Guilt rests on all our shoulders

I usually do not publish my Herald column on the day the newspaper goes into print. We need to support newspapers. However, because I think it’s an important personal article I have cut and pasted the column, here. I made only a single change to correct a spelling error on my part. I inserted “Felt” in the place of “left”. Immediately after the death of someone we are wont to believe that “now is not the time for finger-pointing”. I wish to disagree … The series of events that led to the death of Professor Bongani Mayosi rests on all […]

Never Mind the Day After the Revolution

This week’s column in The Herald Like many populists and revolutionaries, at whatever end of the political spectrum, there tends to be very little consideration for what happens the day after they get what they want. It is always the “how to” or the “what happens next” that remain elusive. What was it that Shakespeare wrote in A Midsummer Night’s Dream? “The dove pursues the griffin. The mild hind makes speed to catch the tiger – bootless speed. “When cowardice pursues and valour flies.” Beware that moment when you catch the tiger you have been chasing. In politics it’s easy, though. […]

For Trump, a lesson on culture

This is my column in the Herald published on 17 July 2018. I usually wait a while before placing it online, and often provide only a link. I wanted to add a video clip. See below. 18 July 2018. A historicity, or selective amnesia, is an affliction that is probably worse than ignorance. I am trying desperately hard not to use the word “stupid” so as to appear polite. I am, of course, talking about US President Donald Trump. Trump has thrown a band of safety and of eternal innocence around himself that reduces any and all criticism to “fake […]

Implementing Land Expropriation: It’s the how that matters.

Public policy-making usually starts with ideas and ideologies, presented as necessary to correct past injustices, improve existing conditions, or secure future states of affairs or processes. It is in the afterglow of an idea or ideological expression when the hard work starts and when, ultimately, policies are evaluated on the basis of implementation and efficacy. Having said that, what is certain is that South African land reform will start in earnest. What remains unclear is how it will, actually, be done. One political formation seems to be obsessed with racism, ethno-nationalism, rapine and the politics of revenge as the basis […]

WEB Du Bois and Conflict on the Colour Line

In 1903, historian and sociologist WEB du Bois, wrote that “the problem of the 20th century” was “the colour line”. His claim, and its attendant teleology, was distinctly universal, notwithstanding his specific role in the civil rights movement of the US. The problem of the colour line, Du Bois wrote, was “the relation of the darker to the lighter races of men in Asia and Africa, in America and the islands of the sea”. It is usually good practice to consider teleological statements with deep caution. There are, however, indications that Du Bois may have been right, but that he […]

Afrikaners and Global Rise of ethno-nationalism and notions of purity

13 March 2018 – A week ago, Business Day published a short article I wrote on the global rise in fascism, far-right politics, ethno-nationalism and the search for purity around the world. See the article on my page of work published elsewhere. Anyway, below is a scanned image of the story. After it was published I received a reply from Jared Taylor (for Taylor’s association with white supremacy see here and here) who was advised by an Afrikaner-nationalist and white supremacist in South Africa. I should make time for a more structured response. This is a link to Taylor’s response […]

PHOTOGRAPHY: Exhibit comes to an end.

  By Ismail Lagardien 19 September 2017. This is an old pic, taken two years ago by Gaia Manco. I am placing it online for two reasons; because the exhibit – Between States of Emergency which ‘honours photographers who risked their lives and freedom to expose the brutality of apartheid in the late 1980s’, has come to an end after traveling the country for two years. I am honoured that some of my work was part of this exhibition by the Nelson Mandela Foundation. The other reasons is, well, not for public discussion, suffice to say that nothing can take […]