It's associated with South Africa, but it was really an enhanced version of
what was already implemented in the United States. It was an attempt to keep all races separate, but "equal" - in practice, whites were "more equal than others". After decades of heavy-handed maintenance of that status quo, and increasing international and domestic opposition, Nelson Mandela was released from prison, free elections were held, and they all lived happily
ever after. Just like the US.

Apartheid is an Afrikaans word meaning 'apartness' or 'separateness'. It is pronounced "apart-hayt". Apartheid was a South African political ideology that promoted supposedly separate but equal developement. People were categorised as White (Caucasian), Black (Negroid), Coloured (Mulatto?), Indian (Asian Indian :) ), Asian (Chinese, Japanese, etc.). The legislation that determined which 'race' one belonged to was unutterably silly.

Just to correct a writeup above, it wasn't as discrete as "more equal than others". The National Party gained control of the government of South Africa in 1948 and in 1950 the Group Areas Act was instated as well as The Population Registration Act which classified the population into racial categories. More apartheid legislation was passed in subsequent years.

This is a short essay I wrote on the Apartheid I wrote a while back. The bibliographic format I used might seem somewhat odd... Where I cited a work, I enclosed the author's name and the page number in parenthesis. Saw it laying around and felt the need to node it.

The Apartheid was South Africa's offical policy until the release of Nelson Mendela from prison. Apartheid, the doctrine of a separate development, consisted of racism and segregation. It also reflected the Afrikaners' fear of being taken over by a more populous black race, as well as a better educated and wealthier English community. Thirdly, the fact that racial domination was no longer acceptable in modern society, transformed apartheid into a reformist doctrine that strived constantly for a political, econimic, and social system that supported separate development. Reforms, however, were intended to "modernize racial domination, not eliminate it" (Ottaway 27).

Apartheid was the doctrine of separation, based on racism and segregation. That mentality came with the Afrikaners (then the Dutch) to South Africa. They were Calvinists, and Calvin taught that we are predestined to go to heaven or hell at birth. The Afrikaners thought they were the elect and the blacks and natives were "the children of Ham, the hewers of wood, and the drawers of water" (Sparks 43). The afrikaners differed little from the black tribes, but they did have guns that established a physical superiority and a religion that absolutely set them apart. Under apartheid, South Africa was divided into three groups. These three groups were the whites, the blacks, and the colored. The blacks and colored were subdived further by ethnic, linguistic, and cultural lines.

The apartheid mentality came from the Afrikaners fear of being taken over by either of the black race or the English. This again came from their Calvinistic beliefs. This reflects on the fact that they had a narsistic mentality. They became so focused on themselves, that they couldn't see the harm they were doing to those who they believed not to be among the "elect". This became a national syndrome that drove them to pass the Group Area Act; the Population Registration Act; and the Separate Amenities Act.

Apartheid was a mentality that had been around many years before the National Party backed it up with laws. It was an attempt to codify and justify the unjustifiable. Apartheid policy was being pressured by the U.N. and other nations individually. The United States, the Economic Community, and other nations embargoed South Africa. The noose was tightening and apartheid was approaching its downfall.

Apartheid was generally about legal segregation. It is based on the false premise that one group of people are superior to another group or groups of people. It is a concept of God's plan for His people, twisted around and around, until it became what man wanted God's plan to be, all in order to justify his own behavior. Apartheid had to be dismantled, not only for economic reasons, but also to avoid civil war. The black race was so much more populous than the Afrikaners, that the Afrikaners no longer had the manpower to control them. Without the dismantling of apartheid policy, civil war was eminent.

1. Ottaway, Marina, South Africa, the Struggle for New Order. Washington, D.C.:The Brookings Institution, 1993.

2. Sparks, Allister. The Mind of South Africa. New York: Alfred A. Knoph, 1990.

It's not really my best work, but I was 12 or 13 when I wrote it so hey...


He takes one last puff from his cigar before tossing it into the ashtray. The black sea of protestors on TV wave their signs and banners in anger. He smiles, he feels secure because he is sure of their ignorance. He knows he questions them, they are too low to question him; they are abstract to him. He turns off the television, and walks out onto the stage, and approaches the podium. There are boos and shouts, but they are from misunderstanding, he assures himself. He bends the mike upwards, and begins to speak.

"An apartheid is simply an enforced measure to ensure good neighborliness. After it rains, the sun emerges from the clouds, light shines through that rain. The rain divides the sun's light into its true colors. Then you can see that we are different. The colors of the rainbow that forms are not mixed together into one brown mass. they are kept seperate from each other, so they can bask in their own beauty. They are not contaminated by each other.

"This is the reason for the apartheid. Since the days of slavery we have gained great intelligence and wisdom. We know that we cannot live together, but not because one is better than the other, simply because that we cannot get along well. Mixing the rainbow's colors causes corruption and hatred. Wars stem from the dark, black, color of a rainbow.

"The dark rainbow casts a shadow of unlawfullness across the land. There is never any rain to divide the light into its true colors. Because there is no rain, the land dies, and so do the animals and the people.

We refrain from allowing anyone but whites into the government because of the close work and debating that takes place. Many grudges would be held, many bad decisions would be made in greed or hatred. With the apartheid we are simply trying to make sure everyone gets along and that a peace holds within the fragile interior of the rainbow."

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