Blog Post #2

In order to practice the four structural functions we discussed in class today, answer the following question:

Q: According to Solnit’s essay, how was the end of apartheid in South Africa also liberatory for white South Africans and others outside South Africa?

Requirements for the assignment:

1) You must submit your assignment as a comment in this thread. Make sure your name is at THE TOP of your post.

2) Your writing should be free of spelling and grammar errors; paragraphs should be clearly structured.

3) Any and all sources, including Solnit’s essay, must be cited with in-text citations.

Note: We strongly recommend that when you write this assignment, you do so in a Word document or other processor, and then copy and paste. It is very easy for Internet to fail or a computer to crash in the middle of a post, with the result that you’ve lost all your work.

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118 thoughts on “Blog Post #2

  1. Joe Meyer

    In Solnit’s essay “The Arc of Justice and the Long Run,” she describes the end of apartheid in South Africa through Nelson Mandela’s work. The end of the apartheid legislative system was a monumental step for the South African government. This legislation ran for almost fifty years (1948 – 1994; history.com). Yet the “titanic effort” (pg.3 p.5) and determination of Mandela and his followers broke through this overbearing hardship. This courageous act of triumph did not only have an effect on the non-white population, but it inspired different races throughout the world who were fighting their own racial and/or social injustices.

    Throughout this essay Solnit describes connections through unlikely sources. These connections manifested to create change toward moral justice. The same connections are being formed in this South African event. This change brought about hope, liberty, and “possibility” (pg. 3 p. 4) to other groups that wanted to bring about a change. This influence, as suggested in Solnit’s essay, is almost infectious. Not in the way where it is harmful, but instead in the way of healing. It spreads as though it is airborne, across borders, across countries, and across oceans to places in need of assurance.

    Places like “Eastern Europe,” and “Beijing” (pg.3 p.5) needed to be reminded that there is an end in sight. They needed to be reminded that their cause is worth fighting for because someday their hope of a better future can become a reality. That is what South Africa has shown the world. In the words of Nelson Mandela: “Africa has, once more, contributed to the advance of human civilization and further expanded the frontiers of liberty everywhere” (pg. 3 p 5). One act of justice can inspire hope throughout the world. As long as there is a voice or action to be recognized, there will be action.

  2. Logan VanWay

    Apartheid was a period towards the end of the twentieth century where institutionalized racism and discriminatory oppression were the norms of South Africa. Members of this region were split among a number of segregated groups and these groups dictated the lives of these individuals for many, many years.

    Of the people who lived through Apartheid, the tribulations were universally worse for black South Africans. When the reign of Apartheid ended, these individuals were liberated; slavery began to vanish and the cessation of prejudice began to set in. The benefits of the liberation, though, transcend race. This is a crucial point Rebecca Solnit makes in her essay “The Arc of Justice and the Long Run.”

    In the essay, Solnit notes how the ending of Apartheid was monumental for white South Africans as well as other people outside of South Africa. She asserts this claim with a quote from Nelson Mandela, who said that the end of Apartheid was “a gift of emancipation also to those who, because they were white, imposed on themselves the heavy burden of assuming the mantle of rulers of all humanity.” (Solnit 3) Through this quote, Solnit validates her argument by speaking to the release of all of humanity from any race’s control.

    Solnit also speaks to the power the emancipation of South Africa had with regards to igniting the rejection of oppressors across the world. She says that “what was liberated by the end of Apartheid was…a sense of power and possibility for so many globally.” (Solnit 3) Solnit gives examples of the “collapse of the Soviet Union” and “successful revolutions across Europe.” (Solnit 3) In this regard, she is describing the feeling of courage that became omnipresent after the news of South Africa’s refusal to tolerate oppression.

    Throughout the first section of her essay, Solnit makes clear her point that the ending of Apartheid was revolutionary not only for black South Africans. While the emancipation of these embattled individuals was incredible, the liberation sent shocks worldwide, and its tremors were felt by all races.

  3. Matthew Rife
    The end of the racial segregation in South Africa obviously liberated the nonwhite population, but there is a little more to it than what meets the eye. In “The Arc of Justice and the Long Run”, Rebecca Solnit states “It made things better; it has not made them good enough” (3). Readers can interrupt this as the first step in the right direction, even if the results weren’t exactly overwhelmingly positive. Apartheid in South Africa ended around 1990, long after racial segregation had slipped away from other countries such as the United States, but yet it still had impact on the rest of the world. Even though segregation may have been dissolved, racism was still running rampant so for others to see that another country like South Africa had a civil rights movement of their own just encouraged the entire world to continue progressing towards equality. Solnit mentions this by saying, “It’s worth pointing out as well that what was liberated by the end of apartheid was not only the nonwhite population of one country, but a sense of power and possibility for so many globally who had participated in boycotts and other campaigns to end apartheid in that miraculous era from 1989 to 1991 that also saw the collapse of the Soviet Union, successful Revolutions across Eastern Europe, the student uprising in Beijing, and the beginning of the end of many authoritarian regimes in Latin America” (3). This basically let people fighting for civil rights know that they were on the right side and just needed to continue with their campaigns. However, it effected the white population of the world quite a bit as well.
    Mandela can be quoted saying, “The titanic effort that had brought liberation to South Africa and ensured the total liberation of Africa constitutes an act of redemption for the black people of the world, It is a gift of emancipation also to those who, because they were white, imposed on themselves the heavy burden of assuming the mantle of rulers of all humanity” (3). Mandela is saying that the white people of the world had a weight lifted off their shoulders because they had to always be responsible for the actions of their country. It seems that the end of apartheid caused ripples which would eventually build into the rush of equality for all that can be seen in today’s culture.

  4. John Meyers

    In her article, “The Arc of Justice in the Long Run,” Rebecca Solnit briefly discusses the end of Apartheid and this event’s impact on the rest of the world. She makes the claim that, not only were people in South Africa liberated, so were “so many globally who had participated in the boycotts and other campaigns to end apartheid” (p 3 ¶ 4). Apartheid was racial segregation in South Africa that drew global attention. An incredible amount of people worldwide rallied to support the cause of ending Apartheid (p 3 ¶ 4). The end of Apartheid was a monumental step in the direction of equality for South Africa, and served to give non-white people in other countries hope that they, too could have their own situations improve (p 3 ¶ 4).

    Solnit quotes Mandela to show that the white population of South Africa was affected by the end of Apartheid as well. Mandela states “‘[The end of Apartheid] is a gift of emancipation also to those who, because they were white, imposed on themselves the heavy burden of assuming the mantle of rulers of all humanity’” (p 3 ¶ 5). Here, Mandela seems to be referencing the British imperialism that led to Apartheid, but he also makes the point that life for white people in South Africa also improved after the end of Apartheid. Those who were made to discriminate no longer had to, and those who fought to end the oppression no longer needed to fight.

  5. Katherine Rodgers
    According to Solnit’s essay, “The Arc of Justice in the Long Run,” the end of apartheid in South Africa liberated more than just the black population of the country. In Solnit’s eyes, the movement gave those who made a stand around the world “a sense of power and possibility” (Solnit 3). The end of apartheid—a change that “made things better” but did not make it “good enough”—was followed by the ends of many other oppressive regimes. The time in which apartheid ended saw the end of the Soviet Union, saw many successful revolutions in Eastern Europe, saw student uprising in Beijing, and saw the beginning of the end of Latin American colonization (3).
    Solnit also argues that the end of apartheid free the white population of South Africa. Solnit argues that the end of apartheid freed the whites of their “heavy burden of assuming the mantle of rulers of all humanity” (3-4). Solnit argues that by crowning themselves the leaders, white South Africans gave themselves extra responsibility. Solnit is saying that if they were not in a self imposed position of power, the life of white South Africans would contain fewer responsibilities.
    Solnit also goes even farther and states that the whole of human kind can benefit from the end of apartheid. Solnit says “to all who will listen” that “Africa has…contributed to the advance of human civilization and further expanded the frontiers of liberty everywhere” (4). With this quote, Solnit is sending the message that when liberation was achieved for the blacks in South Africa, the world took a step in a better direction. Although the change may not yet be enough, the forward momentum of that change will make all the difference in the world.

  6. Dawson Godby
    In Rebecca Solnit’s essay “The Arc of Justice and the Long Run” among many of the topics in this insightful essay she speaks of the end of the apartheid in South Africa that ran from 1948 till 1994. During which she quotes Nelson Mandela stating, “The titanic effort that has brought liberation to South Africa and ensured the total liberation of Africa constitutes an act of redemption for the black people of the world. It is a gift of emancipation also to those who, because they were white imposed on themselves the heavy burden of assuming the mantle of rulers of humanity. It says that to all who will listen and understand that, by ending the apartheid barbarity that was the offspring of European colonization, Africa has, once more, contributed to the advance of human civilization and further expanded the frontiers of liberty everywhere.” Now Nelson Mandela’s statement may have seen a bit excessive, but this was a pivotal time in history. The Iron curtain had just fallen, and the old regimes of the century had declined. This was the start of the new era “The dawn of the common man”. It was one of the final nails in the coffin for the old era. The twilight of tyranny was over. The age that belonged to Stalin, Hitler, Khrushchev, all of the Soviet puppet governments in Eastern Europe, Emperor Hirohito, and Mussolini was finally over, and the dawn of democracy and equality had just begun. The end of the apartheid wasn’t just an outstanding land mark for South Africans it was landmark for all of humanity. It was to further spell the end of tyranny to path way to freedom and equality for all who wanted to stand for themselves and their neighbor in the name of humanity, and pathed the way for the events like the Arab Spring.

  7. Emma Bernesser

    Rebecca Solnit’s essay The Arc of Justice and the Long Run encapsulates the African apartheid as a freeing event not only for the black people, but also the white people who worked so hard to make it happen. The apartheid didn’t fix all the problems in South Africa, but “it made things better” (pg.3 p3). This goes along with Solnit’s belief that things don’t instantly become better, and actions can have lasting effects that can sometimes take hundreds of years to actually fix the problem. Her idea that hope is “a sense of the grand mystery of it all, the knowledge that we don’t know how it will turn out, that anything is possible” (Pg.8 p2). Hope that things could turn out better then how they were is what drives revolutions, including the African apartheid.

    Solnit believes that the apartheid gave “a sense of power and possibility for so many globally who had participated in the boycotts and other campaigns” (Pg.3 p3). White and black people around the world heard about the horrors happening in South Africa and felt a need to help. When people hear about people in thirds world countries are struggling they feel they have the “white man’s burden” to help and improve the conditions in those places. This is similar to how every time a natural disaster occurs in the world people in the US feel obligated to donate money to people they have never met and probably never will, because they feel like it’s their duty. So once this burden of worrying and donating money to the South Africans was lifted people around the world were able to get back to their everyday activities. Besides liberating the people who helped the movement also helped liberate others in the world. Other people saw what was happening in South Africa and realized they were able to revolt themselves and gain more liberation. So many revolutions have been sparked since the apartheid and many of them can be accredited to the upheaval.

  8. According to Solnit’s essay, how was the end of apartheid in South Africa also liberatory for white South Africans and others outside South Africa?

    Ethan Knight

    In Solint’s essay, “The Arc of Justice and the Long Run,” the end of the apartheid in South Africa basically expanded into something greater than expected. Nelson Mandela used his sense of knowledge and hope to create “the titanic effort” (Solnit 2) that made not only other Africans inspired, but other races around the world. Mandela also included that even the white people of South Africa felt that the ruling was a burden on their shoulders and that they were going help fight for their freedom too. Mohandas Gandhi studied Henry David Thoreau’s teachings on civil disobedience to help fight against the justice system of Africa and also bring back his knowledge and understanding to his home country to help revolt against the British rule. Later on Martin Luther King Jr. used Gandhi and Thoreau ideas to fight for the freedom and rights African-Americans wanted around the United States. Solnit goes on to say that by the end of the apartheid what was liberated did not only matter to the black population of that country, but it made boycotts and other upheavals possible for any race around the globe (Solnit 2). The end of the apartheid brought a great sense of power to the rest of the world and influenced so many cultures and countries. Solnit also points out that some countries are or went through stages like the French Revolution and even though there was terror and chaos, that nothing was achieved, but made room for improvement (Solnit 2). That is what the South African population did. Things were made quite better, but still had room for improvement by the end of the apartheid.That concept still applies to today with all of the chaos going on in the world and the changes that are being made to make the world a better place, but still there will always be a need for improvement.

  9. Julie Yoon

    As Solnit said, “the past guides us; the future needs us” (3). Due to this very reason, the past offers valuable insight into what must be done for a desired outcome. Just as how Mandela looked to Thoreau and Gandhi to organize civil disobedience, white South Africans and those outside of South Africa looked to the conclusion of the apartheid in South Africa for guidance.

    In a sense of the word, liberation gives hope. In that way, people internalize the concept that if others can be freed, they can be freed as well. For those looking on, liberation gives “a sense of power and possibility” (3). Solnit directly lists some events as examples; “the collapse of the Soviet Union, successful revolutions across Eastern Europe, the student uprising in Beijing, and the beginning of the end of many authoritarian regimes in Latin America” fed off the fruit of hope produced by the end of the apartheid in South Africa (3).

    In each of those cases, the end of the apartheid in South Africa did not explicitly liberate the other oppressed people. Instead, the liberation was more internal; the strong belief that they are also oppressed people and can fight is an implicit liberation that allows them to hope. That internal liberation becomes fuel for the fire of civil unrest and disobedience, and real liberation is made possible.

  10. Nicole Yvonne Cortez

    Between 1948 until 1994, South Africans developed a new word into their vocabulary that was destined to symbolize racial oppression around the world: apartheid. Apartheid was used to describe a policy of segregation and discrimination to keep blacks and whites apart in every sphere of life (Apartheid, history.com). Even though the word apartheid appeared in the late 1940’s, racial segregation and white supremacy was already one of the central aspects of South African policy long before apartheid began. The end of apartheid in South Africa catalyzed a domino effect globally and the seed of change began to sprout.

    In her article “The Arc of Justice and the Long Run,” Solnit discusses how one action taken can change and begin a whole string of chain reactions. She mentioned how the end of apartheid made not only a difference for the South Africans, but for many others as well including whites. Even though the work that Mandela catalyzed “ha[d] not made them good enough” (Solnit 3) “it had made things better” (Solnit 3) and marked a new beginning for many others. Solnit stated that “the end of apartheid was not only the nonwhite population of one country, but a sense of power and possibility for so many globally who had participated in the boycotts and other campaigns to end apartheid in that miraculous era from 1989 to 1991” (Solnit 3). Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s well-loved liberator and president, wrote “the titanic effort that has brought liberation to South Africa and ensured the total liberation of Africa constitutes an act of redemption for the black people of the world. It is a gift of emancipation also to those who, because they were white, imposed on themselves the heavy burden of assuming the mantle of rulers of all humanity…Africa has, once more, contributed to the advance of human civilization and further expanded the frontiers of liberty everywhere” (Solnit 3, 4). With that being said, the end of apartheid started a strong of chained reactions globally such as the “collapse of the Soviet Union, the successful revolutions across Eastern Europe, the student uprising in Beijing, and the beginning of the end of many authoritarian regimes in Latin America” (Solnit 3). The end of apartheid inspired many around the world and gave them hope to fight for what was right and for their freedom.

  11. Heather Burns

    Have you ever played Dominoes? In the game, you can see how it only takes one domino to cause the rest of them to fall. Between 1989 and 1991, it was becoming globally known that there were people in South Africa that have been living in apartheid and it was finally liberation for these people, but this miraculous change did not just affect South Africa. This liberation “made things better; it has not made them good enough”(Solnit, 3). Mandela, who was one of the most impactful civil rights leaders during this time, was working on civil disobedience campaigns and boycotts for over a half a century before people started to listen. He is the domino that not only upheaved the wrongdoings of the South African government, but also sparked an era of global change. Mandela states, “… It says to all who will listen and understand that, by ending the apartheid barbarity that was the offspring of European colonization, Africa has, once more, contributed to the advance of human civilization and further expanded the frontiers of liberty everywhere”(Solnit, 4). After people were able to see the end of the apartheid, it gave them a “sense of power and possibility”(Solnit, 3). Across the world, people started to stand up and fight for the liberty they deserved. An example of this being the collapse of the Soviet Union, who for years had been terrorizing their people and forcing them into labour camps. In Beijing, students gathered at the Tiananmen Square to fight for social equality against the corrupt politics taking place. There are a countless number of protests and campaigns in the following era that were initiated due to the upheaval in South Africa. It goes to show that one thing can go on to affect the world.

  12. Nathan Urban
    Post-Apartheid, Nelson Mandela speaks of how the change was not only a victory for Black South Africans, but also liberatory for white South Africans and people all around the world. The interpretation Mandela makes is that as the victory for civil rights in South Africa was secured, the inspiration would lead other oppressed minorities in countries around the world to fight for themselves as well, he predicted the arc that Solnit describes in her essay, not exactly what it would do but that it impact the world in a better way. Not only did it ease the oppression of a number of black South Africans, but it also was a kind of liberation for the white South Africans, that as they had “Imposed on themselves the heavy burden of assuming the mantle of rulers of humanity” (Solnit, Rachel, 3) they were now free to live in an equal and liberated society. The effects of apartheid were felt around the world, it inspired other Africans to fight for the same, it inspired Black Americans to fight against the remnants of racism that still exist today. It was liberatory because it showed them that institutional racism could be fought and defeated, that equality was something that could be fought for. It wasn’t directly liberatory, in a political sense, but it liberated a sort of revolution for Black rights around the world. As the arc of history is long and unpredictable, Nelson Mandela knew once Apartheid was defeated that a great change would be inspired in the world from that moment on, the same way that the French Revolution inspired countless others against governmetal tyranny, the end of Apartheid sparked the flame of resistance against insitutional racism and injustice against all minorities.

  13. Brianna Barksdale
    Throughout the article, Solnit refers to the arc of justice, which favors the disadvantaged, and how the past can fuel the present. This is also true of the end of the apartheid in South Africa. Mandela said, “Africa has once more contributed to the advancement of human civilization and further expanded the frontiers of liberty everywhere” (Solnit, 4). By furthering their own civilization and culture, the South Africans were also boosting their quality of life, thus improving their standpoint in the world. This social jump of improvement increased morale across the globe by proving that change can come in the form of hope and determination. South African victory also spelled victory for others facing the same issues in their areas. Solnit even states that the end of the apartheid wasn’t only a time of liberation, but also a time for a “sense of power and possibility” during that time period (Solnit, 3). Inspiration was flowing across the globe thus causing a chain of motivation by inspiring each other. Many power struggles, such as “the collapse of the Soviet Union, successful revolutions across Eastern Europe, the student uprising in Beijing, and the beginning of the end of many authoritarian regimes in Latin America,” took place and victory became more and more possible each time another country or area won their freedoms (Solnit, 3). The arc of justice proved itself by providing the minority with the change they fought for and the lives that their children deserved. Their success influenced those across the world by proving what could be done with determination. Each separate event gave other countries hope for their own success, thus giving them hope and motivation in the face of adversity and improving the world as a whole by the end of this period. Overall, by “looking backward to study the line of justice” proved beneficial to the world’s livelihood (Solnit, 2).

    1. Christian Raccippio

      The ending of Apartheid in South Africa was a monumental step for the countries government. Apartheid was racial segregation in South Africa that drew global attention. An incredible amount of people worldwide rallied to support the cause of ending Apartheid (p 3 ¶ 4).But the ending of Apartheid didn’t just affect South Africa. Once news had reached to the surrounding countries it gave hope to other non-white discriminated individuals hope that they too could have their situations improved.
      This movement was also liberating to white South Africans. Just like in the United States before the Civil Rights Movement not everyone discriminated against black people. This was the same way in the South African community. White people didn’t have the burden of having to mistreat or look down on other black individuals because of apartheid. They could now treat each other equally and build a better, more accepting society.

      1. Michael Adams
        Solnit describes the freedom of the South African population from apartheid as a result of Nelson Mandela’s work. She points out that this was liberating for not only the ruled population but the white ruling population that existed before. Resulting from the end of apartheid in South Africa many other successful revolutions began to occur from “1989 to 1991”(Pg.3 p4).
        Mandela states, “It is a gift of emancipation also to those who, because they were white, imposed on themselves the heavy burden of assuming the mantle of rulers of all humanity” (Pg3-4 p5-1). He mentions the ability of Africa now being able to contribute to the advancement of the human race as a whole again because they are free, this “further expanded the frontiers of liberty everywhere” (Pg4 p1).
        The white ruling class did not have the desire to lead the African population as a whole anymore and therefore this left them with more time to focus on themselves and advance on different fronts. More international trade could occur with the independent African peoples.
        The more countries in Africa that started a revolution fueled another and another and stretched across Eastern Europe with major effects in the ways in which countries governed themselves, especially the Soviet Union, “the student uprising in Beijing, and the beginning of many authoritarian regimes in Latin America” (Pg3 p4).

  14. Ashab Ahmed
    In her article “The Arc of Justice and the Long Run” Solnit emphasized how “the South African upheaval Mandela catalyzed” (3,4) had impacted people globally rather than just colored people in South Africa. The apartheid had kept colored people from being contributing citizens in the communities in South Africa. Due to the transformation of South Africa, it created a domino effected which several other uprisings such as the “collapse of the Soviet Union” or the “student uprisings in Beijing.”
    Besides that, people across the globe had taken part in the effort to disassemble the apartheid. This was not just a fight for the nonwhite population in South Africa but a fight for all of mankind against inhumane rules and restrictions. Triumph was felt across all the races when a man of color was able to run for office or when a colored man was able to marry a white woman. Mandela stated, “…Africa has, once more, contributed to the advance of human civilization and further expanded the frontiers of liberty everywhere.” Due to the fall of the apartheid system liberty had won against oppression all over the world.
    During this time the apartheid system was not only looked down upon but many white in South Africa also disagreed the way of the apartheid. Solnit describes as many whites being liberated because of the end of the apartheid; this implication can be clearly related to the fact that: they did not want their society to be this way. It allowed the whites of South Africa to be free of the “burden” that came with these legislative actions against the colored people of South Africa. The apartheid had demanded hatred and racism from people towards other people who could have lived in harmony with each other

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