Thursday, May 17, 2007

Defending Animals; Defending Suburbs; Defending Civilisation

In the chapter, Defending Animals; Defending Suburbs; Defending Civilisation, Richard Ballard argues that black suburbanites have become the object of a post-apartheid moral panic, motivated by the fears of white neighbours. This fear is centered not so much on crime but on animal killings. Richard says that black neighbours are constructed as the uncivilised Other; these panics are fuelled by the difficulties some whites experience ‘coming to terms with the prospect of sharing their neighbourhoods with previously excluded groups.’ He also points out, however, that not all whites react in the same way to these killings. For some, ‘identity construction is no longer based on the rejection and exclusion of ‘uncivilised’ people but rather on a sense of self which is able to accommodate co-existence with diversity.’

Ballard, Richard. 'Defending Animals; Defending Suburbs; Defending Civilisation', in Rob Pattman and Sultan Khan (Eds.), Undressing Durban (Durban: Madiba Press, 2007), pp. 250-256.