Racism at Stellenbosch University- a working class perspective
In March this year 5 white, female researchers from Stellenbosch University published an article in an international journal. They argued that women of colour are less intelligent than white people. It turns out that several of the staff have written similar articles. In fact it seems they have made a career out of racist ‘science’. It should be remembered that racism is a social tool of violence by international capital and imperialism to justify their domination and control.
Another group of 5 researchers, from outside the University, which included a provincial executive member of the SRWP, launched a counter-offensive. They launched a petition calling for the article to be withdrawn. Within a short space of time the petition gathered over 10 000 signatures.
The Psychology Society of South Africa and the Psychology Department at Stellenbosch also called for the article’s withdrawal. Naturally there was and still is widespread anger at the racist article. The editors withdrew it and the university has just adopted measures for modules on anti-racism for all first-year students, new guidelines for research by staff as well as taking steps to establish full departments on Gender and Critical race studies. These are all substantial steps forward. However, important questions and challenges remain.