Xenophobia: have we learnt nothing from the 2008 attacks?

Published: 21/Apr/2015
Source: The Daily Vox

A recurring theme in discussions about the xenophobic violence of the past few weeks has been whether we learnt anything from the 2008 attacks? LOREN LANDAU, research chair in mobility and the politics of difference, looks at what we’ve learned in the past seven years – and what we haven’t.

Over the past weeks, newspapers and radio stations have broadcast laments from citizens and leaders despondent that South Africa is again engulfed into an embarrassing and murderous xenophobic melee. Amid the outrage is a great deal of hand wringing about the failure to learn from the 2008 attacks. Did we not condemn them then? Did we not promise ourselves that this would not happen again on our watch? But the truth is, we have not been watching and this has been happening all along.

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Themes: Discrimination, Ethnic/Racial/Religious
Regions: Southern Africa, South Africa
Year: 2015