South Africa: History of Racism

Essay by tbrad103High School, 12th gradeA, April 2009

download word file, 7 pages 3.7

Nelson Mandela once said, "The millions of graves strewn across Europe which are the result of the tyranny of Nazism, the decimation of the native people of the Americas and Australia, the destructive trail of the apartheid regime against humanity-all these are like a haunting question that floats in the wind: why did we allow this to happen?" Throughout its history, the Republic of South Africa has translated inherent racism into national policy, resulting in a society, which promotes white domination in politics, economics, and daily life. Though white supremacy has been a constant in South Africa, the term Apartheid only became relevant in the late 1940s. Today, at the end of the Apartheid regime, the question is "Why?" Racial discrimination has been an inherent part of South Africa's culture and politics for over 300 years.

Apartheid is an Afrikaans word that, when translated into English literally means 'apart-hood.' In South Africa Apartheid was a political policy that separated the development of the races.

However racial segregation has been a constant part of South Africa's past since the late 1600s. The Dutch were the first Europeans to see the importance of South Africa's cape on the way to India; and built their colonies on the principles of slave labor. These principles were brought into the newly colonized area not because of necessity, but rather because it served to please the Dutch people. The natives of South Africa were the first people to experience racial discrimination. They were sold in slave trades and, if they were 'unfit' for slavery, they were sent to the least livable area of the country. Slaves became, in a short period of time, a labor force that transformed a small cluster of immigrants into a prosperous colony. On paper, they had no existence. They were...