Racism Cannot be Reduced to Individualism – Hlophe


“All ethnic groups in South Africa have their own internal dynamics.”

According to Dr Dumisani Hlophe, the SABC Political Editor, the so called war between Indians and Africans in KZN is a manifestation of class difference. Hlophe, who was part of a panel discussion at a seminar about African and Indian relations in the province, said people must not reduce racism to individualism because there are also internal dynamics within the racial groups.

“All ethnic groups in South Africa have their own internal dynamics, so sometimes when we speak of identity there is this tendency to make these groupings homogeneous groupings but this is not the case because, even within this specific identities there are dynamics of differences. If we are going to talk about social cohesion and nation building we are not going to find a solution. The national question of what it is that makes us a nation has not been resolved post 1994. Most South Africans regard their primary identity, which is their ethnic group before the national identity, meaning we don’t have a common identity,” said Hlophe.

Referencing Christine Qunta’s book Why We Are Not A Nation, Hlophe said two main elements, inequality and poverty, were the reasons why we are not a nation. He said the struggle was about a better life for all but 1994 had ushered in liberal capitalists.

“For some strange reason post 1994 people don’t want to talk about class and hide behind race. If you want to reduce racism you must empower yourself because identities are not a homogeneous block.

“Why is it that we have a face of a specific person, who dominates the identity of democratic South Africa, who determines who a South African is, who determines the heroes we must emulate, what about the other people who played a significant role in the fight against apartheid?” asked Hlophe.

Source: Berea Mail