Johannesburg – Former Public Defender Thuli Madonsela – and three others – Justice Malala, Palesa Morudu and Barney Pityana, have requested the immediate reinstatement of Professor Adam Habib at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies.
The former Wits vice president was fired from his new job as SOAS director three weeks ago after using the word N during a video conference with students.
Marie Staunton, chairman of the board, said Habib had agreed to “step down” while the matter was being investigated at the university.
In an article published Wednesday, Madonsela, Malala, Morudu and Pityana reported that Habib felt the heat as former Wits University students who had an ax to grind him mobilized against him.
They admitted that Habit had made a mistake and made a bad judgment when using the word N, but also warned SOAS not to “allow themselves to act as a police of universal thought” – which they said they acted in a way that silenced other voices.
“If this trend is not reversed, books and movies that have the word N should be reviewed or banned. August Wilson’s Fences should be retired from classrooms, along with the works of Mark Twain.
«Quentin Tarantino’s Django the Untied will be banned or heavily processed. Muhammad Ali’s famous quote about Viet Cong should be erased from history.
“Universities that allow this to happen will contribute to the death of culture and knowledge production. “They will no longer be places of learning, choosing to become ‘safe places’ where the heterogeneity of views is not tolerated – and only loud voices claiming to be the ‘authentic’ voices of historical oppression,” said Madonella, Malala, Morundou and others. the Pitana.
The four defended Habib and said he was not a racist, calling on the university to give him time to get to know the students better and to rehabilitate him “without delay”.
“In a university there must be a level of intellectual rigor and discussion about concepts, strategy and desired results,” they said.
Madonsela, Malala, Morudu and Pityana said Habib had been racially oppressed in South Africa, was an activist and was a black man who rose to the top of an academic institution.
“However, the lens of awakening and political identity filters history and context to present both individuals in the same light.
“In the United States, where the N-word has an indelible relationship with slavery and Jim Crow, the racist speaker kept his job.
“Habit, on the other hand, was forced to step down after saying in context that the use of the word N would lead to disciplinary action. He faces an organized social media campaign seeking to oust him from SOAS, with an online petitioner likening him to a war criminal.
“Unfortunately, this incident reflects a global trend in which much of the talk of racism is limited to recognizing the class of the historical oppressor,” the four said.
Referring to Steve Biko, the four said that “black” was not a matter of coloring, but was a mental attitude.
“Baiko’s worldview is part of the political tradition that unites the oppressed to defeat apartheid and begin to forge a non-racial future against organized state violence. This tradition, which has unfolded in the real world, has informed Adam Habib’s global perspective for many years.
“By what twisted logic is someone who has been raped now accused of racism, said he can not claim his inheritance and is forbidden to say certain words because his skin is lighter?”
“The claim that Habib has not experienced black pain” spanning more than 500 years “will benefit from a broader reading of history.
“Habib’s living experience is that of the Indians in South Africa, most of whom are descendants of safe workers who moved to the eastern province of Natal between 1860 and 1911,” they said.