Biko on Institutionalised Racism

The racism we meet is not only on an individual basis; it is also institutionalised to make it look like the South African way of life. Although of late there is a feeble attempt to gloss over the overt racist elements in the system, it is still true that the system derives its nourishment from the existence of anti-Black attitudes in the society. To make the lie live even longer, Blacks have to be denied any chance of accidentally proving their equality to the White man.

It is for this reason that there is job reservation, lack of training in skilled work, and a tight orbit around professional possibilities for Blacks. Stupidly enough, the system turns back to say that Blacks are inferior because they have no economists, no engineers, etc. even in spite of the fact that they make it impossible for Blacks to acquire these skills.

Excerpt from S. Biko. "Black Consciousness and The Quest For True Humanity" in I Write What I Like, Picador Africa: Johannesburg

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