• $5.99

Publisher Description

At some stage in this I must confront two things. Firstly, Arendt's distinction between 'race thinking' and 'racism'; and secondly, the shift from creationist to evolutionary thinking in the understanding of the marker 'race'. In the latter it becomes important to distinguish between that which exists as part of a creator's design, and that which has some aspect of the hoary old 'hopeful monster' thesis. Thus the motivations behind Saartjie Baartman before evolution, and the Gypsies and Jews of the Holocaust afterwards, are not the same. Baartman was a case of seeking to justify difference on the basis of created species, the Holocaust frequently invoked failed or faulty evolution. Was Darwinism (the ideology) a marker point in the shift from race thinking to racism? I think Arendt may have some clues! In introducing the Rhodes Journalism Review (RJR) theme issue (August 2000) on the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) inquiry into racism in the media, Commission chair Barney Pityana notes that '... the inquiry was about racism, and not so much about freedom of expression. Much of the commentary and controversy leading to the public hearings had conveniently avoided this matter' (Pityana 2000). Clearly, one could easily dismiss this as a species of formalistic hairsplitting, designed to differentiate between expression and the attitudes that ground that expression. Whether these two concepts are distinct, continuous or identical, is a philosophical and not a legal issue. And in any case, I am not going to make the same kind of argument Pityana claims the newspapers made, because like him I don't think that freedom of expression was the issue anyway.

November 1
Critical Arts Projects
The Gale Group, Inc., a Delaware corporation and an affiliate of Cengage Learning, Inc.

More Books by Critical Arts