“We have to move away from the concepts of color and race, because this is what apartheid is.” Oliver Tambo.
“Apartheid” comes from the Afrikaner language (old Dutch); it means “separateness”.
The funny thing about racism, discrimination, segregation, apartheid and the likes is that they are based on… nothing. Race is an invention; it does not exist. Humans are coded by their DNAs. Two humans may look far apart, but their coding material will never be more than 0.5% apart; the average difference between two humans is 0.1%, akin to 1 cent in 10 dollars.
Our species, Homo sapiens, has been around for 200,000 years. Race is mentioned nowhere in prehistory or history for at least 199,000 years. The first reference to race was done after Christopher Columbus, in 1492, on his way to India, bumped, by chance into a continent unknown to him, later called America. Some 270 years earlier (1210), the Africans from the Mali Empire had already reached America.
Race is the invention of greed, of European greed. In Africa and the Americas, gold had always been around. No one really cared much. But in indigent, poor in natural resources, socially backward Europe of the Middle Ages, gold had a grand value.
It is very arduous to extract the precious metal from rocks and from the underground, it is therefore fashionable to have someone do the job for free. To justify slavery (i.e. morphing humans into labor animals), it was easy to pretend that “these people” were inferior, therefore destined to serve and to belong to the masters.
All humans have two eyes, two legs and two arms. Phenotypically, skin shade is the most differing (but superficial and insignificant) characteristic. So black, from one day to the next, turn bad, and white became god-chosen.
Thus, was born the senseless white supremacy theorem. It cannot be proven scientifically, or by any other means. Therefore, the alloy of falsities and terrorism was imposed by religion and by violence to exploited and violated non-whites.
When George Harrison discovered gold in July 1886 in Witwatersrand, near Johannesburg, it was no question for the white foreign minority to share it with the black African autochthons. Over the next century, they artfully divided the population into four separate strata: White, Coloured, Asian, and Black.
They created the artificial tenets that would keep these groups separated and sparring. They were even able to create differences between the Africans. Finally, they set up the repressive and military systems that would physically eliminate those who disagree.
The 70% black majority was forced to live in the poorest 11% of their own territories, divided in Bantustans; they needed a permit to get out. They were not offered service anywhere. By law, Coloured must live apart from Asians. No group was permitted to mix with the next. On this backdrop, for a miser salary, the poor minors extracted the precious metal for the masters’ wellbeing.
The white minority became filthy rich. The black majority, treated like cattle, living in squalid quarters, sank into despair and abject poverty, maintained by savage repression.
There enter the civil rights activists: terrorists for some, freedom fighters for others…
(The Traveller, Sunday, October 8, 2017)