The recent xenophobic attacks in South Africa are a major cause for concern. They are part of a complex landscape where past and present grievances, injustices and structural inequalities are forcefully emerging from decades of neglect and justificationist techniques to preserve the status quo. More than anything, we need unity and solidarity across all groups and communities, in a delicate moment when histories, identities, memories and feelings can be easily mobilised for destructive and self-destructive purposes. We need to reflect deeply about causes and concerns of all involved, and avoid using these events in any way to justify narrow political and identitarian concerns. Now more than ever, we need to recognise each other’s humanity, no matter what is being said and done by whom and for what purposes.
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