Confronting Racism

The Psychology of Racism - 22 Years Since 'Freedom'

In part four of a series of podcasts, 702/CapeTalk’s Koketso Sachane is joined in studio by Dr Shose Kessi, senior lecturer from the Psychology Department at UCT, to delve into the longer lasting effects of racism and structural Apartheid.

Over 20 years into South Africa’s democracy,the question remains on how far the country’s citizens have come in terms of reconciliation and addressing the economic and social imbalances of the past.

We still continue to deal with consequences.These consequences can be felt not only politically,socially,but also psychologically.

Psychology as a discipline was very instrumental in legitimizing the idea that white people where superior than black people.The notion of the higher race and the lower race.

There is a very close link between how apartheid became legitimized in society and in our minds and origins of Psychology as a discipline.

Dr Shose Kessi

Although we live in a democratic country,the material differences are still there.

South Africans are having a conversation right now,some of the conversations are being had from a very emotional space driven by what one has lived or by what one is resisting.There are many people still alive today who were affected by the Apartheid Regime and still live with the scars of those memories; are we able to have the conversation without the emotions?

Often we view emotion and rationality as a separate thing...emotions can give a different understanding to what the issues are

Dr Shose Kessi

Part of walking the journey of our past, requires us to listen and take into account people's lived experiences and seeking to understand these experiences.


This article first appeared on 702 : The Psychology of Racism - 22 Years Since 'Freedom'


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