RE: Neutrality is Assent to the Oppressor
In your first comment you made the statement you'd been to South Africa and both sides needed to be seen. I responded by asking you if you were there during apartheid. You responded that you weren't aware that it had stopped. What you are calling apartheid is not what it was in South Africa, so, yeah, having a look at a history book would be a good idea.
Apartheid in South Africa was a period of white minority rule between 1948 and 1994. It was a period where among other details:
- whites ruled, blacks were at the bottom of the pile and all others were in a murky middle ground. It wasn't just a social structure, it was law.
- blacks were moved out of areas where the whites wanted to live and pushed into ghettos.
- marriage or any sexual relations between whites and blacks was criminalized
- blacks were not allowed to own land
- education was segregated. Whites received education based on them having future choices. Blacks were educated to be future labourers for the whites.
- all were classed by race and failure to comply with the race laws was punished.
- blacks had to carry passbooks to control their movements and access to white areas. Police could stop, detain and brutalize blacks with impunity.
What you describe as apartheid is social structure, not even close to what actual apartheid was.
I brought up the subject in my post for two reasons.
One was the Desmond Tutu, the author of the quote, was a central figure not only in ending apartheid but in dealing with the aftermath and efforts to bring about healing between the races.
The second reason was that the exchange I had with my mother's friend about her time in South Africa (during apartheid) illustrated neutrality as consent.
The post is mostly about bullying. Apartheid was state-sponsored bullying. South Africa is most certainly not the only country in the world to engage in state-sponsored. My own country has it's own dark history with state-sponsored bullying.
The problem with paying too much attention to state-sponsored bullying in discussing the topic is that it makes it too easy to let people look away from their own behaviour when it comes to the topic. Something I noticed, you never commented on.