The Phantom is here
Trevor Noah was asked by a guest in his show what the difference was between racism in the US vs in South Africa. He said that in South Africa the advantage is that Apartheid was visible, brazen, discrimination was real and in your face; while in the US it was invisible such that you have to prove that what was happening was racism before we can even talk about accountability and resolution.
What Trevor did not acknowledge was that the tables have been turned. Racism has become an invisible Phantom in South Africa, especially in Workplaces. In 1994 a miracle happened, just like in a Christian Baptism a new soul was born and all old things passed away, forgotten and never to be mentioned again. Suddenly we became a Rainbow nation without a past. Anyone who talks about racism is divisive and can be accused of hate speech. This miracle left us with an invisible enemy, a non existent problem that we can’t name and therefore cannot solve .
Eusebius Mckaizer in his podcast ‘In the Ring with Eusebius’ during anti racism week talked about the difference between Anti-racism and Non-racialism. Do go listen but in essence non racialism’s approach is that race is a construct and we are all human beings who are equal while anti racism acknowledge that even though race is a political and social construct; It is real, it affects how people are seen and treated and has to be taken on decisively.
The US workplaces have at least taken the steps in undoing racism by appointing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion officers and not just programs that come and go. This is a rare occurrence in South African Workplaces, if it even exist. Employment Equity and Transformation is an almost a non existent project, look at the Employment Equity Commission report. For those entities who even bother reporting their EE numbers, there is almost no change.
The bottoms line is we need to bring back the conversation on the impact of WhiteSupremacistCapitalistPatriachy (thanks Aunty Bell Hooks) in South African workplaces before all Black women especially; who due to their intersectional marginal identities often find themselves at the centre of all these systems of oppression; loose what’s left of their minds and their physical health.
#genderdiscrimination #toxicworkplaces #antiracism #transformation #employmentequity