CategoryRace

“Afrophobia”? “Xenophobia”? “Black on black racism”? on phobic violence in South Africa, by Achille Mbembe

“Afrophobia”? “Xenophobia”? “Black on black racism”? A “darker” as you can get hacking a “foreigner” under the pretext of his being too dark — self hate par excellence? Of course all of that at once! Yesterday I asked a taxi driver: “why do they need to kill these “foreigners” in this manner?”. His response: “because under Apartheid, fire was the only weapon we Blacks had. We did not have ammunitions, guns and the likes. With fire we could make petrol bombs and throw them at the enemy from a safe distance”. Today there is no need for distance any longer. To kill “these foreigners”, we need to be as close as possible to their body which we then set in flames or dissect, each blow opening a huge wound that can never be healed. Or if it is healed at all, it must leave on “these foreigners” the kinds of scars that can never be erased. Continue reading

Report from the blue zone: some scant observations on race and security in South Africa

When it rains the whole area goes tick-tick as drops fall on the electric fences. Visitors are greeted with a sign saying ”Warning criminals you are entering a Blue Zone 24 hours dedicated patrols in operation”; we are in the thriving white ghetto Umhlanga outside Durban, South Africa. It is my first visit to South Africa and it is a very different and to some extent disturbing experience compared to my previous stays in West and East Africa. It is altogether a different zone – a blue zone. Indeed the airport works smoother than any in Sweden. Roads in Kwazulu-Natal are great. Traffic is flowing; traffic police monitoring our moves. Huge farms are impressive and scenery fantastic. People are all nice and talkative. And we all talk security. Maybe it is unfair, maybe we make them do so, but with my landlords, with taxi drivers and people in the street we always end up talking security. Our interpreters are white, black and Indian. Security is central to our discussions.

Big Brother is watching you. But he is not the state.

Big Brother is watching you. But he is not the state.

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”Our” Swedish golliwog cake

The absurd photos of the Swedish Minister of Culture feeding a cake/victim with its own genitals after first having had it ritually circumcised. The “white” and middle aged audience is all smiles.

It has been all over Swedish and international media during last week and although often discussed in quite confusing and contradictory terms I still think there are some good pieces debating the event. They do a much better work than I would do and I therefore give you my favorite links rather than discussing it myself. Two things are certain: first the images cabled out has spurred a much needed debate on race and racism in Sweden, and secondly despite its original intention the golliwog cake has so far not provoked much discussion on FGM in Africa as it originally intended to do. Continue reading

”Our” Swedish golliwog cake

The absurd photos of the Swedish Minister of Culture feeding a cake/victim with its own genitals after first having had it ritually circumcised. The “white” and middle aged audience is all smiles.

It has been all over Swedish and international media during last week and although often discussed in quite confusing and contradictory terms I still think there are some good pieces debating the event. They do a much better work than I would do and I therefore give you my favorite links rather than discussing it myself. Two things are certain: first the images cabled out has spurred a much needed debate on race and racism in Sweden, and secondly despite its original intention the golliwog cake has so far not provoked much discussion on FGM in Africa as it originally intended to do. Continue reading

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