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The Legacy Of Apartheid In South Africa

1620 words - 6 pages

The strength of a nation is not established by the force of its military, economic standing, or government, but rather how its citizens are regarded. In order to attain strength, a nation must respect the principle of solidarity; the power of one voice. For without a defined sense of unity, a society is likely to crumble. Unfortunately, as seen throughout history, civilization has often made it their mission to seek out the differences in one another instead of accepting them. This fear of the unknown has led to humankind’s most despicable behavior; the separation of individuals due to their physical attributes. “Racism is mans gravest threat to man...the maximum of hatred for a minimum reason -Abraham Heschel .” Not only has racism allowed unproven ideologies to spread, but it has also lead to the disintegration of civilizations. Sadly, such tragic events have been a prevalent part in the history of Africa. Perhaps, one of the most blatant forms of racism occurred in South Africa, during the period of Apartheid. From 1948 to 1994 non-white Africans were subjected to horrific treatment, enforced by the South African National Party. The repulsive forms of racial segregation in South Africa, resulting from race and color, not only oppressed the colored majority group, but also denied them of any rights or human dignity.
It can be easily stated that the apartheid movement bestowed cruel and unusual punishments upon the people of South Africa, in order to execute its purpose. However, apartheid could have not been carried out if they were not individuals who believed in its principles. In order to understand the National parties ideologies regarding the issue of apartheid, it is essential to acknowledge the history of Boer societies and Social Darwinism. Reason being that these two arguments would eventually to an apartheid political structure. The colonial society of Boers consisted of more than fifty thousand British and Dutch settlers, from both lower and middle class standings in their homeland. These settlers had been allotted one hundred acre lots from the British government to farm South Africa. However, upon their arrival many Boers switched from farm work to artisans, working in the production industry, military, trading, or producing wine and grain. Moreover, many Boers had non-white Africans working for them as slaves. Unfortunately, this fact would lead to the Boers misconception of white superiority. According to Boer philosophy, races form the fundamental divisions of humanity, and that different races inherently have different cultural and physical qualities. This philosophy then led the ideas of race designated areas and the prohibition of interracial marriages. Additionally, literature regarding social Darwinism, had a tremendous influence of Boer culture during this time. Darwin’s rejection of the theory of man being created in the image of God, but rather through evolution of lessor forms i.e. natural selection, prompted...

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