It is important to note that South African events do not occur in a vacuum, as we are part of a large continent and a much larger world. Therefore, what happens in the 'North' has a huge impact on what happens here. For this section, it is important to understand the international background, and what the world was like in the s. Also, it is impossible to understand what happened in South Africa the 'small picture' unless we understand what happened in international relations the 'big picture' towards the end of the s.
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Opposition to miscegenation, framed as preserving so-called racial purity , is a typical theme of racial supremacist movements. Although the term "miscegenation" was formed from the Latin miscere "to mix" plus genus "race" or "kind", and it could therefore be perceived as value-neutral, it is almost always a pejorative term used by people who believe in  racial superiority and purity. In Spanish America, the term mestizaje , which is derived from mestizo —the blending of European whites and Indigenous peoples of the Americas , is used to refer to production of offspring by people considered to be of different racial types. In the present day, the word miscegenation is avoided by many scholars, because the term suggests that race is a concrete biological phenomenon, rather than a categorization imposed on certain relationships. The term's historical use in contexts that typically implied disapproval is also a reason why more unambiguously neutral terms such as interracial , interethnic or cross-cultural are more common in contemporary usage.
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