‘Reverse racism’ doesn’t exist: Human Rights Commission

 ·8 Jan 2016

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) said it does not recognise the concept of ‘reverse racism’.

South Africa has seen a number of nasty racism incidents over the past week which have led to much outrage, particularly on social media sites Twitter and Facebook.

Many of the perceived incidents of racism have led to citizens questioning the definition of the word.

“Racism, racial discrimination, and hate speech are wrong and unlawful regardless of perpetrator’s colour – be it white or black. Report it to the SAHRC,” said advocate Thuli Madonsela, the Public Protector of South Africa.

“Nobody is born racist. Like all bigotry, racism is learned through socialization and can be unlearned.

“Events in last few days have awakened us to the fact that we can’t continue to turn a blind eye to the festering culture of public insults,” said Madonsela.

BusinessTech put the question of racism to the SAHRC, a state institution established to support constitutional democracy.

The SAHRC is mandated to protect and assess the observance of human rights in South Africa and was established to investigate prima facie violations of human rights as contained within the Bill of Rights – which is Chapter Two of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.

“We do not recognise the concept of ‘reverse racism’ as that would presuppose that there are different kinds or categories of racism.

“Racism is racism, irrespective of the colour of the victim or perpetrator. If a black person only leases his/her rental apartments to other black persons, such a person would be guilty of racism.”

The Oxford Dictionary defines racism as: Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior.

The Free dictionary by Farlex describes ‘reverse discrimination’ as: Discrimination against members of a dominant or majority group, especially when resulting from policies established to correct discrimination against members of a minority or disadvantaged group.

Anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko said the following in an expert from his book I write what I like: “Those who know, define racism as discrimination by a group against another for the purposes of subjugation or maintaining subjugation. In other words, one cannot be a racist unless he has the power to subjugate.”

More on racism in South Africa

Racism is due to weak SA economy: IRR

ANC defends white South Africans in racism row

Racism is alive and well in South Africa

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