Are white people oppressed

apartheid

The word 'apartheid' comes from the Dutch and means 'separation'. Apartheid is a form of racism that took place in South Africa between 1948 and 1994. In the previous centuries, many white people had immigrated to South Africa. In their eyes, the black natives of South Africa were worth nothing and so they took the blacks as slaves and made them work for them. Black and dark-skinned South Africans had far fewer rights than whites.

Blacks were oppressed

When a new party came to power in 1948, long-standing discrimination against dark-skinned populations became even worse. Apartheid politics began - that means that discrimination has now been established by law. The politicians claimed that people could be divided into different races with different values. Every South African was put into a category based on their skin color. The division into 'white', 'colored', 'Asian' or 'black' determined, for example, which schools he could attend and which training or work he was allowed to do.

The best schools, apprenticeships, and jobs were for whites only. The separation of the individual population groups went even further: for example, whites and non-whites were not allowed to ride on the same buses, sit on the same park benches or use the same beaches. This form of separation was called small or 'petty' apartheid. 'Physical' or 'great apartheid' determined where people lived: 'Colored', 'Asians' and 'Blacks' had to live in certain areas, the so-called townships. The townships were outside the South African cities and separated the dark-skinned population from the white. At the same time, in the areas of South Africa where whites lived, non-white South Africans had fewer and fewer rights.

Resistance to apartheid

Many people did not agree with apartheid and fought against it. Hundreds of thousands of racers were arrested on government orders. Parties that campaigned against racial segregation were banned. The best-known opponent of apartheid policy was Nelson Mandela. He, too, was arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment in 1964 along with seven fellow activists. Many countries around the world opposed racial segregation and put pressure on the South African government. At the same time, the resistance of apartheid opponents in the country grew stronger, so that the government finally had to give up its policy.

In 1990 Nelson Mandela was released after nearly 30 years in prison. Instead of thinking about revenge, he negotiated with the then white president of South Africa about the future of the country. Together they decided that there should be new elections. On March 17, 1992, the majority of white South Africans voted to abolish apartheid. Since 1994, all South Africans - regardless of skin color - have had the same rights. In the same year Nelson Mandela was elected South Africa's first black president.

Apartheid is over, racism is not yet

Although apartheid was abolished, the living conditions for the black population of South Africa have not yet improved significantly: Some of them still live in the outer districts without electricity or running water. Many are unemployed and very poor. And even if black and white children are allowed to go to school together or ride on the same buses today, there is still a lot of prejudice and hostility between the white and black populations of South Africa.

Status: 11.01.2021, 2:50 p.m.