Apartheid Explored In Country Lovers And The Welcome Table

2266 words - 9 pages

Harassing or mistreating an individual based on his color or race is violating his or her rights. In essence, ethnic and racial discrimination, and superiority based on racial differences are morally and scientifically false, dangerous, as well as socially unjust. Further, there can be no justification either practically or theoretically concerning racial discrimination. The article by Nadine Gordimer (1975) in "Country Lovers" and Alice Walker (1970) in "The Welcome Table" explored the theme of racism and apartheid in different contexts.

Gordimer depicts in this story how during the period of apartheid in South Africa, children were taken in different schools based on their racial backgrounds. Although they were allowed to play together, children from black families were taken to schools that were meant for black while their white counterparts were taken to schools that were meant for white. Gordimer continues to explain that the type of schooling black children obtained were well below what their counterparts received in white schools. This racism or apartheid went as far as outlawing any intermarriage between blacks and whites and despite the adolescents loving or attracting one another, they were not allowed to intermarry. Instead, blacks are only allowed to intermarry with their fellow blacks and the whites with their fellow whites. This is well shown through the story of Thebedi and her White lover whom despite impregnating her. The question of them being married never crossed their minds; hence, she was forced to be married by another man.

Still in this line of racism and apartheid, Walker (1970) gives a vivid account on how an old black woman in South Africa was almost “lynched” by faithful when she attempted to attend a church service in a “white only” church. This is interesting because the church, which is supposed to preach Christ’s unconditional love to people of all races, is chasing away fellow brethren based on skin color. According to Walker, blacks at that time were preserved the jobs of maids, chauffeurs, cooks, mistresses and other demeaning jobs. Whenever blacks passed over whites, the whites were always reminded of looters, riotous anarchists and rapists as these blacks were associated with the same. A black person seen entering the church premises meant for the “whites only” was seen as an invasion of privacy, desecration of the holy church and as a source of evil in the church sanctuary. This was because blacks were always considered evil in their nature.

It has been documented that education is a significant differentiator between the whites and blacks in the era of apartheid. Although there were schools for blacks, children from the back race were not given the same educational opportunities as their white counterparts. This was the same case for the quality of the teaching staff. While the staff required to teach the White were properly qualified, teachers for black children on the other hand, were not...

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