during which 187 people died according to the government and 700 according to rights groups.
With no political opposition to speak of and a state media that is highly supportive, Karimov looks likely to win a new term as president next March.
NDÉLÉ, Central African Republic — One day in September, Ahmed Adam, 23, sat on the ground in the regional capital, Ndélé, and rolled a cigarette. Adam was restless. Earlier that week he returned from the capital, Bangui, about 400 miles away. He was happy to be home. But with no money or means to buy what he needed to restart his life, he said, he was waiting for the U.N.-run demobilization program to begin, when he hoped to collect some cash. “If it works, I’ll be a farmer and work in the fields,” Adam said. “But if it doesn’t work, I’ll return to fight.”
Adam had been fighting since 2010, he said, when he joined the Convention of Patriots for Justice and Peace (CPJP), a northern rebel group that sought to overthrow the government of François Bozizé since 2008. Adam fought, he said, for the rights of the people in the north. But it was also to avenge a personal insult that he suffered at the hands of Bozizé’s police.
The CPJP believed that Bozizé, an ethnic Gbaya, was corrupt and that he failed to uphold promises to make his government more inclusive of other regions and ethnic groups. In 2012 a faction of the CPJP, along with other rebel groups, foreign mercenaries and local volunteers came together to form the Séléka, which means “alliance” in Sango, the national language. Most but not all the fighters were Muslim like Adam. The movement often recruited impoverished, uneducated men, and Ndélé quickly became a stronghold. The Séléka gathered strength as they went south, and on March 24, 2013, they succeeded in overthrowing Bozizé and installing their own president, Michel Djotodia.
The Séléka’s nine-month hold on power was cataclysmic. Djotodia proved unable to control his ranks of rebels. They raped women, plundered villages and killed hundreds, perhaps thousands of people whom they associated with Bozizé. In the south, nearly everyone was affected in some way. When asked if he ever killed innocent citizens or committed the abuses that so many spoke of, Adam laughed uncomfortably and asked if it was possible to fight and not kill. “But I only killed other soldiers,” he said.
By mid-2013, a mostly Christian group of fighters known as the anti-Balaka, which translates to either “anti-machete” or “anti-bullets,” emerged in rural villages to fight back. The movement was, in part, truly revolutionary: a self-organized militia of young men armed with rudimentary weapons like machetes and homemade rifles. But the anti-Balaka also counted among their ranks former army officers, many of whom remained loyal to Bozizé.
War in the Central African Republic is usually understood abroad as a grinding religious conflict. Of the 4.5 million people who live in the remote, landlocked country, only 15 percent are Muslim; the rest are either Christian or animist. These communities have lived together peacefully for centuries. The latest explosion of violence, though, has succeeded in pitting them against each other. Victims on both sides have suffered, but the minority Muslim population appears to have borne the brunt of it. Two years ago, there were nearly 700,000 Muslims in the country. Now, according to some counts, fewer than 90,000 remain.
Like many wars around the world that are perceived as religious in nature, and where the narrative of communal strife is used by warring sides to fuel hatred, the sectarian aspect of the conflict may be a result of the fertile soil it grew from. A legacy of weak state institutions, the failure of multiple governments to implement promised reforms, competition over natural resources and the unadorned political opportunism of militia leaders gave rise to the fighting and fed it. Religion coils around these dynamics, increasing the pressure.
Militia leaders on both sides use the narrative of religious war to mobilize fighters in the pursuit of their narrow political objectives, said Beni Youkaté, a Guinean man who works in the country as an informal mediator between Séléka and anti-Balaka groups.
“The crisis here is not at all a religious crisis. It’s military, and it’s political. Quite simply, people have their interests in the crisis, and this suits them to use this ideology, this idea that Muslims and Christians can’t get along,” Youkaté said.
The emergence of the anti-Balaka marked a turning point for the country. Many of the fighters conflated the CAR’s entire Muslim population with the Séléka. Soon they adopted a new goal: rid the country of its entire Muslim population. The Séléka, in turn, launched revenge attacks on non-Muslim populations, in particular against Bozizé’s Gbaya. For the first time, the conflict took on a sectarian dimension. At the U.N. headquarters in New York, diplomats spoke of the possibility of genocide.
Photoessay: Trapped in a Nightmare
Photographer William Daniels documents the plight of 23,000 refugees trapped by violence in the Central African town of Boda
The anti-Balaka attacked Bangui on Dec. 5, 2013, setting in motion weeks of tit-for-tat attacks between the two communities. Hundreds of bodies piled up in the city’s morgues and mosques. More than 100,000 of Bangui’s Christians fled to the city’s derelict airport, which was protected by French troops, and to other camps. Nearly the entire population of Muslims in the west, including many in the capital, fled north or across the border in “an exodus of historic proportions,” according to Amnesty International.
In September 2013, Djotodia attempted to disband some of the Séléka, and Adam, along with thousands of other fighters, was disarmed and forcefully billeted into a crowded, run-down military camp in Bangui. The plan was to integrate them into a new, professionalized army, but it never happened, and he languished there for months. “They just gave us some food, barely enough manioc”— a staple food, like a potato, that is eaten throughout Africa — “for the entire week and occasionally some sardines,” he said. “Life was really hard.”
Most of us go our entire lives without ever standing trial for crimes against humanity. Then again, most of us aren’t notorious bigot Pastor Scott Lively, whose life work seems to be to ask the question: “How can I make gay people miserable across the world?” In the United States Lively’s homophobic messages are largely ignored, and in recent years he has had to endure various setbacks at the state and federal level as equality makes historic gains. Undeterred, Lively has sought out foreign lands where his particular brand of ruthless anti-gay ideas are more accepted. In Uganda, he found a home away from home.
During a Christian “workshop” in the African nation he managed to become one of the principal architects behind some of the most retrograde anti-gay legislation on the planet. Officially titled the “Anti-Homosexuality Act” and more commonly known as the “Kill the Gays” bill, Lively’s vision was nothing less than a roadmap for the total persecution and eradication of homosexuals from Uganda. In Lively’s original design, anyone caught engaging in homosexuality would be executed. A newer bill softened that stance slightly after worldwide condemnation – in the latest version, homosexuals would only be sentenced to life in prison. Unfortunately for Lively, orchestrating genocide in another country is kind of frowned upon, and in 2012 a lawsuit was filed against Lively in federal court in Massachusetts for crimes against humanity.
This week, the First Circuit Court of Appeals denied Lively’s final request to have it dismissed because, well, the whole genocide thing. During his lengthy appeals process, one would think that Lively would lay low and avoid saying anything that suggests he isn’t at all sorry for helping Uganda try to kill its gay population. Instead, Lively has continued to double down on his efforts to spread as much homophobia as possible. It’s gotten so bad that the watchdog group Human Rights Campaign dedicated September to chronicle the various ways Lively and his anti-gay ministry were “exporters of hate.” Scott Lively is the head of Abiding Truths Ministry in Springfield, Massachusetts and is known around the world for his notorious work successfully advocating for anti-LGBT laws in Uganda that could send LGBT people to prison for life. In fact, Lively has traveled the world over presenting himself as an expert on LGBT issues, urging lawmakers to crack down on LGBT rights and the right of free expression.
In 2007, Lively wrote in “Letter to the Russian People,” “Homosexuality is a personality disorder that involves various often dangerous sexual addictions and aggressive anti-social impulses.” And this week, while he awaited his fate at his crimes against humanity trial, Lively told Trunews that homosexuality should be considered “more offensive” than mass killings, because gay people caused the Great Flood that wiped out the human race (technically, God did, and technically there is no evidence of that actually occurring, but who’s counting?). “Homosexuality is not just another sin,” he said according to Right Wing Watch, “it is the sin that defines rebellion against God, the outer edge of rebellion against God and it is the harbinger of God’s wrath, that’s why the Scripture gives the warning, ‘as in the days of Noah.’” In a way it makes sense that Lively would be adamant that homosexuality was worse than mass murder, considering that the mass murder of gay people is what he stands accused of trying to achieve. Lively currently lives in Springfield, Massachusetts, and hopefully soon will have a permanent residency behind bars. h/t Death and Taxes Magazine
Although much of our South African audience is painfully aware of what’s transpiring in their beloved homeland – the vast majority of the international community is not.
Because it’s been covered up by the Marxist elite running our respective medias.
For all intents and purposes there has been a media & Hollywood black out on South African anti-minority violence, and government sanctioned hatred.
Not only is this shameful, it’s proven deadly. Over the past two decades South Africa’s non-black population has been starved, raped, oppressed, forced from their land and hunted down, and the west has done absolutely nothing. Although the media has had a lot to do with this-our own apathy can’t be ignored either.
So why have the EKP championed the cause of the Afrikaner?
Although theirs is a uniquely tragic tale-in many ways it mirrors our own plight in the US. Like Americans, the Afrikaner are a people that turned a largely uninhabited tract of land into a great nation that they are now being displaced from.
In some ways, their plight reflects that of the great Western European folk-people indigenous to a soil they too are being told they have no rights on.
In spite of what are Marxist oppressors tell us, the Afrikaner are a truly African people-having lived in southern Africa for almost 500 years. They are now a quite complicated mix of people (with a large percentage of their rural population having indigenous African bloodlines) and therefore have literally no homeland outside of Africa to return to.
Not only have the Afrikaner people been deserted by the international community, they have also been so by the wealthier elements of their own society.
Their decision-one made in good faith, to compromise with the black African majority and hand over their nation to the Marxist swine now running the show, has resulted in the annihilation of those that have chosen and been forced to remain behind.
The richer members of their society have either deserted South Africa (SA), or have cozied up to the black leadership, leaving the poorest Afrikaners, as well as mixed race people speaking Afrikaans, to die.
So why is the world being kept from this tragedy but continuously bombarded with images of Sudanese, Somalis, Nigerians and black Africans starving?
“That’s an interesting question. There’s a veritable war being waged against minorities in SA, however because the minorities aren’t black, Hispanic, homosexual or Jewish: groups protected by American civil rights legislation-and demographics, American and international Marxists believe warrant our sympathy, the media keeps it under wraps. This is all by design of course. One need only look at the names of the people behind the likes of MSNBC, FOX, the BBC, CNN & global Communism to understand why the Afrikaner are being ignored. Then there’s the fact that the white South African is seen as the last vestige of colonialism by our oppressors. They represent empire, colonialism and hyper-nationalism to the left…And let’s not forget that there are other unpopular minority groups in SA that are also being driven into extinction.” J Sen, EKP Minority Rights & Commonwealth advocate.
In fact in SA, the endangered minorities include the Afrikaner, Anglo, mixed/coloured, Portuguese-Mozambique and Indian populations. There’s certainly no one worthy of Marxist sympathy there….
Our friends at Censorbugbear provided us with truly disturbing photo montage and story exposing Afrikaner starvation.
“Little known fact – South Africa’s 3-million Afrikaners are now living in dismal squatter camps where they are denied government benefits, government food-aid and medical care – and by law, are also denied access the job market…
Picture: Pretoria squatter camp resident Sarie Rossouw is slowly starving to death…
Sarielives with her husband Hennie in a Pretoria squatter camp and is badly malnourished. She has only been visited once by a social worker this past year. Her frail husband Hennie, 70, tries to look after her as well as he can, but it’s difficult without health-care and no regular food supplies.
Pretoria has more than 70 squatter camps housing unemployable working-class Afrikaners, and they are consistently denied government-issued food-stamps and survival-benefits from the ANC-regime.
Solidarity trade union’s charity Helping Hand said in a recent letter to SA President Jacob Zuma that without urgent government subsidies and food-aid, many Afrikaners will start dying of starvation and poverty-related diseases – very soon.
Reports of babies and elderly Afrikaners dying of malnutrition are already emerging this year, amongst others reported by Dutch investigative journalist Saskia Vredeveld in her documentary “Poor whites in South Africa’, filmed in Coronation Park near Johannesburg and screened on Dutch IKON-TV earlier this year. She reported details about the death of a newborn Afrikaner baby – from hunger.
Solidarity’s letter also includes a series of pictures taken of some of the more than 650,000 homeless, impoverished Afrikaners.
There is growing interest from abroad in the so-called ‘poor white’ problem. Dutch investigative journalistSaskia Vredeveld and Australian photo-journalist Dean Saffron were only the latest of a long line of foreign journalists who have reported extensively from Afrikaner-poor camps this year.
- Saskia Vredeveld reporting from Coronation Park, Johannesburg: “Poor whites in South Africa” http://player.omroep.nl/?aflID=11024515
- Dean Saffron, documentary photographer: http://www.newint.org/columns/essays/2010/01/01/afrikaners-hit-bottom/index.html
And this month, a group of Dutch and Flemish students also visited the Eagle’ s Nest-squatter camp in Pretoria North. They visited the camp with its 100 poor residents and played a traditional Afrikaner sport called “Jukskei’ with the residents as part of the Dutch-South African Society youth-exchange programme. Dr Danie Langner, executive director of Helping Hand, said it was ‘very important for (foreign) students to be exposed to all the realities in South Africa, including the large number of Afrikaners who are now falling into permanent poverty and destitution. The students experienced at first hand the reality of the (more than 650,000) Afrikaners who have to survive without water, electricity or food-supplies each day. This squatter camp’s hundred residents live in horrific circumstances in which they are exposed to the elements each day”. The three-week visit by the Dutch-speaking students was sponsored by four universities, the Afrikaner League, the Afrikaans Language- and Cultural society, the Federation of Afrikaans Cultural Associations, Solidarity and the Foundation for the Empowerment of Afrikaans. http://www.zuidafrikahuis.nl/node/28
Defenseless elderly Afrikaners slowly starving to death…
Sixty-three percent of the residents in Pretoria’s 77 white squatter camps and tent-towns alone, are older than 60 years. There is only one social worker for every 4,000 South African resident. A total of 2,100 cases of dire poverty amongst whites are currently being investigated in the town of Centurion by its Council for the Elderly. In Pretoria, an average 1,000 cases are reported of whites being abused and left uncared in dismal conditions. Yet the government’s National Youth Development Agency (the former Umsobomvu Youth Fund) still rules that disability benefits are not granted to such impoverished, elderly Afrikaners.
Senior citizens find it increasingly difficult to live alone in their homes. General frailty, rising living expenses and vulnerability against crime are some of the reasons why they seek alternative accommodation. Old-age homes are only an option for those who receive a state pension, are frail and do not own property or have alternative sources of income. Senior citizens who receive a private pension, however small it may be, are not subsidised by the state and must pay the full unit cost in an old-age home, unless they are frail. The monthly unit cost could amount to R4 000,00 to R5 000,00 per person. [A South African rand is worth about one US dime, that is, 10 cents. So 4,000 rand is about 400 dollars.] Many of these elderly frail people end up in squatter camps.
The government’s social-welfare agencies also refuse to dispense food-stamps to destitute Afrikaners – even to the blind Mrs . Maria Schoeman, below:
Above: these squatter huts are occupied by whites – more than 96% are Afrikaans-speakers – writes Solidarity ‘s charity Helping Hand – which has 640 branches countrywide — to pres. Jacob Zuma. “Serious health problems are caused by the lack of water- and sanitation-services.”
Above: For the first time since the 1930’s, poverty and homelessness has increased dramatically among white Afrikaans-speakers especially. In greater Pretoria alone, there are more than 70 squatter camps for whites and countrywide, more than 640, housing more than 650,000 Afrikaners, reports HelpingHand.co.za charity. There are 3-million Afrikaners in South Africa.
Above: Jurie and Susan Austin live in a 2 X 2 m pump-house and beg on the streets to survive each day.
Above: Martin Venter and Gert van Vuuren live underneath this tree.
Above: Elsie Botha lives in this adapted water-tank.
Below: Australian photojournalist reports on Krugersdorp municipality’s attempt to forcibly-remove 400 Afrikaner squatter-camp residents to a black township:
* * *
This article from a leftist magazine, aside from some politically correct remarks about the supposed horrors of white rule and apartheid (and, after all, why did 100,000 blacks a year sneak from up north down INTO South Africa under white rule???????), is accurate and heart-rending:
Blacks and whites worked together under apartheid but lived in separate locations. The original apartheid plan, destroyed by the Marxist Jews who took over behind the scenes, was to create separate ethnic states (like US states), not just separate neighborhoods, and the plan was that the whole country would be an efficient, white-supervised federation of different ethnic and racial groups.
The prime minister who wanted total geographic separation — with semi-independent black countries — Hendrik Verwoerd, was suspiciously assassinated right on the floor of the parliament in the 1960s.
By Gillian Schutte:
Picture: Media for Justice
Since I spend a lot of time fielding questions around my anti-racism and anti-hegemonic writing and film work as well as attempting to explain white privilege to dissenters, I have decided to write an extensive guide to recognising white privilege. I was inspired by this anonymous Thought Catalog document, which extrapolates from Richard Dyer’s work on white privilege, and using it as a blueprint, I have borrowed from it, added to it and reworked it into the South African context.
1. White privilege, like whiteness itself, is almost indefinable to white people. There are few words to describe the invisible. However, white privilege is only invisible to white people and to those people of colour/black people who benefit from or buy into white privilege.
2. Many whites in South Africa are generally unwilling to engage in the topic of racism – most crying out that we “must move beyond race’ and that they “do not see colour”. This is the new phenomenon of “colourblind racism” that denies and ignores the fact that for people of colour/black people, race still matters because they still experience it. This is because colourblind white people still practice racism.
3. These white folk will make statements such as “we don’t have apartheid anymore” or “there’s a black president now” and “all of that stuff happened so long ago and now there is BEE which has made us the victims of black racism or black supremacy”. But 20 years is not that long ago and it will take decades for the pain and destruction of our history to subside.
4. Because of the transitional system of reconciliation, which seemed only to benefit white folk – coupled with the implementation of a business-biased macroeconomic policy – whites have continued to benefit hugely from the system. Economic studies have shown that many whites have in fact grown richer in the past 20 years – while the majority of blacks and smaller pockets of whites and minority groups have just grown poorer.
5. Yes, there is a burgeoning black middle class and many white people will often use this to point out that blacks are taking over and “stealing” their opportunities. This sense of ownership over opportunities is a sure sign of white privilege.
6. White privilege means not recognising that there is no such thing as Black Supremacy as black folk have not occupied and oppressed the world under a dominant ideology of Blackness.
7. There were also no “benefits” to black people under the colonial and apartheid rule, though some whites will argue that whites “brought civilisation to Africa for the blacks”. They did not. They built “civilisation” on the backs of black slavery, for themselves, and were just recently forced to share the spoils of their exploitative history with the indigenous people of this land.
8. This is because black people fought a long and hard struggle to overturn a system from which they received no benefits. White privilege means you do not make the connection between the struggle and a system of historically racialised oppression.
9. Whenever BEE comes up as a way to create opportunities for the previously disadvantaged, a white person is sure to say, “Race shouldn’t matter as much as merit. I don’t think people should be judged on the colour of their skin. Everyone should be judged regardless of their colour.” So why then do white people continue to judge black people according to their skin colour? Why does critique of blackness by the white regime always centre on their morphology, their blackness, ‘their culture‘, ‘their penis‘, ‘their bad use of English‘ among other things? This message is implicit and sometimes explicit in white critique of blackness, whether in news reportage, art, satire, cartoons or columns.
10. The default here is that white people have more merit and capability and are therefore more deserving of opportunities.
11. White privilege is accusing people of drawing the race card when whites are critiqued for being racist and then saying skin colour has got nothing to do with it.
12. As per Thought Catalog, “It is true race isn’t theoretically about skin colour,” race is “a systemic, governmental, juridical set of processes” rooted firmly in an exploitative history that have embedded “racial inequalities”. Race is a set of laws that are entrenched to favour whiteness and that most often vicitimise black folk.
13. Racism is the law that becomes apartheid and is then replaced by neo-colonialism. As the poster on Thought Catalog points out, race is the hysterical “stereotype that if a black family moves into a neighbourhood”, property values plummet and noise levels go up. Similarly, as we often see locally, when too many black kids move into a private or public school it soon sees whites leaving the school.
14. White privilege is participating in, or giving the order to, or staying silent about, the shooting of 44 striking black men dead because black working class bodies still have very little value in a white dominated system and many white people will think and say that they deserved it.
15. White privilege is the common white assumption that all black people are lazy even though between 4am and 7am, the streets are filled with black folk making their way to badly paid jobs in white areas because they work hard to survive and feed and clothe their families.
“White privilege is reflected the second a person asks why we are still talking about race.
17. These people act offended, angry and often hyper-aggressive if another person calls out and probes their white privilege. They assert vociferously that questioning their whiteness is “reverse racism”. They accuse white people who interrogate whiteness of being mad and ‘other’ them in dehumanising terms.
18. White privilege is accusing a black person who critiques whiteness of being racist.
19. White privilege is asking your badly paid maid to unpack your daily clothes-buying splurges in which you spend more in one day than you pay her for the month.
20. White privilege is asserting on a public platform that a white woman learning to Twerk is some sort of nation building exercise.
21. There are 56-million people in South Africa. Half of those people live below the breadline – the majority of poor people are black. This means they are trapped in a system that favours whiteness and white business at the expense of the poor. Many white people will blame this entirely on the government and while government must be critiqued for failing to adequately change the system and deliver to the poor, white people refuse to see the role of white greed and corporate power in this systemically skewed and racialised economy.
22. White privilege is investing in red rhino horns and demonising impoverished black poachers while never once considering marching against hunger or pointing their fingers at those at the top of the value chain in poaching, which is, sometimes, a white game farm owner.
“I don’t see race” or “we should all just look past race” are two general statements that can only be said by a person for whom race is not a daily struggle.
24. White privilege is entrenched and systemic entitlement because it is the authority to continuously demand presence of whiteness in all transformation processes and using black representation to further their “causes” only when it suits them. If white people are not in charge of transformation processes, which has become a white industry, they cry racism.
25. If black organisations spring up to take charge of their own representation and transformation white people will use sympathetic media to make a huge hullaballoo about the exclusion of whiteness and label it racism instead of seeing it as self-determination. This has ensured that the means-of-production has mostly remained in the hands of white business and has created another industry from which whites can benefit – the constant training of black people.
26. White privilege is being able to endlessly exploit black body for financial gains and pat themselves on their backs for doing “good” and “beneficial” work.
27. White privilege is the groundless fear that affirmative action programs are going to open the way for “the blacks to take over”, or more specifically to take “my position” at university or in the workplace. As the poster on Thought Catalog points out, white privilege is the assumption that the position is yours by default of being white.
28. In South Africa black people have also often been overlooked for coloured or Indian people for leadership positions in institutions of learning. This is because white people perceive minorities as less threatening and have more inherent trust in those who are not “fully black”. It is a deeply entrenched prejudice towards blackness that has been cultivated and passed down from generation to generation over the past four centuries.
29. White privilege is not noticing that in a country that is majority black and has a black government, the amount of black teachers and lecturers in schools, colleges and universities is not representative of the country’s demographics. Neither is the number of black directors of NGOs in civil society, or owners of film companies and media outlets. The corporate world remains largely untransformed too.
30. White privilege is blaming this on perceived black incompetence rather that seeing how the system is designed to provide opportunities for white people, then Indian and coloured people, and lastly black people, excluding the small black elite and elements of burgeoning black middle class. This is the racialised hierarchy of privilege entrenched in the apartheid system and still in place today. White privilege is accepting this status quo to preserve white benefit and ignoring the negative impact it has on the next generation.
31. White privilege is also blaming the poor for their poverty instead of looking at systemic issues that create poverty.
32. White privilege means not constantly having your intelligence or integrity questioned just because you are black. It means not having to work that much harder just to safeguard yourself from deleterious critique when you achieve prominence. It means never having to second-guess yourself about your competence or being sideswiped by disparaging comments by white people who are shaken by your success. It means not automatically being suspected of being open to corruption. It means not being racially profiled as the rapist, the tsotsi, the hijacker and the monster in the shadows, simply because you are black and male.
It means that if you are raped you are more likely to see justice.
33. Whiteness is invisible to white people. In his book White, Richard Dyer describes this phenomenon by explaining that since “whites are everywhere in representation… they seem not to be represented to themselves as whites” He describes this as the representational power of whiteness, which immunises whites against typecasting. Whiteness ‘culture’ has the innate belief that whites are both boundless in multiplicity yet homogeneous in their representation of good humanity: “At the level of racial representation, in other words, whites are not of a certain race, they’re just the human race”.
A white person doesn’t think of themselves as white. We are just people.
White people very quickly revert to being ‘White’ when they need to differentiate themselves from perceived “bad behaviours” of “these people” though.
34. As the Thought Catalog poster points out, when we talk about white privilege, we’re not only talking about being wealthy. Wealth is about class and we all know there is a small elite class of black and minority groups in South Africa (onto whom many whites project all elements of corruption and unfair power acquisition as they somehow think blacks do not deserve to be rich). What we are talking about a set of automatic but invisible advantages, like never being told that we speak well.
35. It means never having someone walk towards you with a face-cracking smile that seeks to prove that this white person is okay with black folk and is inwardly congratulating herself for her magnanimous and non-racial attitudes. It means never being spoken to in broken stilted English in a fake African accent.
36. White privilege is knowing that the stuff you are taught at schools and universities is largely centred on your culture and value system.
37. White privilege is appropriating aspects of black culture in carnivalesque situations such as “Rag or pantomime” or as some kind of fun celebration but then “returning to whiteness” with no inkling of the experience of living black.
38. White privilege is claiming you are “African” and into “Ubuntu” but doing and saying nothing about the inequalities you see around you, thus maintaining your white privilege while assuming commonality and brotherhood with those exploited by the system of which you are a beneficiary.
39. It means co-opting and appropriating black words to push your own business while not fully understanding or practicing the meaning of the indigenous knowledge that you colonise with little reflection on the privileged act of stealing from black awareness.
40. White privilege is thinking it is normal to say you are not racist because you have no problem with “these people”.
“Not all white people are racist, but all white people have white privilege.
This is so even in a country that is African – because we belong to and are privileged by a “white regime” that is global and not just a local neo-colonial phenomenon.
42. ‘The first step to overcoming racism is recognising you have white privilege. You cannot deconstruct a social construct if you do not recognise how you have benefitted from it as a white person. While I have never really been economically privileged, with a single-mother household for most of my childhood, I know I have white privilege by virtue of having white skin and that definitely has an effect on how I am perceived in the world.
When you are cognisant of your own white privilege, you are better equipped to “see and understand systemic discrimination and inequality” and begin to deconstruct it from within. It is hard to imagine being anti-racist without being anti-imperialst and anti-neoliberal as these are the very systems that perpetuate inequality and racism globally.”
44. I am sure there are many more examples of white privilege and I invite readers to please add to this list by sending me your examples of white privilege.
To follow… the many responses to how white privilege impacts on people’s lives that I received to this article.