What do some people in the white community fear losing?  

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that one reason that Paton's work is so effective is because it speaks to the enfranchisement that the White community in South Africa has gained as a result of Apartheid.  This entrenched structure reveals a fundamental fear in losing power and control with measures designed to reduce Apartheid enacted.  It is an interesting dynamic for while most of the world and certainly the African population clamors in the unfairness of segregation practices, the White population resists such change because it comes at their cost.   Jarvis writes this much in articulating the condition of modern South Africa with relation to White people and their control over the African population:

The truth is that our civilization is not Christian; it is a tragic compound of great ideal and fearful practice, of high assurance and desperate anxiety, of loving charity and fearful clutching of possessions.

This "fearful clutching of possessions" is of vital importance in conveying how the White population sees their African counterparts.  This "fearful clutching" involves the control over land, political rule, and the resources that have been denied to the Black members of the political community in order to sustain White power in South Africa.

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Cry, the Beloved Country

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