[LISTEN] Is racial discrimination ever justified?

Can discrimination be "rational" - what does that mean and what are the implications for politics in South Africa?

With a look at "racially exclusive" organisations or movements, Eusebius McKaiser explores the complexities around this with the University of Cape Town critical thinking lecturer Jacques Rousseau.

There is a conflict between thinking that a group of people might have sufficient life experience and interests in common that it makes sense for them to get together in an isolated group but at the same time, I reject the idea that they are the only ones who could have authority on those positions...

Jacques Rousseau, Critical thinking lecturer - University of Cape Town

But, even though I as a white man might have something useful to say in a community of black academics, I can understand that it might feel a more supportive or a more comfortable space for me to be excluded... I think I should have the legal right to be there but I would be obnoxious for insisting on that right.

Jacques Rousseau, Critical thinking lecturer - University of Cape Town

McKaiser disagrees with Rousseu's view.

I think that if people want to organise around the particular group experiences that they have had, having been institutionally and systemically been discriminated against on the basis of race or gender, it is morally permissible. It is totally rational because the purpose of the formation is precisely to tap the unique overlapping experiences of having been discriminated against....

Eusebius McKaiser, 702 radio host

I think it is important here that we separate what the purpose of organisation is around a racial identity, it is not to get together and have a cup of coffee... it is specifically to strategise, to completely dismantle the institutional discrimination.

Eusebius McKaiser, 702 radio host

Click on the link below to hear the full conversation....


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