Racism and inequality

09 June 2021 | Opinion

Racism, as has been said in various ways and at various times in this space in the newspaper, is abhorrent and those still finding themselves on the wrong side of history and intellectual discourse should be exposed and dealt with.

Backward thinking that paints people of colour as savages who deserve lesser consideration as human beings is hateful and disgusting. Why these thoughts and hate speech continue to pervade our society and the globe has been debated and discussed over and over again. Yet, a key aspect is often overlooked: the role of governments, especially former liberation movements, and how they have failed to effectively implement policies that bring adequate redress for the economic and social inequalities that still soak our daily existence. This in no way should excuse the overt racism that many previously disadvantaged continue to endure. However, with racism being replaced by classism in the new Namibia, the economic strongholds - left in advantaged hands - have become the favoured measuring stick to distinguish between the ‘civilised’ and ‘uncivilised’. As long as the economy remains in the hands of the few, and financial and socio-economic embarrassment remains the portion the majority chokes on every day, it will be easy for racist elements to continue their derision. We are far from living on an equal playing field - miraculously created by the power to cast ballots in elections. And inequality continues to feed racism.

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