Pretoria Girls High School pupils protest against a ban on 'African' hairstyles Picture: ALON SKUY
Pretoria Girls High School pupils protest against a ban on 'African' hairstyles Picture: ALON SKUY

Jonathan Jansen targets elite schools where the majority of pupils are white (“For too long racism has walked the hallowed halls of elite schools”, June 22).

Such schools, it is implied, will have racist attitudes and practices. Consequently, the first action he advocates is that the school publicly acknowledges that racism exists within the school.

In coming to this and his other points of action to be taken he cites examples of racist comment, highlighting how pupils from more than 20 Cape Town schools were mentioned as having prevalent racism. But how representative are these anonymous comments? Why are they taken as totally accurate? What of the black pupils who would not agree that they were targeted racially?

There are a number of former white schools in Cape Town with a considerable enrolment of black pupils. Do these Instagram comments represent their experience? That George Floyd’s killing in the US was the trigger for these comments can suggest that the sensation and excitement of the media was a big factor behind the sudden eruption in SA. How seriously should they be taken?

Jansen’s article takes a one-sided view of the matter. He makes his points and they have merit in some instances, but there is another side that needs to be heard.

Roger Graham
Cape Town

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