The end of apartheid did not bring an end to oppression in South Africa. The black and poor South Africans struggle to survive takes place under many circumstances of oppression.
The South African laws institutionalized the idea of race. Apart from the South African Law, racism was created by the colonialists, and it has been used in the past to oppress the colonized. Many people thought that racism would end in South Africa after apartheid era. However, it has continued to affect the majority of the black and poor Africans. The black and poor South Africans are considered as inferior and are subjected to various forms of oppression. Following the discovery of diamond and gold, the settlers acquired cheap labor from indigenous communities who were later dispossessed of their land. The majority of the indigenous communities where the black people.
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The poor black majority still carry the damage that was caused by the settlers during the colonial regime. The poor black South Africans are still the major providers of cheap labor in significant mineral mines in South Africa. After the apartheid, the South African community was divided into four ethnic communities namely the Black, Indian, Colored and the White. The blacks and the Indians have been subjected to racial oppression by the white supremacists. The blacks are at the very bottom of the social hierarchy since they don’t enjoy some economic privileges in some provinces. The black men especially the poor have become the scapegoat of all the social evils that are facing the South African communities.
They are often associated with social evils including rape, murder, car hijacking, conmen, baby killers and child rapist among others. The media has often portrayed poor black men negatively, and the South Africans often believe that the poor black men often prey on the white women. The blacks have also been presented in a bad light via criminality and corruption in the society. South Africa is said to be a deeply religious country. The majority of the population is of the Christian religion, and a smaller percentage of Jewish, Muslim, and Hindu backgrounds.
South Africans have eleven official languages including English, Afrikaans, Ndebele, Swazi, and Tswana among others. South Africa is known as a Rainbow nation because it comprises of many cultures and ethnic groups. South Africa has a diverse culture and traditions. The traditions vary depending upon the ethnic heritage of a particular community. Racism in South Africa was fueled by Apartheid which separated the blacks and whites.
The blacks and whites could not coexist since they were represented with economic and social opportunities. The whites enjoyed systematic advantages. They were the only group that was allowed to lead a higher standard of living. Furthermore, they were the only ones allowed to vote. There was also segregation in education, health, housing and leisure facilities where the whites were given special treatment.
The disconnect between the blacks and whites during the apartheid has a created a social division that continues to affect the South Africans to date. Isolation, income disparity, and class in South Africa have also led to rising racism. The social division has contributed to inequality in employment and education and is continuing to subject the blacks into pockets of deep poverty. The efforts of the international community including the United Nations, African Union, and Commonwealth countries played a significant role in ending apartheid which was the primary cause of racism. After South African’s independence in 1994, the national formed the Institute of Justice and Reconciliation to help curb rising racism in the country. However, the efforts of IJR have not born many benefits because over 40 percent of the South Africans rarely speak to someone of another race. Furthermore, the national government has made a significant effort in organizing for national reconciliation events to help heal the wound of racism.
The national government is addressing racial segregation in the institutions of learning, health, and housing. Both public and private organizations have also changed their policies and are employing people based on merit as opposed to race. Additionally, the government has been made to comprise of people from all races. However, the efforts of the individual, the church, national government and the international community have not helped to reduce racism since it is still dominant in some major cities of South Africa.
The people of South Africa have involved the Church in helping them address racism. In the recent past, the church has played a critical role in promoting racial harmony, peace, inclusivity and economic justice. The church is also taking a leading role educating the public on the effects of racism, and building relationships that can end can end racism. The South African people are also taking initiatives to learn their cultural differences which have played a leading role in dividing them. Racism as a form of oppression can affect my relationship with other races because I would be viewed as racist because of the skin color. I can join the church in promoting economic justice, peace and inclusivity to bring to end racism which has eaten into the fabric of the South African community.