Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Violence in South Africa

There’s been a rash of Xenophobia in South Africa.

      The spate of violent attacks targeting foreigners in South Africa has caused an estimated 13,000 people to flee from their homes to police stations and other havens, local Red Cross officials said.

      At least 22 people have been killed in the week-long spree of violence, police have said. The attacks and looting has drawn condemnation from South African officials and other African leaders.

I take it that the leaders are condemning racism, but this doesn’t seem like ideological racism.  I wonder if this is more vast uncomfortableness with the mix of people who are not trying to assimilate.  I mean sure, there’s probably some racism going on, but when you get mass violence and protesting from ordinary citizens, you have to ask, “what started the big bang?”

Many of the foreigners are from other countries, most prominently Zimbabwe, because they are fleeing from massive violence or oppression.  They don’t want to be there, but kinda have to right now.  What kind of resentment do you think that’s causing?

I’m looking forward to more perspectives from people who understand that region more.

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