Race in South Africa: A hidden transcript turned public? THE PROBLEM OF IDENTIFYING WITH ESTHER / MORDECAI OR HAMAN IN THE BOOK OF ESTHER
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AbstractBased on two grass roots readings of Esther 9 in terms of violence and power, the author discusses the issue of race, identity and power. His entry point is based on the notions of public and hidden transcripts as developed by James Scott’s book Domination and the arts of resistance. Hidden transcripts (1990). The article explains the current South African public transcript in terms of racialisation, reconciliation and the problematisation of whiteness. It then looks into aspects of identity in the Book of Esther, exploring the problem of reading the Bible in terms of race. It concludes that because the negative use of race constructs the public transcript at the moment, its construction can also be observed in the current Bible reading process at grass roots level. It is a transcript of superiority over those whose existence is moulded along Western cultural lines, the perpetrators of the former regime.