Will removal of South Africa British imperialist statues remove racism?

In a recent article, protests in South Africa are centered on the removal British imperialist statutes that represent past racism. Protestors are looking to rectify that past violations that continue to contribute to the demise of the country. The removal of the imperialist statues will only drive the undesired behavior underground therefore continuing the perpetration of racism in South Africa. not remove continued racism.

According to the article, on March 9, a South African student protester tossed feces on a statue of British colonialist Cecil John Rhodes at the University of Cape Town, igniting nationwide calls to remove other statues of former white leaders. A statue of Britain’s King George V on a University of KwaZulu-Natal campus was splattered with white paint. Some activists want a statue of Paul Kruger, a white Boer leader in the late 19th century, to be shifted from a central square in Pretoria, the capital, to a museum.

The uproar is part of a larger discourse about change in South Africa, where the legacy of apartheid, the white minority rule that ended two decades ago, is often blamed for economic inequality, a struggling education system and other problems.

Mthunzi Mthimkhulu, a technology consultant and former student at the University of Cape Town, stood Saturday near the Rhodes statue, which had been wrapped in black garbage bags by protesters. Obscene graffiti covered the pedestal.

“We don’t need reminders of where we came from. We know our struggles,” he said. “What we need is things that will take us forward.”

By Sunday, the Rhodes statue was boarded up, its days apparently numbered. University Vice-Chancellor Max Price, who is white, described Rhodes as a “villain” and said the statue should be moved. Rhodes, who died in 1902, was “a kind of colonial warlord” and “ardent segregationist” who made a fortune in mining and grabbed land from the local population, said Paul Maylam, a history professor at Rhodes University in the South African city of Grahamstown. Rhodes was also associated with education and philanthropy, partly because of scholarships that carry his name, Maylam said.

The problem with removing the statues is that is does not remove a culture that has accepted the racial past as normality.

Jim Crow Laws

The Jim Crow Laws is a primary example of how the removal of symbols has little impact on eliminating racism.

The Jim Crow laws were racial segregation state and local laws enacted after the Reconstruction period in Southern United States that continued in force until 1965 mandating de jure racial segregation in all public facilities in Southern U.S. states (of the former Confederacy), starting in 1890 with a “separate but equal” status for African Americans.

Like South Africa there were several attempts to render the Jim Crow Laws ineffective.

The Civil Rights Act of 1875, introduced by Charles Sumner and Benjamin F. Butler, stipulated a guarantee that everyone, regardless of race, color, or previous condition of servitude, was entitled to the same treatment in public accommodations, such as inns, public transportation, theaters, and other places of recreation. This Act had little effect. An 1883 Supreme Court decision ruled that the act was unconstitutional in some respects, saying Congress was not afforded control over private persons or corporations. With white southern Democrats forming a solid voting bloc in Congress, due to having outsize power from keeping seats apportioned for the total population in the South (although hundreds of thousands had been disenfranchised), Congress did not pass another civil rights law until 1957.

In 1887, Rev. W. H. Heard lodged a complaint with the Interstate Commerce Commission against the Georgia Railroad company for discrimination, citing its provision of different cars for white and black/colored passengers. The company successfully appealed for relief on the grounds it offered separate but equal accommodation.

In 1890, Louisiana passed a law requiring separate accommodations for colored and white passengers on railroads. Louisiana law distinguished between “white”, “black” and “colored” (that is, people of mixed European and African ancestry). The law already specified that blacks could not ride with white people, but colored people could ride with whites before 1890. A group of concerned black, colored and white citizens in New Orleans formed an association dedicated to rescinding the law. The group persuaded Homer Plessy, who was one-eighth “Negro” and of fair complexion, to test it.

In 1892, Plessy bought a first-class ticket from New Orleans on the East Louisiana Railway. Once he had boarded the train, he informed the train conductor of his racial lineage and took a seat in the whites-only car. He was directed to leave that car and sit instead in the “coloreds only” car. Plessy refused and was immediately arrested. The Citizens Committee of New Orleans fought the case all the way to the Supreme Court. They lost in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), in which the Court ruled that “separate but equal” facilities were constitutional. The finding contributed to 58 more years of legalized discrimination against black and colored people in the United States.

In 1908 Congress defeated an attempt to introduce segregated streetcars into the capital.

As you can read, racism continues to rage in America as it will continue to rage in South Africa. The best way to eliminate racism in South Africa is to promote positive racial relationships amongst all citizens.

Related Articles

South Africa accuses Gandhi of racism, defaces statue by throwing paint

Furious white groups say South African university’s decision to remove statue of British colonialist Cecil Rhodes following black student protests is ‘racism in disguise’ 

Anti-racism protesters in South Africa use poop to make a point

 

Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.
www.positiveracialrelationships.com
PO Box 1668 Blackwood, NJ 08012

 

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About Classroom Racism Exterminator

Racism is a menace and so we’ve been taught for ages which is the primary need for a diversity expert. However, even in this modern society of today where we see a lot of colored celebrities performing on stage with huge fan followings and of course an Afro-America President for the USA, we are still in a phase where racism exists in all its brutal glory and has been eating away at the society like a plague. Classrooms, are one of the most affected areas where color differences and racism exists to its extremes. Even after decades of progress and a lot of communal efforts at bridging the gaps between colored students, white students and teachers, it is sad to say that the disparities still exist and are just as pronounced today as they were back in the 1950s. Colored students, even in the likes of New York City, are attending under resourced schools or have been significantly isolated and made to be unequal in regular schools. Even if the teachers are well-intentioned, perpetuating the structural racism that has taken deep roots into the fabric of our education system is a tough task and make the need for a diversity expert imperative. Teachers need to recognize the biases that exist within the classroom and also take conscious measures to address them and their own biases of course. James Baldwin once said, “it is your very own responsibility to change this society, if you think of yourself as an educated person.” Dr. Derrick L. Campbell took this quote very effectively and straight to the heart and thus this Classroom Racism Exterminator happened. Classroom Racism Exterminator is an initiative that will teach you about your duty and moral obligation towards eliminating racism from the classrooms. This is where and how you will learn about what you need to do to produce a better society that is free of biases and disparities amongst the blacks and the whites. Because we understand how classroom biases and conversations about racism are difficult and how teachers and students almost avoid the topics altogether, we have put together a range of effective methods and products to help address the problem at hand and talk meaningfully to counter issues related to race and racism in the classroom. Diversity expert Dr. Campbell understands that it takes a lot of courage to talk about race and racism and that racial issues need to be viewed through a very critical lens that can understand and attend to the pertaining aspects of racism in the classroom. And therefore through this website we have made a conscious effort to eliminate racism from the classroom and make the educational system equal and beneficial for all. We know and we understand that there are no words that can actually describe how racism feels. There are cases and everybody tends to deal with it in their own manner. Some might lash out verbally or others might just withdraw into shells. Whatever the case, people don’t talk about it openly and teachers don’t really make a conscious effort at addressing the issue. We don’t really know if our children or if the youth is learning to be educated or become racists in their classroom. Our program is focused on helping children of color and regardless of their race, their full potential. We want every student to be able to recognize and reach their full potential so that they think of themselves as responsible citizens of their country and not regard themselves as worthless human beings. Here you will find motivational books and flash card games, all of which have been designed focusing on eliminating racism completely from our classrooms. The books and the games have been consciously designed keeping in mind the American society and educational system. It is a small effort on our and Dr. Campbell’s part to help this society become a better place to live in. A little about diversity expert Dr. Campbell Dr. Derrick L. Campbell the driving force behind Classroom Racism Exterminator is a dynamic figure and a constant source of motivation for us. He has a Bachelors of Science in Electronics Engineering Technology, Math Education, a Masters in Education Administration and also holds a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership. Dr. Campbell is a well known personality throughout the nation. He has lectured at various events including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Iron Sharpens Iron Men’s Conference and a lot of local churches. He is a personality well dedicated towards eliminating the plague of racism from our classrooms and helping every child recognize his/her true potential not the color of their skin. He realizes how a child would feel if he/she was made to think they are worthless human beings. Diversity expert Dr. Campbell is compassionate and related to the experiences and therefore this initiative is a constant and continual effort to eliminate racism manifested in us, completely from the classroom and from our society.
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