10 September 2018

South Africa: At Last, the Perils of Identity Politics in the Spotlight

analysis

When Dagbreek Student Affairs, the drafters of the booklet Inkululeko: Talking Freedom, read the criticism of our booklet by Stellenbosch University Law Faculty lecturers Dr Bradley Slade and Professor Henk Botha, we were delighted, writes TIAN ALBERTS. This is the moment when we realised that our objective of instigating levelled debate on campus had materialised.

Drafting Inkululeko was an intensive, time consuming exercise; the product of long observations and debate, not about what identity politics and intersectionality could constitute in theory, but of how it plays out in practice where we and many others experience its divisive aftermath.

The response by Public Law lecturers at Stellenbosch University was gratifying, because for the first time on our campus, deeply entrenched and uncorroborated ideas about identity, power and privilege that have been left uncontested and equated to truth have been brought into the spotlight.

The response to our booklet can fairly be described as a thumbs down. We, however, regard it as a "thumbs up" that our intervention has encouraged critical thinking and new debates...

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