It became the official state policy of South Africa after April 1994, and it is enshrined in Chapter One of the Constitution of South Africa. The term has been criticized as vague, and carrying different meanings even among people sharing the same ideological tradition.
The earliest use of the term was by Karl Polanyi in the 1930s. Neville Alexander follows Robert Sobukwe in defining non-racialism as the acknowledgement of the nonexistence of race as a scientific fact. Robert Mugabe professed a belief in non-racialism in the early 1960s, but later rejected the concept and harshly criticized Nelson Mandela for his embrace of the ideology.
Non-racialism is a stated core policy of the African National Congress. However the adoption of multiracialist policy in the Freedom Charter instead of afrocentric non-racialism is what resulted in the breakaway Pan Africanist Congress in 1959. Some have mistaken this for a black nationalist movement, even among the party itself.
- MacDonald, Michael (2006). Why Race Matters in South Africa. Harvard University Press. p. 106. ISBN 9780674021860.
- Ratcliffe, Peter (2005). Race, Ethnicity And Nation: International Perspectives On Social Conflict. Routledge. p. 78. ISBN 9781135361853. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
- "non-racialism". Oxford Dictionaries. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
- Ratcliffe, Peter (2005). Race, Ethnicity And Nation: International Perspectives On Social Conflict. Routledge. pp. 80–81. ISBN 9781135361853. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
- "'Fascinating' video of Mugabe talking 'non-racialism' like Mandela goes viral on social media". News24. 16 September 2017. Retrieved 6 February 2018.
- "1949-1961: Period of direct action, non violent resistance and protest". African National Congress. Retrieved 6 February 2018.
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