South Africa tackles racism
There are no more than a dozen organizations with a dedicated unit to tackle racism - @NeeshanB— ARNSA (@AntiRacismNet) February 2, 2016
Causes and solutionsSouth Africa should adopt a multi-pronged approach, said the minister, to deal with racism. Mthethwa questioned what people could do if they went beyond their anger. He suggested mobilisation was the answer, and said Arnsa was an exciting initiative. "It's one that we'll support." Nation-building was a project about which Mandela was passionate but we had not completed it, said the chief executive of the Mandela Foundation, Sello Hatang. "Madiba helped us climb only one hill; we had to as a nation deal with our own wounds." He said racism was entrenched in us from the times of colonialism and slavery. "While responses to racism are often seen as coming from government or corporates, there is a need to develop community responses," Hatang noted. "One of our main goals is to uproot racism from families. "We also urge organisations to take the lead and introduce [an] Anti-Racism Week in the workplace; whether it's staff training or a T-shirt campaign. "How wonderful it would be to go into banks or shops around the country and see employees wearing T-shirts that read: 'Racism is wrong.'" Neeshan Balton of the Kathrada Foundation said eradicating racism was the responsibility of everyone, not only the government.
What you can do for Anti-Racism WeekArnsa convener Sean Moodley called on different sectors of civil society, such as faith-based organisations, municipalities, sports bodies and schools, to play a big role in the campaign by hosting activities and programmes that spoke of a non-racial South Africa. His first call to action was aimed at faith-based organisations, which, he said, already played a big role in fighting racism. "I strongly believe racism is a spiritual evil. "Over the weekend of Anti-Racism Week, from 18 to 20 March, we urge these organisations within the Muslim, Jewish, Hindu and Christian communities, to put a huge effort into making this an Anti-Racism Weekend," he said. "We believe you already have the infrastructure in place to extend your reach far and wide." Moodley called on corporate South Africa to take the week seriously and "put their money where their mouth is". The following activities will take place during Anti-Racism Week:
- There'll be an art competition for schools, nationally;
- Dialogues on anti-racism will take place at places of worship – churches, synagogues, mosques, and temples;
- Sporting bodies will be asked to dedicate all major sporting events to stand against racism;
- Arnsa will launch an anti-racism pledge for all South Africans to undertake;
- The focus for Human Rights Day on 21 March will be on anti-racism;
- There'll be a national dialogue on the role white people can play in addressing racism; and,
- A social and traditional media campaign will focus on "Why racism hurts".