NY Times Article: Racial Division Remains in Cape Town

The NY Times Article “In a Divided City, Many Blacks See Echoes of White Superiority,” was very interesting and thought provoking.

It was surprising to read that Cape Town is the only major part of South Africa that blacks are not the majority.  Therefore, whites are the majority and express superiority over the blacks.

It was upsetting to read how racism still exists today in Cape Town, South Africa.  For years, Nelson Mandela and the freedom fighters strove to gain equal rights for blacks.  Although they made a tremendous difference, racism still exists.

Blacks should not feel un-welcomed anywhere; everybody should be treated with equality; especially in today’s society.  It was a surprising and disturbing to read how Cape Town is still racially divided and how whites take priority over the blacks. I thought this article was interesting and made me realize that although I think of blacks and whites as equals, many places around the world still are very racist.

“… a study completed by researchers at the University of Cape Town in December 2010 found that black residents saw few business opportunities for themselves in Cape Town, and that companies struggled to recruit and retain them. It concluded that in Western Cape, ‘African people are almost always less successful than white people in moving up career paths, creating an ‘ebony ceiling’ effect.’”

This excerpt specifically stood out to me because it was proven that racism exists in Cape Town.  People may have opinions and form their beliefs, but when research proves something, it is more than likely to be true.  After reading this excerpt, I immediately became upset and angered.  Companies and businesses should not base their employees on color.  Every single person should have a fair and equal chance for success regardless of their skin color.

Racism exists in the city center and the mountainside inner suburbs of Cape Town.  This is where the majority of whites reside.  Nonwhites occupy the distant townships on the Cape Flats.

When I am in South Africa, I think that I will notice the racism that exists there.  I feel that people in Cape Town will treat me differently than if I weren’t white. However, I have never been discriminated against so it may be hard to recognize people treating me differently, but in a positive way.  I think that I will see the difference of how people living in Cape Town treat whites versus nonwhites.  I think that it will be difficult and upsetting to watch people be treated differently because of their skin color.

Being in my QU301 South Africa class, I have learned a significant amount about historical events that created and pursued racism.  Nelson Mandela dedicated his life to get equality for blacks.  It surprises me that although so many years have gone by and laws have been passed, racism still exists in a country where the majority of people are black.


2 Comments on “NY Times Article: Racial Division Remains in Cape Town

  1. I found your discussion really interesting. I always heard that cape town has A larger white population versus a black population, but I never thought that there would still be discrimination and inequality between the two there. Of course I’m being a little naive but you would think that with leaders such as Nelson Mandela, and through all the years of fighting for equality it would have improved by now. That research stat that you found is really sad. Success should not be based on skin color. I agree with you that everyone should be given an equal opportunity.

  2. Very interesting read, There is a very important point to be made about the inhabitants of Cape town. The “Black” classification. There are not that many Blacks compared to colored people. A colored person would find it insulting if you were to refer to them as “Black”. There is also a pecking order amongst the colored folk. As in Brazil the “Whiter” one is the higher their perceived social status is. I have experienced the reverse discrimination here in the Northern Cape. It is absolutely dreadful. It gave me an insight to just how our colored or African Americans felt. Now you also have to factor in the influx of refugees. Xenophobia is rampant! The Nigerians are targeted. The reason? Seems the press latches on to the negative aspects. It always seems in the papers that the Nigerians are involved with the drugs prostitution and human trafficking. Here being Nigerian already puts you at a disadvantage because of the stigma that they are all criminals no matter the case. After living here during Apartheid in Cape town and then after the election I too thought that things would change. They haven’t if anything it seems worse. I have been here this time for coming on 8 years in the Northern Cape. I am a New Yorker and you are getting my observations as an American from the outside looking in. I am still learning every day about the legacy that Apartheid left behind. It is so incredibly complicated that even though I live here I am still perplexed.

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