Monday 24 April 2017

David McWilliams: All the racism in the world has a common cause - Vitamin D

Nelson Mandela with his then wife, Winnie, as Mandela walked free from prison in 1990 after 27 years in jail. The Apartheid regime made a huge effort to segregate South Africa – but ultimately failed. Photo: Greg English/AP
Nelson Mandela with his then wife, Winnie, as Mandela walked free from prison in 1990 after 27 years in jail. The Apartheid regime made a huge effort to segregate South Africa – but ultimately failed. Photo: Greg English/AP
David McWilliams

David McWilliams

Today, my column comes from Johannesburg, written in the café of the Apartheid Museum close to Soweto. Here is an example of what the great German philosopher Hannah Arendt, reporting on the Adolf Eichmann trial, described as "the banality of evil". The sheer effort the Apartheid regime put into keeping people segregated is phenomenal in its tedious attention to the smallest detail, snooping, spying, humiliating, terrorising and, ultimately, losing.

When the change came, it came swiftly and largely peacefully.

Twenty years on, South Africa no doubt has its economic problems. The upper echelons of the ANC have turned large parts of the productive economy into, if not quite a kleptocracy, something of a cronies' free-for-all. But the big picture shouldn't be forgotten. The country survived. There was no civil war and large swathes of the population benefited.

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