This study examines Kristeva’s notion of abjection to understand the workings of colonial racism. Given the limitations of her Eurocentric standpoint, reference will also be made to the critiques and engagements with abjection by various other scholars. Abjection, when appropriately rethought, could prove to be a beneficial tool to diagnose the interior problems of racism within the historical context of settler-colonialism and apartheid with specific focus on racism within the contemporary South African context.
Reference will also be made to the film, Get Out, to illustrate the persistence of the historically informed system of abject racism and to place emphasize the deficiencies of narrow interpretations of racism which overlook the broader domain of the psycho-social and institutionalised practices of racial abjection. I will elaborate on the proposed critical investigation by drawing parallels between film, specifically the 2017 horror film Get Out, and legislation, Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill. In this sense, Get Out, will be considered as a narrative which questions South Africa’s contemporaneity as a (post)colonial and (post)apartheid state and the limits of the law by comparing and contrasting the film to, the recently approved, Prevention and combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill. I intend to argue that the Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill operates on a narrow level and that it is incapable of responding to structural racism as it fails to recognise the psycho-social dimension of racism and that abject racism continues into the (post)colonial context.