Diversity and Citizenship Education: Global Perspectives

By James A. Banks | Go to book overview

and support for a strong hand to impose order and economic progress without debate. A fragile civil society in South Africa is no guarantee that democracy will prevail in a crisis when even Black and White business might side with the stability and predictability that a more authoritarian order promises. Despite an often contrary public curriculum, it can only be hoped that a deeper democracy education for active citizenship of a new generation will preserve the noble ideals of one of the most inspiring constitutions in the world.


NOTES
1
Legalized racial classifications require the use of constructed racial labels in this analysis. Even in the post-apartheid state, the old race categorizations are officially retained, in order to measure progress toward transformation (greater representativity) through affirmative action policies, quite apart from the legacies of continuing varied identities, associated with the phony categories. The common label of African for the Black majority does not preclude that the members of the other groups are also African in the political sense of citizens belonging to the African continent as their only home and origin. In contrast to the Middle East, all parties in South Africa, including the Pan Africanist Congress, have accepted this status of original “settlers.” Therefore, not all Africans are Black, and not all Blacks are Africans. It should also be noted that since the rise of Biko's Black Consciousness movement in the late 1960s, Black had become a proud political term, comprising politically conscious members of all three disenfranchised groups, including Indians and Coloreds. Their despised opposite was a “non-White.”
2
The short-sighted admonition unfortunately associates affirmative action with failure and disregard for merit. In the United States, affirmative action was never applied to the sports realm, because abundant Black talents made it superfluous and almost suggested preferential promotion for non-Black athletes if representativity is the main criteria for the selection of a national team. However, sport as a major tool of nation building has a crucial significance in the divided society of South Africa.

REFERENCES

Adam, H., Van Zyl Slabbert, F., & Moodley, K. (1997). Comrades in business: Post-liberation politics in South Africa. Cape Town, South Africa: Tafelberg.

ANC Stance on AIDS. (March 21, 2002). Cape Times, p. 1.

-181-

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