African Studies Racial Policy The Term Paper

  • Length: 8 pages
  • Sources: 3
  • Subject: Race
  • Type: Term Paper
  • Paper: #34202767

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Of course, a separation of the races meant really the preservation of white superiority at the expense of those formerly enslaved. The law mandated distinct facilities for Whites and Blacks. Everything from schools, to transportation, movie theaters, hotels, and even public restrooms were carefully segregated. Few Black only facilities approached white ones in quality or amount of money expended on their upkeep. Black public schools were notoriously inferior as were hospitals and other essential services. As arguments about the disparities became more apparent toward the mid-Twentieth Century, the South sought to defend its segregationist policies by - in the case of medical schools - expanding and consolidating its physician training facilities so as to avoid providing more facilities for Blacks. A plan was actually floated, not to increase Black enrollment at the South's twenty-six medical colleges, but rather to consolidate all training of Black medical personnel at a single facility.

The conflict between present needs and social ideals showed the determination of the old guard to defend the established order.

True apartheid came later to South Africa, but it was even more virulent. Nico Diederichs, in his Nationalism as a Worldview and Its Relationship to Internationalism put forth the argument that the question of Afrikaner success in the modern world was one of one ethnic group vs. another, and that these ethnic groups, whether Afrikaner or African, were created by God - a view shared by traditional Dutch Calvinist theologians such as Abraham Kuyper.

The need to preserve one culture over another, and to guarantee its prerogatives, represented an Afrikaner response to the dislocating effects of modernity. An essentially agrarian people, they had not only been dominated by the British, but had also been forced into unfamiliar cities where they had been compelled to compete against Blacks who were paid lower wages.

The Apartheid argument, then, was somewhat similar to the argument made by Southern Whites, but with a greater emphasis on modern sociological theory. Extreme segregation was to be enforced across all groups - White, Colored, and Black - as a means of holding each group to its proper, heaven-ordained socio-economic sphere. More complete than the system employed in the American South, even things such as residential neighborhoods and transportation access facilities, like stairways, were divided by a literal color line. Legally enforced racial neighborhoods reflected a belief in the total separation, or "differentness" of each group as espoused by the quasi-religious philosophy of apartheid. In keeping with the fundamentalist traditions of Dutch Calvinism, the Afrikaners naturally saw themselves as the elect, a people born to rule and to hold the highest position within society. It was thus hardly odd that other groups should be kept at a lower level. What set South African apartheid even further apart from the legal discrimination practiced in the Southern United States was the fact that, in the South African example, it was a minority that ruled over a vast population of "inferior" races. Again, this was in keeping with the tenets of apartheid racial/religious theory. How could there be anything strange about a "master race," no matter how small in numbers, dominating inherently - according to Holy Writ and modern science - inferior peoples?

So, when Apartheid was eventually ended in South Africa it was with much greater difficulty than attended the demise of Jim Crow in the United States. American legal racial bias was gradually torn away by a serious of judicial decisions and legislative enactments. Under strong pressure from civil rights activists, like Dr. Martin Luther King, public attitudes began to change, and public policy soon followed. A continual campaign has kept up the pressure on potential backsliders and, even today, activists keep a ready eye toward any instances of even covert discrimination. In South Africa; however, for a long time popular movements were crushed by a virtual secret police. A totalitarian apparatus existed alongside the democratic institutions of a modern "First World" state that gave undue benefits to those of White European decent. Africans, and many coloreds, lived as though in a Third World country. Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress, and other groups, struggled to achieve results. International pressure mounted to the point of the virtual isolation of the South African apartheid regime, until at last, the government was peacefully opened up to all. An African majority was elected that reflected the real composition of the nation, and all South Africans began to move slowly down the road to enjoyment of equal civil, social, and economic rights and opportunities. Both in the United States and South Africa, Blacks and other minorities continue to fight for their rights, but considerable progress has been made, and all can look forward to a hopeful future.

Works Cited

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Mitchell, Laura J. "This Is the Mark of the Widow": Domesticity and Frontier Conquest in Colonial South Africa." Frontiers - a Journal of Women's Studies 28.1-2 (2007): 47+.

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Postma, Johannes. "10 the Dispersal of African Slaves in the West by Dutch Slave Traders, 1630-1803." The Atlantic Slave Trade Effects on Economies, Societies, and Peoples in Africa, the Americas, and Europe. Ed. Joseph E. Inikori and Stanley L. Engerman. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1992. 283-297.

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Joseph Boskin, Into Slavery: Racial Decisions in the Virginia Colony (Philadelphia J.B. Lippincott, 1976) 38. http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5022185400

Laura J. Mitchell, "This Is the Mark of the Widow": Domesticity and Frontier Conquest in Colonial South Africa," Frontiers - a Journal of Women's Studies 28.1-2 (2007). http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=84363694

Reinhard Zimmermann, and Daniel Visser, Southern Cross: Civil Law and Common Law in South Africa (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996) 46. http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5024470432

Christopher a. Luse, "Slavery's Champions Stood at Odds: Polygenesis and the Defense of Slavery," Civil War History 53.4 (2007). http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=14508954

Richard Pollak, Up against Apartheid: The Role and the Plight of the Press in South Africa (Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 1981) 5-6. http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=14508954

Richard Pollak, 6, 1981. http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5002015912

Karen Kruse Thomas, "Dr. Jim Crow: The University of North Carolina, the Regional Medical School for Negroes, and the Desegregation of Southern Medical Education, 1945-1960," the Journal of African-American History 88.3 (2003). http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=113156890

Eric P. Louw, the Rise, Fall, and Legacy of Apartheid (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2004) 28-29. http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=113156890

Eric P. Louw, 28, 2004.

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