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Title:'The Black Peril would not exist if it were not for a White Peril that is a hundred times greater': D.F. Malan's fluidity on poor whiteism and race in the pre-apartheid era, 1912-1939
Author:Koorts, LindieISNI
Periodical:South African Historical Journal (ISSN 0258-2473)
Geographic term:South Africa
race relations
About person:Daniel François Malan (1874-1959)ISNI
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02582473.2013.858764
Abstract:D.F. Malan is known as the prime minister who instituted apartheid in 1948. His racial prejudice goes without saying. Yet, Malan's perception of race was relatively fluid and was directly related to his development as a politician and his concern about the poor white problem, particularly his notions of poor white agency. During his early career, Malan regarded the poor whites as makers of their own fate and was concerned that their depravity threatened the racial hierarchy of the day. His views of Africans reflected the paternalism of his time, but were relatively tolerant and supportive of African education. However, by the 1920s, Malan joined in a growing tendency to link poor whiteism to cheap African labour and to plead for segregation. Poor whites were now regarded as victims of circumstance. By the 1930s, Malan, who had since become leader of the National Party, tapped into a widespread fear of miscegenation in the wake of the Carnegie Commission and 1938 Centenary to depict Africans as a direct threat to the survival of the white race. The segregationist measures his party advocated during this time would be reflected in the first apartheid laws to be instituted in 1949 and 1950. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]