Remember how hectic the first half of 2008 was, in terms of the Race relations in this country? Everything was spinning out of control, Dr Irvin Khoza was using the K-word like it’s going out of style. That crazy white kid went to a shack settlement and started shooting at everybody who’s black, and who can forget those four pupils from Reitz residence in the University of the Free State who shot a low quality video protesting intergration that shows black res cleaners eating some concoction that they’ve urinated on. ja, neh. Those were the days. Dr Robert Jansen wrote a book about the racial tensions in South African Universities, in it he talks about how parents pass on what he calls “bitter knowledge” to their kids and the kids explode causing a racial incident or some such, I don’t actually remember, it was over a year ago. Anyways, I wrote a post about it, using the racial incidents at the University of Johannesburg as an example, I pointed out how Dr Jansen might be right. The post was in my late, great blog which has subsequently been deleted and it was titled “bitter knowledge” at work. Laura, alerted me that a passage in that post has been quoted in a report about discrimmation in higher education institution. Here’s the quote:
The pervasiveness of racism and racial incidents in residences, which belies any suggestion that Reitz was an aberration, is well-captured by the following student blogger:
According to The Star, there was yet another racial attack at the Dromedaris Residence in UJ.Two first-year students at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) have been attacked and their room trashed inside a residence which is becoming notorious for racist incidents. The boys were too scared to have their names published, said they were asleep at 3 am on Tuesday in the Dromedaris residence when someone banged on their door. ‘This was not the first time, so we thought that if we kept quiet they would just go away… About two hours later I woke up coughing. There was thick smoke all over the room.’ The students said a fire extinguisher had been emptied in their room through a hole at the top of the door. When they opened the door for air, two senior white boys allegedly assaulted them.
Being a student at the UJ I can tell you all that this is probably the fourth racial incident at the Dromedaris Residence. Every black student will tell you that UJ Kingsway campus is one of the most racist campuses in South-Africa and it seems that management is not prepared to do anything about it. In February a Black student was allegedly made to take a cold shower for four hours in the name of initiation. In March some guy was beaten outside the male residence (although the res manager claim the incident was non-racial) and in march a white guy was beaten up for standing with a black guy on campus. (Aquilogy Blog, 30 July 2008)
The trashing incident referred to by the blogger ironically occurred on the night before the Committee’s visit to the University of Johannesburg!
I just wanted to brag a little. Now, back to our regular programming [check it: Polity: Report of the Ministerial Committee on transformation and social cohesion and the elimination of discrimination in public higher education institutions (June 2009)]