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therealmidnite wrote

Mandela was dead wrong - just like he was dead wrong about a lot of things. I can throw a brick in this little town I'm stuck in and hit some racist alt-right sympathizing National Party apologist who can either speak or at least follow Zulu or Sotho. If you can't see "the other" as a human being in the first place, learning his or her language isn't going to have much of an effect.

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ergdj5 OP wrote

Nobody's proposing that learning Zulu or Sotho is the only thing people should do, or that it is a general cure for colonisation. I am not sure why that isn't clear.

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therealmidnite wrote

White people don't need to learn different languages... they need to confront the realities of white supremacy and their own place in it (for which their own language is quite sufficient). The problem isn't that white people don't understand other people's cultures - the problem is that they don't understand their own. And this liberal self-help book style feel-good non-racialism (such as learning the "the others'" language to supposedly "understand" something they don't have a chance in hell of understanding anyway) has actually been an obstacle to achieving that - it's simply another way of externalizing the problem, when the problem is, in fact, internal. Being able to speak another person's language doesn't disqualify anyone from Washington's ditch. In fact, quite the opposite - it makes the dirty work more efficient. Just ask any South African cop.

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