Are we making progress in removing apartheid constructs – thoughts on freedom


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This topic contains 6 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  sylvia hammond 1 month, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #70390

    sylvia hammond
    Keymaster

    We have just had Freedom Day, and I am sure it means different things to different people. It occurs to me that there are different kinds of freedom. Yes – one freedom is to vote; another is economic freedom – to be able to participate and have a stake in the economy; but what about the freedom to think, to have access to information? That’s what this site is all about – training – skills development – learning – development.

    A recent discussion on Facebook reminded me – that the four apartheid created classifications still exist – as realities in everything we do in skills development.

    The putting of people in groups that have no scientific grounds is social engineering. The United Nations call that a “crime against humanity”.

    We know that the skills development structures under DHET continue to use those classifications – SDFs are finishing their ATR/WSPs – SETA statistics continue to use the 4 classifications, and report to the DHET IT system.

    Under Department of Labour, in Employment Equity, not only do we have the 4 classifications, but we also have an “Other”.

    The purpose of the Employment Equity and the Skills Development Acts is to redress what was done.

    I used to think – in management terms – that it was necessary to achieve redress in exactly those terms, but I was wrong. The artificially created constructs have become solid realities.

    The question is: have we made any progress if we continue to use these classifications? When will we change them?

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  • #70396

    Des Squire
    Participant

    Lovely question and some great thoughts. Like you I fail to understand why we still use language and thought processes from a by gone era. EE and skills development are supposed to wek out the inbalances of the past but are failing to do so. We continue to place people in boxes and to stereo type. this in itself is a cause of many of our current problems. Referring to me as a white person or to another as a black or coloured person just problonge the ill feeling of the past. God created man, and male and female speciesd was the result. No one ever referred to black, white , coloured or Indian. It is the same when we speak of culture and diversity. We again stereotype people based on culture, religion, sexual orientation and so on. We need to just accept we are all equal but very different. We look different and we thing differently. We need to just accept the difference remembering that eash individual has a right to choice and to be different. None of us have a right to claim that our looks, our race, our religion, our culture etc are the right one. We are all unique, and we are all equal in our diversity.

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    • #70401

      sylvia hammond
      Keymaster

      Thank you for your reply Des.

      While I was reading your response, I realised that we are an example of the point. We may have the same skin colour, but apart from our different genders, I know from our previous conversations that we have completely different religious beliefs.

      Before I posted this discussion, I wondered whether it should rather be in the Training Providers discussion group. In the interactions I have, I notice how consumed we are by the administrative bureaucracy – and miss the fundamental objectives of development.

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  • #70413

    Des Squire
    Participant

    Racist and racialism – is there a difference??
    Much has been said recently in the press and other forms of media on the subject of racism. What concerns me is what appears to be a lack of understanding as to what exactly racism is. Under no circumstances can I or do I personally condone racism and I must point out it is not my intention to defend racism or racist behaviour.
    So what is a racist? Racist can be defined as: “The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races”. (English Oxford Dictionary) The dictionary further refers to it as “Prejudice, discrimination or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior”
    An example might be the belief that a white person is superior to a black person simply because one is white and the other is black. Another example would be refusing to hire a person of a particular race group for a job because of his or her race.
    • Prejudice – an unreasonable dislike of or preference for a person, group, custom, etc., especially when it is based on their race, religion, sex, etc.
    • Discrimination – The unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex:
    • Antagonism – Active hostility or opposition towards a person
    Dictionary.com defines racist as “a belief or doctrine that inherent differences between the different human racial groups determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to dominate others or that a particular racial group is inferior to the others.”
    Examples of some forms of racism would be where a government, a policy or a system fosters the above as this would lead to discrimination and/or hatred and intolerance of other races.
    Understanding the above and coming to grips with what a racist is – leads us to ask what then is racism? Racism is defined as “The mindset of consistently acting under the assumption that the actions of others are racially motivated whenever they concern members of separate races. In order to act in a racialist perspective, one must first make sweeping stereotype statements about the character of the person that they are judging, often in a racist manner, thus making one a racialist. So when we say all black people or all white people or all Indians are racists we are in fact being racists in doing so.
    Racialists can commonly be identified by noting their tendency towards bringing the topic of race into every discussion concerning members of different races, especially in cases in which race has no basis. So much of what is said in the media and press is in fact racist in itself because sweeping statements are being made where race is brought into the topic where race has no bearing whatsoever.
    Think about this statement – Racism is not the same as racialism though they are occasionally used interchangeably. In some cases racialists are often the more staunch anti-racist people.
    “Racism is: A belief or doctrine that inherent hierarchical differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior.

    Racialism is: A belief in the existence and significance of racial differences, but not necessarily that any hierarchy between the races exists. Racialists typically reject claims of racial superiority.
    Another way to put it is to say that a racist believes that interracial relationships are fundamentally wrong. A racialist, however, may simply prefer to date people within his or her own race because they believe other races will be incompatible.
    The reason I make this distinction is that I believe racism is currently on the fringes of social thought, while racialism remains prevalent in the mainstream. What we call institutionalised racism would more accurately be described as institutionalised racialism.
    At any rate, both are dangerous to varying degrees, and must be combated with information, temperance, and understanding
    Source (therealkenjones.wordpress.com/2012/03/19/racism-vs-racialism/)
    Racialism entails a belief in the existence and significance of racial categories, but not necessarily in a hierarchy between the races or in any political or ideological position of racial supremacy. Racialism then does not have to be negative – it is not prejudicial.
    Racism is the belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial difference produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.
    Des Squire (Managing Member)
    AMSI and Associates cc
    des@amsiandassociates.co.za

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  • #70417

    sylvia hammond
    Keymaster

    Thank you Des, Please read your last two sentences – the second to last one I think should refer to racialism.

    Then I would add an additional comment – and that is affirmative action. That is specifically intended to redress previous actions, such as various forms and categories of exclusion – some form of discrimination.

    So in the UK it is called positive discrimination, in India there is reservation, and in Canada they have the same as we do in SA – employment equity, which includes affirmative action.

    The problem I realise – is that to achieve affirmative action, the categories of the previous discrimination are used.
    So the question is: how do we achieve redress without perpetuating the previous discrimination?

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  • #70421

    Des Squire
    Participant

    You are quite right sylvia. I unfortunately cannot find a means to edit this???

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  • #70431

    sylvia hammond
    Keymaster

    Thanks Des – I have edited. It leads to a technical question – do you see a blue line with the date and time above your photo – and it have various options including edit in it?

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