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Apartheid

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Apartheid has also been labeled a war crime in international conflicts under Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions. Protocol I lists as grave breaches apartheid "and other inhuman and degrading practices involving outrages upon personal dignity, based on racial discrimination," though these would only be grave breaches during international armed conflict. Apartheid in America ended after the 1960s riots; in South Africa after the Sowet riots, not because of any epithany on the part of the oppressors. These riots threatened the whole economic structure of the oppressors plus enlisted the disapproval of the whole world. Apartheid South Africa was based on an "us here, them there" formula of territorial segregation in which the white-ruled areas consisted of 87 percent of the country, including the big cities and most of the arable land. Nominally independent bantustans, forming a horseshoe-shaped archipelago along the nation's outskirts, made up the remaining 13 percent of the land.

Apartheid education, rarely mentioned in the press or openly confronted even among once-progressive educators, is alive and well and rapidly increasing now in the United States. Hypersegregated inner-city schools -- in which one finds no more than five or ten white children, at the very most, within a student population of as many as 3,000 -- are the norm, not the exception, in most northern urban areas today. Apartheid was always subject to internal criticism and led to many violent protests, strikes, and acts of sabotage; it also received international censure. In 1990 - 91 most apartheid legislation was repealed, but segregation continued on a de facto basis. Apartheid laws mandated segregation in such areas as housing and education. All nonwhites were denied political rights until 1984, when South Africa created a tricameral parliament to give Coloreds (persons of mixed race)and Asians (Indians) a voice in the government.

Apartheid is defined therein as an international crime that among other things includes using different legal instruments to rule over different racial groups, thus depriving people of their human rights. Isn't freedom of travel one of these rights? Apartheid was a system of deep social and economic inequality—of which education was only one component. The movement against apartheid never misunderstood this. Apartheid paid no attention to former social or residential status, dividing people up by color.

Apartheid subjected blacks to severe political, economic and social discrimination and segregation. They could not be citizens, vote, participate in the government or fraternize with whites.

Black Floridians were deliberately exposed to swarms of mosquitoes carrying yellow fever and other diseases in experiments conducted by the Army and the CIA in the early 1950s. Throughout the 1950s and '60s, black inmates at Philadelphia's Holmesburg Prison were used as research subjects by a University of Pennsylvania dermatologist testing pharmaceuticals and personal hygiene products; some of these subjects report pain and disfiguration even now. Black people had to carry special papers (passes) or have permission to live and work in particular areas. The government separated mixed communities and forcibly moved many people.


   
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