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Racial Segmentation In Australia And South Africa

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1. Introduction

“Blue water, endless beaches, and 365 days of sunshine per year” and much more has been said about South Africa and Australia. But these are only the positive aspects about these two beautiful countries. There has also been a very sad and dark time in the past. Many people do not think or even do not know about the things that happened to the natives in the past. There are even tourists that fly to South Africa without knowing that there is the highest crime rate on earth.

Other countries conquered these two ones: some because they needed the sources and others because they had to get rid of the convicts.

But why do the so called immigrants in these two cases always oppress the natives and also deny them - due to their skin colour - many rights? Why do these people act like animals if they really do think that they are a superior race? Why do people still fight because of skin colours nowadays?

All these questions and problems are going to be addressed in this paper. You will find explanations regarding the problem of racial segregation which did not only happen in South Africa and Australia. Unfortunately, it occurred and still occurs in many countries.

It starts with an explanation of the Apartheid, moves then over to Australia’s stolen generation then to South Africa’s and Australia’s situation nowadays and in the end there will be a conclusion to all the above-mentioned questions.

2. Apartheid

Apartheid is a crime against humanity committed in the context of an institutionalised regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over another with the intention of maintaining that regime. In the following chapter, the emergence as well as the end of this system will be discovered.

2.1 The emergence of apartheid

In the year 1948 the National South African party consolidated its power. They adopted new laws regarding the parliamentary seating in the country. They decided that six more seats in the House of Assembly and four in the Senate were only for white people for supporting the government. And that meant for the coloured people that they were losing step by step more and more influence on the political decisions. “Then, step by step, it eliminated every vestige of black participation in the central political system” (Thompson 1990: 187). Things got more difficult for coloured people afterwards. For example, they were not allowed to go to the same places as the white South Africans. During the apartheid there were four ideas. The population was divided into 4 groups. “The so called racial groups: White, Coloured, Indian and African people. Each one of them had inherent culture”(Thompson 1990: 190). The coloured people were forced to go to so called “Hometowns” or “Townships”, the only place where they were allowed to live out their culture. This separation, however, was not a South African invention.

It started at the beginning of the 20th century when the Americans adopted a law stating that every Indian should live in a reservation вЂ" if he wants to live out his culture.

In the years 1949 and 1950 the South African government released three new laws. One was the so called “Group Areas Act”, which said that coloured people were not allowed to stay and not even to enter in white areas. The other ones were the “Marriage Act “and the “Immorality Act”. “The Marriage Act and the Immortality Act created legal boundaries between the races by making marriage and sexual relations illegal across the colour line” (Thompson 1990: 190). What Thompson mentioned in his book is completely right because by prohibiting these marriages and even the sexual relations, the cab between the White and the Coloured population became bigger and bigger. Apart from the fact that one part of the society was not allowed to go to the others’ places, they were now also not allowed to build any relationships to the others. This definitely was the intention of the Apartheid.

2.2 The end of the apartheid

By 1978 South Africa was going through a huge change. The apartheid was in trouble. “The increase in the gross domestic product was scarcely keeping up with the increase in the population, and many white people were becoming poorer.” (Thompson 1990: 221). Many white people were вЂ" therefore вЂ" not satisfied and blamed the regime for the caused inconveniences. In the year 1989 Frederik Willem de Klerk became the new South African president. He started to negotiate with the ANC (African National Congress) leader Nelson Mandela due to the problems the country was having in that time. The government was encountering more resistance in the society in terms of the racial segregation. The coloured people wanted more rights and the whites were just looking for someone to blame. On 17th March 1992, 68 % of the white population in South Africa agreed on a change of the laws. That was supposed to be the start of a new South Africa.

As it can be seen from the above, Apartheid arose due to the government passing new laws, stripping the coloured population of its rights. The Apartheid officially ended 44 years after its implementation.

3. The stolen generation of Australia

As mentioned above, South Africa is not the only example for the racial segregation. In many cases racial separation is linked to ethnical aspects. This part addresses the discrimination of the natives (the Aborigines) in Australia and the reasons for it.

In the context of the discrimination of the Aborigines the term stolen generation is often used for the part of the Australian inhabitants which have, between 1900 and 1971, experienced injustice. It exists of a generation’s loss of the connection to their cultural roots, of their dignity and of their ethnical identity.

In that period of time every behaviour and form of expression associated with the Aboriginal culture, especially the language was strictly forbidden. The Chief Protector A. O. Neville of Western Australia was an advocate for “biological assimilations” (Paisley 2007) a policy carried out with the intention to “breed out the black race” (Leitner 2006: 68) by controlling the “Aboriginal women’s reproductive lives”.

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