Post-apartheid South Africa has not become the racially neutral paradise that President Nelson Mandela reportedly dreamed of. While his younger years as a revolutionary were filled with violence, which ultimately led to his imprisonment, he strove to unify the racially divided country once he became president.
At least, that’s the Mandela that was portrayed by Morgan Freeman in the movie Invictus.
The ending of South African apartheid was a great victory for human rights, supposedly signaling an end to the racism that ruled that country. During apartheid, the white minority held complete control over the economy and the politics of the country.
Like many other whites living in the African continent, these “Afrikaners” as they are known, are the descendents of Dutch settlers who moved there during the colonization period.
Like many Americans, I am personally not in favor of the European colonization of Africa and the racism that went along with it; I’d like to set that issue aside for the moment. We have our own history of colonization and fought a war to gain our independence from it.
While colonization took advantage of the people overall, it did bring some benefits to them. Schools, modern medicine, roads, power plants, water purification and a number of other services came along with the European settlers.
This infrastructure was built by the Europeans and helped to extend the life expectancy of the native Africans, as well as education offering them new opportunities for employment, helping to raise them out of poverty.
But while the native blacks worked in all these industries, as well as farming, construction, manufacturing and other industries brought to South Africa by the Europeans, ownership, management and control of these businesses and government departments was tightly held in the hands of the white minority population, much as it was throughout Africa.
Quite literally, the wealth of Africa was created by the minority white population in each and every case.
But, to be fair to both sides, it was created on the backs of the black labor force who did the majority of the work. In basically all cases compensation for these jobs was considerably lower than it would have been in any European country.
So, while the jobs that the Europeans brought to Africa helped raise their standard of living, the vast majority of the population remained in poverty.
Time after time, these African nations threw off their colonial masters, either through bloody coups or because of the European countries abandoning their colonies due to war. When that happened, they found themselves in the position of being unable to properly mange the infrastructure and businesses that had been turned over to them.
Those businesses and infrastructure have deteriorated, until in many cases, they are no longer usable today.
Why did this happen? It was due to a combination of lack of education and a disorganized transition of power. At the time that these African nations gained their liberty, there were very few, if any, blacks who had a college degree. So, while there were people who knew the nuts and bolts of doing the physical work, there was a severe lack of trained people, who were able to plan and manage those operations, as well as engineer solutions to problems.
Corruption in all levels of government is a problem as well; as bribery is a major part of the political landscape all across Africa, like it is in some other parts of the world. While this can happen anywhere, it is much easier for it to happen in places where people find themselves thrusts into positions of power, which they are unprepared to properly execute.
We can see the effects of this poor management in Cape Town, South Africa today. The city of Cape Town is days away from reaching a point where the city will not be able to provide water to their citizens.
Residents of Cape Town, of whatever ethnic background, are pointing to the poor management of resources by the government, as the reason for the current water crisis.
Sadly, South Africa seems to be heading towards the direction of becoming a failed state, by any metric one might use to measure a nation’s success. Rather than having their economic situation improved by apartheid, the majority of South African’s blacks find themselves in worse conditions.
Violence in South Africa
South Africa has become a hotbed of violence; a violence that the ending of apartheid was expected to bring an end to. Today, Interpol lists South Africa as the rape capital of the world, surpassing Sweden, which earned that moniker due to the huge influx of Muslim immigrants during the last two years.
This is not the only place where we are seeing high rates of violence in South Africa. They also have the tenth highest murder rate in the world, with only ten percent of murderers being captured and convicted of their crimes.
With the high number of criminals who are literally getting away with murder, there is little deterrent to keep those with a violent bent from committing whatever atrocities they want.
One area in which murders are increasing is amongst white farmers in the country. Compared to nationwide statistics, the murder rate for these farmers is disproportionately large. However, it is not being reported, because to do so is considered “racist.”
Nevertheless, today being a white farmer in South Africa is statistically the most dangerous job in the world, with a higher percentage of them being killed than other highly dangerous jobs, like being in the military or police.
Understandably, these farmers are scared for the safety of their families, but they are being silenced from speaking out about their plight.
Their government and the black majority of the country are standing against them, refusing to acknowledge their situation.
It’s not just murder that’s happening though; it’s extremely cruel forms of torture, leading up to murder. These farmers are being beaten, cut, burned with torches, the women raped and strangled. Often, the bodies are so badly mutilated, that it’s difficult for police to identify the victims.
This level of violence and torture can be said to be indicative of the African culture; but it is a better indicator of the anger of the murderers.
These are not mere murders committed as part of robbery or other crimes, but rather political statements, being made to scare other white farmers into leaving the country and turning their properties over for redistribution to blacks.
This idea of redistribution is gaining momentum, with extreme political figures calling for seizures of white-owned properties, without compensation. There seems to be a very strong desire to make the children pay for the sins of their fathers, even going back three and four generations.
Yet, the white Afrikaners are as much citizens of South Africa as the blacks who hate them.
The Scary Parallel
It can be easy to dismiss what’s going on in South Africa, a country that is almost 8,000 miles from our nation’s capital. But it would
be foolish for us to do so. Much of the same anger and rhetoric that is flying around South African politics today is the same sort of anger and rhetoric we are hearing from groups like Black Lives Matter and Antifa.
Black Lives Matter in particular is demanding reparations from whites today, for the slavery of their ancestors. This is the same slavery that our country fought a war to end, costing 620,000 lives, over half of them Union lives.
It doesn’t matter to them that slavery ended in 1865, almost a century and a half ago; nor that with the fact that the United States was the second nation in the world to abolish slavery, only beaten out by England. They feel that justice demands that they be paid for this horror.
Interestingly enough, it is not educated, successful blacks that are calling for these reparations, but rather poor blacks who live off welfare of crime. Likewise, the majority of the people in South Africa who support forcibly redistributing white property are the poor.
It is much easier for politicians and political activists (especially the rabble-rousing type) to gain a following from those who are poorly educated.
According to the more radical elements of our black population, blacks should rise up in our country and start a racial civil war. Fortunately, there are few who truly pay attention to this inflammatory rhetoric. However, there is no saying how much effect such rhetoric could cause over time.
We are unlikely to see blacks overthrow white society here in the United States, simply because they are a minority. Only about 12 percent of our population identifies as Black, a similar percentage to those who identify as Hispanic.
Even taking all minorities here in the United States together, they are only 37.9% of the population; not enough to kill of all whites.
However, there are a large number of liberals who side with these minorities, as if doing so will protect them in any such uprising.
While few of them own guns, so would be ineffective as soldiers of the revolution, we have seen through Antifa and other groups, that they are not opposed to violence.
So the big risk here in the United States is not the overthrow of “the evil whites” but rather the current level of racial tension breaking out in some sort of racial civil war or an increase in black on white or brown on white violent crime.
Currently, young black men are the perpetrators in a disproportionately high percentage of murders and other violent crimes, as well as being the victims to those crimes. If that same group of men were to uniformly turn against whites, we would see the opening salvo in that war.
At the same time, white conservative males own the largest percentage of firearms in this country. They are also likely to own multiple guns, along with larger stocks of ammunition for those guns. So, at least part of the white population is well able to defend themselves.
The big problem though is that such a war, like any war, would turn into an indiscriminate bloodbath. Most of the victims wouldn’t be those who had committed violent crime, but rather innocent people whose only crime would be to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
With such crimes happening, this war could accelerate rapidly, much like the fighting that rocked Northern Ireland for decades. Revenge and counter-revenge would fuel the killing, with little being accomplished on either side, other than to end innocent lives.
This would be a war without a possibility of victory in sight, merely increased violence.
The risk of the United States going the way of South Africa, heading towards becoming a failed nation, are extremely low. While our country has its share of problems and even corruption in high places, we also have the resources to deal with those problems.
The racial diversity of our country also mitigates against one group or another taking over and destroying the infrastructure and businesses we depend on.
At the same time, racial tensions are the highest they have been in my lifetime, thanks to the former president and his cohorts. Obama’s blatant support of radical minority groups and even criminals has done a lot of damage to our country, especially race relations.
It will take years of effort to reverse the damage that has been done.
Whether or not radical elements gain enough of a following to cause any serious damage to society is the wildcard in the equation. Much of the racially-charged rhetoric fostered by these groups is patently false. But on the other hand, racism is by no means dead in this country.
There are still enough small-minded people with racist views on all sides of the racial issue, to cause a considerable amount of trouble.
We must remember that the trouble makers are not limited to any one ethnic group. There are white supremacy groups in this country and they can be just as violent as groups like Black Lives Matter and Antifa.
As we’ve already seen, when members of these groups mix, the concoction can be explosively violent.
It is left to us, the average citizen of our country, to reach across ethnic lines and bring healing to our land. As long as there are still good people on all sides of ethnic lines, this is possible.
Our country’s Founding Fathers created a country that was based upon reasonable people working together to come up with reasonable solutions to problems. That need is just as strong today, as it has been any time in our nation’s history.
by Bill White