Barack Obama’s visit to China comes at an interesting time. I am engrossed in Martin Jacques’ book, When China Rules the World, bought because of its compelling title.

Jacques reckons that by 2027 China’s economy will have overtaken the US. China will dominate, but not in ways Westerners understand.

“China’s rise signals the end of the global dominance of the West and the emergence of a world which (China) will come to shape in a host of different ways and which will become increasingly disconcerting and unfamiliar to those living in the West.”

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Racism is a subject that people often seek to avoid, it being deemed too politically embarrassing, any suggestion of its existence often eliciting a response of outraged indignation and immediate denial. Yet it is central to the discourse of most, if not all, societies.

So writes Martin Jacques in his recent book When China Rules the World: the rise of the Middle Kingdom [China] and the end of the Western World. Well, he certainly did not have South Africa uppermost in mind where the topic of racism is far from “politically embarrassing” to raise, but rather a political embarrassment as it is endlessly and gratuitously raised to shroud the real issues. Just take the Caster Semenya and Brandon Huntley hullabaloos for a start, not to mention rugby and nearly every time Julius Malema opens his mouth.

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