Multicultural Studies Indeed the Interests Term Paper

  • Length: 10 pages
  • Sources: 5
  • Subject: Teaching
  • Type: Term Paper
  • Paper: #41381912

Excerpt from Term Paper :

One of the best examples of the mentality behind the development of the pedagogy of the oppressed, with regard to education is the evolution of the official restriction of curriculum to that which the African would need to survive in the economy of labor.

A the solutions to the "poor Whites" problem, as was indicated in the Carnegie Commission of Inquiry into Poor Whites in South Africa in 1932, were not bearing the expected fruits of "innate superiority." Thus, Verwoerd emphasized that the African "school must equip him [the African] to meet the demands which the economic life of South Africa will impose on him" (Mbere 1979, 106).The relationship between production and what is learned in schools reproduces unskilled and semiskilled labor power that allows domination and exploitation to occur. According to the CNE policy, Whites were perpetual parents who had to guide their "children," the Africans. This relationship of superiority and dependence is an essential part of the outlook and function of the ideology of CNE [Christian Nationalist Education] which basically sees schools for the Africans as a necessity in the transmittance of the dominant culture and to reproduce the relations of production necessary for the exploitation of the African labor force. (Hlatshwayo, 2000, p. 60)

There is no more clear an example of the way in which the majority formed its opinions and developed its educational plan to meet the needs of its oppression of the whole of a very large and diverse population. Though education reforms did take place, some would sight the Bantu education reform acts, they were stifled by an inability of the native peoples representation to gain any real ground with regard to multicultural education and ended up being largely a ratification of the black South African inferiority as members of the labor force, who should be taught as such, vocational students. In the example above the ideology even goes so far as to say that the existence of poor white people in Africa can be in part blamed upon the system's inability to support whites in their innate superiority through an education system that was better than that of the Africans, hence the reaffirmation of separatist and elite education delineated by race.

Citizenship and Displacement

With the enactment of the 1951 Bantu Authorities Act came what would be seen as a reservation system. The Act established a group of regions that were known as "homelands." Homelands were independent states where each African was assigned by the white government according to official record of origin of each individual (which was frequently incorrect.) All the individuals political right, including the right to vote, was restricted by law to the region or homeland that one was assigned. Each African would then be a citizen of their homeland and would have no voice on a national level.

The idea was that they would be citizens of the homeland, losing their citizenship in South Africa and any right of involvement with the South African Parliament which held complete hegemony over the homelands." (Chokshi, et. al. 1995) Between 1976 and 1981 four of these reservations were established and though the homeland administrations rejected the nominal independence of each homeland, in an attempt to retain citizenship and some voice on the national level the establishment of the homelands denationalized (and usually displacing) nine million South Africans who were now required to carry a passport to enter South Africa, as if they were aliens in their own country. (Chokshi, et. al. 1995) As a representation of the pedagogy of the oppressed the white minority created and enforced a system that was entirely paternalistic and dictated, every political, economic and social move that the oppressed made. The resistance to such control was great and the response by the national government was to continue to pass laws enabling them to brutally enforce accord, and severely and brutally punish transgressions and protests against the system. The system attempted to fully eradicate any sense of ownership or sense of belonging that might not have been eradicated by a brainwashing education. The white minority not only attempted to alter the minds of the pathological black Africans but they also made the system of oppression worse and worse as white fear of loss of social, political and economic control dominated the reality of the situation.

In 1953, the Public Safety Act and the Criminal Law Amendment Act were passed, which empowered the government to declare stringent states of emergency and increased penalties for protesting against or supporting the repeal of a law. The penalties included fines, imprisonment and whippings. In 1960, a large group of blacks in Sharpeville refused to carry their passes; the government declared a state of emergency. The emergency lasted for 156 days, leaving 69 people dead and 187 people wounded. Wielding the Public Safety Act and the Criminal Law Amendment Act, the white regime had no intention of changing the unjust laws of apartheid. The penalties imposed on political protest, even non-violent protest, were severe. During the states of emergency which continued intermittently until 1989, anyone could be detained without a hearing by a low-level police official for up to six months. Thousands of individuals died in custody, frequently after gruesome acts of torture. Those who were tried were sentenced to death, banished, or imprisoned for life, like Nelson Mandela. (Chokshi, et. al. 1995)

In a fantastic explanation of all the loaded terms that have come to be catch phrases for apartheid and all its atrocities there is a clear and concise explanation of the evolution of residential separation.

Residential areas were completely segregated by law: Under the Group Areas Act, blacks were moved to new townships far from the centers of town. Blacks could commute into work by day, but under apartheid, South Africa's cities were expected to be "white by night" -- except, of course, for the nannies and waiters, janitors and domestic workers who continued to provide services to white citizens. But apartheid went beyond exclusionary politics, urban segregation, or unequal public facilities. Long before the Nationalist Party took power in 1948, the British colonial government had passed the 1913 Land Act, creating native reserves which set aside 13% of South Africa's land area for the roughly 75% of the population classified as African. After 1948, these reserves became "homelands" for black South Africans: (Seidman, 1999, p. 419)

The description of "homelands" was provided previously, but townships were in serious need of explanation and once again show that the level to which the white ruling class was willing to go to retain their position as the "parent" of the inferior South African people is vast!

Employment Under Apartheid

The issue of employment in South Africa has been touched upon through the previous two discussions as in a system where the pedagogy of oppression is so inclusive, the foundation of employment for the oppressed is predetermined to be maintained as inferior and in most cases menial. Unemployment was and continues to be one of South Africa's most foundational problems with association to a multicultural society.

Apartheid, according to the Nationalist Government, was meant to solve the housing problems (of the new labor class) and concomitantly reorganize urban space through forced removals of location dwellers into new Bantu homelands (the erstwhile native reserves). As part of the Apartheid program, Bantu Education was to reproduce semiskilled labor and provide a place for ever-increasing urban youth, which was "increasing the crime rate" in cities (Eiselen Report 1951, par. 1047). Bantu Education sought to replace the missionary schools and to create a new form of hegemony; the new form of hegemony would be located in the state itself and would be capable of securing the support for a segregated education system and the social relations embodied in it. (Hlatshwayo, 2000, p. 10)

The economic realities that ensured white supremacy and ensured black dependence still exist today, as those who have a historically substantial economic situation, e.g. The oppressor whites entered the reformation with those resources while those who's families and selves where repressed enter into the reformation with next to nothing. In fact with the generational foundation of poor education and physical and political displacement many have less than nothing.

South Africa is unique: For fifty years, it stood in the annals of social science as a monument to racial inequality. It appeared in most discussions as the place where white supremacy, authoritarian labor controls, and draconian security laws blocked normal patterns of gradual integration and modernization, where white privilege was entrenched and implacable. (Seidman, 1999, p. 419)

Conclusion / Myths and Assumptions

According to many who look at the noteworthy and fantastic situations surrounding the revolutionary changes that have taken place over the last twenty or so years in South Africa fail to realize that there are several issues with regard to the past and present state of race related conflicts within South Africa, the three assumptions…

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