|American Renaissance magazine
|Vol. 15, No. 6
Displaced: A White American Talks About Home
One man’s struggle for community.
Denis Ruiz is a 50-year-old computer programmer who lives with his wife and daughter near Philadelphia. A short time before I interviewed him, he learned he had non-Hodgkins lymphoma, a form of cancer. He was in significant pain at the start of our conversation, and I wasn’t sure he could complete it, but as the interview progressed his voice grew stronger, and his manner became that of a healthy man.
I grew up in the 1950s in a little town called Fairview Village in south Jersey. It was a planned community designed by a fellow named Litchfield, and offered a pleasant environment for people who worked in the shipyard in nearby Camden. Fairview Village had what you could call garden community architecture. Brick houses were attached to each other in clusters of four, and sometimes two, so the houses were in rows, but the rows were broken up. The houses all had yards, and there were common areas on every block where they didn’t build houses. Some blocks had no houses at all; there was just grass and trees. Neighbors would walk their dogs, and kids would play football.
People planted lovely oak trees, so by the time I lived there the trees were mature, maybe sixteen to eighteen inches in diameter. There was a town square with park benches, and people would sit and talk and get to know each other, and there were stores and businesses. It was a socially and economically self-contained unit. Looking back on it, the neighborhood where I grew up seems idyllic, with its parks and shaded streets. In fact, one fellow who had lived in England remarked that Fairview Village was like a little English town.
In the late 1950s, economic changes had a big effect on my hometown. The shipyard folded, as did an iron and forge plant where a lot of people worked. So the town was weakened. But I think it would have rebounded by the end of the 1970s as other businesses reflecting the change away from industrialization came into that area — like the business I am in, the computer business. But that never happened because a second process was at work: the integration of non-whites.
Before it became illegal, realtors in Fairview Village showed houses only to white families. Although this has been painted as unfair, it reflected the desires of the people who lived there. They wanted to live among their own people. They wanted to live in a white community. Now, I see this as the highest form of self-determination: people defining their own community, deciding what comes into their collective lives, determining their own standards.
It doesn’t matter if their standards don’t seem rational or moral to someone else. People have a right to decide who they will live with. This is not a matter of rationality or of morality. It is simply human. It’s not that they have ill will toward anyone; it’s just that they know what atmosphere they like. When realtors screened people and showed houses only to whites, it wasn’t a dark conspiracy. They were being true to the community, part of the community. But, of course, the issue was never defined this way, and in the late ‘60s-early ‘70s lawsuits forced realtors to sell houses to blacks and anyone else who wanted to move in.
A lot of the blacks who moved in have been “section eights.” Section eight is part of a law according to which the government helps pay the rent for poor minorities, so they can afford to move into white areas. “Section eight” has turned out to be deadly poison for the Fairview Village of my youth.
The neighborhood where I grew up is now a wasteland. Whites are still a majority — 55 percent — but Fairview Village has gone the way of a typical urban black area. When I was living there, when a tree died, an Irish guy named Fred Fagan would plant a new one. Now, those saplings are mighty trees. When a tree dies these days, no one plants a new one. There is broken glass everywhere, and things like busted up shopping carts block the alleys. Many of the old brick houses are covered with some kind of awful siding. When I was a kid, people made repairs and restorations in the mode of the architecture of the town. Now, the houses are all different, from one to the next, and there is no common thread to their appearance. There used to be hedges and white picket fences that lent a common feel to the area — no more.
My mother still lives there. When I get out of my car I wonder, “Is this an ambush? Is someone going to jump me?” Recently, a black teenager knocked my mother to the ground injuring her, and took her purse. This sort of thing was unheard of in the old neighborhood, but it is common now. The black woman across the street was just arrested for robbing 7-Eleven stores.
When I was growing up, kids could go anywhere in town. We could go in the woods and explore down by the creek. Now, you would never allow your child even to walk around the block. Just this year, two black men abducted a young white woman, took her where we used to play ball, and raped, and murdered her. Heinous crimes happen regularly there.
There is no sense of connectedness among the people in my old hometown. A white teenager hanged himself in his bedroom. The word is he spent a lot of time alone, listening to rap music. So much popular music these days is dark and sinister, and for someone already on the edge, as I assume this kid was, that can be deadly. In the old days, the risk of a terrible thing like this was much less. Back then, this boy would have had a supportive white community and way of life.
Back in 1967 or so, I listened to Jim Morrison — he was the lead singer of the Doors — and took what he sang very seriously, as if he were Keats or Walt Whitman or somebody like that. I remember one Morrison song — I think it was “Alabama.” The message was, “I must have whiskey or your wife.” [Webmaster note: Actual lyrics “I must have whiskey, oh you know why.’] It was about drunks going from house to house looking for alcohol and sex, and there is Morrison recasting it in a way that glamorized and legitimized scum of the earth. That was what I was taking in. But I lived in a place that counteracted that poison. I had something the boy down the street didn’t have. I had a community.
The place I live in now, on the outskirts of Philadelphia, was clean and safe when my wife and I moved here 15 years ago, but the pattern of my childhood home has been repeated. Non-whites have moved in, and the neighborhood has deteriorated drastically. Before, there was a fair number of poor white people, but they were never a problem.
We have problems now, and I increasingly find this isn’t a suitable place for my family. It doesn’t reflect our heritage and values. The Catholic school here pushes multiracialism and doesn’t emphasize academic excellence. My daughter, who went there for a time, told us the black boys were aggressive, and that she didn’t like them. That didn’t come from us; we hadn’t said a word to her about race. We learned first hand, and the hard way, that these liberal, multicultural schools don’t work. We realized that we wanted a school of our own flavor. The school that provides the closest thing to a European-type education is unfortunately 35 miles from where we live. So, every day, either my wife or I drive 35 miles there and back. At the same time, because of the expansion of office parks, what used to be a nine-mile drive to my work is now a 25-mile drive.
What this means is that there is no neighborhood here for me at all. A neighborhood is where your friends are, and where your kids go to school, and where you work — that’s what makes a neighborhood. Our people like to be bound to the earth. I need to belong to a certain soil, to a certain locality, and I need to stay in that locality, and for that process to go on for generations. I really believe that my desire to be grounded — literally — is a basic white or European impulse. There are cultural factors working against us, like increased consumerism and individualism, and there’s the globalization of the economy. But whatever is going on, I have to go to some other part of the region to find work. I feel like a migrant worker.
A lot of whites have been building gigantic houses on three-quarter-acre lots in the far reaches of the suburbs, and this makes them pretty much impervious to encroachment; blacks are not going to go there. But these white people lose in the process, too, because they have to own a $350,000 house, and they are paying out of their ears to keep up with the mortgage. All that money could be used to have a richer life on another level with their children and family. If they lived in an old-style house, they could get by on one salary. They wouldn’t have to work two jobs. If they could build a simple three bedroom semi-detached house in a town like the one I grew up in, where the lots are small and there are little gardens and walkways and so on, they could have something affordable, and experience something really worthwhile: living in a tight-knit community of white people.
Because of what has happened to the neighborhood, if my wife and I move we won’t get more than we paid for our house fifteen years ago. Without those changes, I would be in much better financial shape. At one time, my mother’s house was a desirable property, but it is worth very little now. I don’t want to end up like my mother, or in a situation like the one I’m in now, where the neighborhood is declining, and I have to either stay and feel trapped or get out.
I’d like to grow apple trees, and it takes years to do that, and you can’t take trees with you when you move. So we are probably going to rent near where I work, and also buy a rural place and go there on the weekends and fix it up. When I retire in fifteen years we’ll move there.
What I would really like to do is turn back the clock 50 years. I have been going to homesteading sites on the Internet, and reading homesteading magazines to get guidance and inspiration. I’m reading about people who are forming small communities in places like Kentucky, and I correspond with people who are actually doing this, to get a sense of what homesteading entails and what their lives are like. They are all white, and though they don’t talk about race, I suspect there is a racial impulse behind what they are doing, at least to some extent. Some homesteaders in rural Pennsylvania have invited me to visit, which I plan to do when I get over my current health problem.
It saddens me to think that I can no longer live where my mother lives and where I grew up. There would be nothing more rewarding than to have a property like that passed down to me in the condition it was once in. Everywhere my family has lived in, we made improvements, such as putting in a nice garden or gutting the walls and putting in new sheet rock, and improving the drainage. Over decades, these changes add up to significant improvements: a better garden, a vineyard, fruit trees, a nice deck. By staying in one place, your property improves and you improve the community, and you form deep, lasting connections with people. That is the way our ancestors in Europe lived. They were tied to a place. I feel that I am all the time planting and that I am never going to get the harvest; that I am never going to live in a true community.
I talked with my daughter about the country place I’m thinking about buying or building. I asked her, “If Mom and I build a place like that, would you like to stay there, live there after we are gone?” She said yes, she would. She is only seventeen years old, but I think she understands the costs of having to pick up and start over, and she doesn’t want to get into that pattern. That house will reflect 20 years of our labor. We will plant gardens and fruit trees and a vineyard, and make improvements. And we will be in a community where we are with people who see the world as we do, and we will know people and they will know us. And then we will give the house to our daughter. I’ll bet when my wife and I pass on she won’t just sell it and move. She will consider it the place where she should live, and she’ll build on it herself. My sickness has come out of nowhere, but once I get over this, I’m going to get that house.
Denis didn’t get the house. He died a few months after telling me this.
Robert S. Griffin is the author of the book, The Fame of a Dead Man’s Deeds: An Up-Close Portrait of White Nationalist William Pierce. “Displaced” is adapted from his latest book, One Sheaf, One Vine: Racially Conscious White Americans Talk About Race.
Afrikaner Survival Under Black Rule (Part II)
In Part I, Dan Roodt explained that Afrikaners are a white nation held together by language, history, tradition, and respect for their ancestors. The black rulers of South Africa are trying to suppress Afrikaner nationalism, which they see as a threat to black dominance and national unity. Dr. Roodt describes the Afrikaner battle for survival as a microcosm of the entire West, which also faces a rising alien tide.
Centuries in Africa have given the Boer a racial perspective unlike that of other whites. In a passage that would today be considered scandalous, the Afrikaner historian Gustav Preller wrote in 1937 (Daglemier in Suid-Afrika ) that, “although science would be sluggish in pointing out a remarkable physiological difference between the Bantu and the white man of European descent, it is certainly curious that the Afrikaners of a hundred years ago were aware of this natural difference . . . In this respect [refusing miscegenation] the Afrikaner has always been alone among all the European peoples that have come into contact somewhere in the world with natural [indigenous] man.”
Another historian, Hermann Giliomee, author of a recent mammoth volume called The Afrikaners: Biography of a People, has sought to explain Afrikaner race feeling by evoking the role of the Boer woman who, in the early days of the Cape, discouraged the liaisons between white men and slave women that were tolerated in other slave societies. Dutch women jointly owned their husbands’ estates and were often better informed and educated than the men. They saw to it that competition from slaves and natives for white men did not arise. If a man fathered a child with a slave woman it was grounds for divorce, and served as a further deterrent against miscegenation.
Some mixed marriages did take place in the first decades of the new Dutch colony because of the acute shortage of white women, but they soon came to an end. As Mr. Giliomee has written elsewhere, “Taking a black wife evidently entailed such a loss of status that it was considered better to remain a bachelor. European men unable to find a European wife tended not to marry. A study of the 1731 census showed that 59 percent of Cape Town’s European men and 51 percent in the rural western Cape never married.”
During the apartheid years, English-speaking liberals used to joke that Afrikaners had fathered the mixed-race Colored population. Why else would they speak Afrikaans? As noted above, some miscegenation did take place during the early years of Dutch rule. However, most Coloreds are not descendants of black-white mixes, but of intermarriage between Oriental slaves from Indonesia and Madagascar with the local hunter-gatherers known as Khoi-khoi or Bushmen. Although classed as a single population group under the apartheid system, the Coloreds are extremely heterogeneous, running from pure Khoi stock to Cape Malays who practice Islam. During the first 150 years of European settlement, the hunter-gatherers lost their own Khoi languages and assimilated to the early Afrikaner culture, as did the Oriental slaves.
According to statistics published in the 1930s before the legal prohibition of mixed marriages under apartheid, there were fewer than 10 black-white marriages per year in the entire country. Of these, almost all were white men — usually English — marrying black women. In quite a few years, marriages between white women and black men were officially recorded as zero, or one or two per year. Even now in South Africa, it is so unusual for an Afrikaner to marry a black that it usually makes the front page of the newspapers. At once or twice a year, it would be close to the historical norm, despite enormous governmental and media pressure for Afrikaners to “fuse” with Africans. Afrikaner-Colored marriages are only slightly more common, and occur only in the Cape, never in the north.
A columnist from the liberal Sunday Times visiting Stellenbosch University complained recently that she saw no mixed couples, whereas at the English-language University of Cape Town a few miles away, race-mixing is fashionable. The Beeld newspaper in Johannesburg runs a “bride of the month” competition, with many photographs of Afrikaner brides published every month, and I have yet to see one of these brides marrying a black or Colored man.
Television soap operas are, of course, a mixed-race utopia where all races are represented in all social situations. The effect of this government propaganda has been to alienate many viewers from television, or at least for them to see it for what it is: a highly artificial representation of South African life.
According to one retired newspaper editor, blacks fear Afrikaners more than any other whites because we know and understand them so intimately. In previous times, most Afrikaners spoke African languages, giving them insight into a magical, irrational world — a domain of spirits, witchcraft and superstition. Even the most liberal Afrikaners have a sense of black differences in mentality and physical characteristics, and although they would not make too much of them, they admit such differences exist.
The ANC hates whites, but hates Afrikaners even more, and the reasons are not hard to find. The black revolutionary Frantz Fanon wrote that the most common sentiment Africans used to feel for their white colonial masters was envy. Millions of black South Africans envy English-speaking whites their wealth and prosperity, but in the case of the Afrikaner, black envy reaches pathological extremes as they gaze upon excellence, not only in economics, but also in sports, in the maintenance of an indigenous Germanic language and culture, academic and scientific prowess, social cohesion and disciplined behavior. One merely has to visit the nearest Afrikaans school, or look at the results of the end-of-year examinations to understand black envy of a people they are intent on destroying once and for all.
Whatever form destruction takes, its vehicle will be demography. Whereas Johannesburg in the 1940s was still a European city whose population was less than a third black, the reverse is now true. Downtown Johannesburg has been completely taken over by blacks, provoking one of the largest recent instances of white flight in the world. Like almost all Westerners, Afrikaners have a declining birthrate of approximately 1.4 children per woman, and a shrinking population is further depleted by emigration. Violence and race preferences serve the black cause: either fearful whites emigrate to escape crime and mayhem, or they send their children abroad to get jobs.
Once the white population falls below a certain critical mass that precludes serious resistance, Mr. Mbeki will make his move just as his friend Robert Mugabe has in Zimbabwe, and drive the remaining whites out or perhaps even commit organised genocide. Either way, there will be no international outcry, let alone intervention. Years of propaganda have seen to it that international opinion will view such action by South African blacks as “getting their own back,” and will conclude that “the whites are receiving their just desserts for apartheid.”
In the meantime, part of the campaign to marginalize whites — specifically the Boers — is the imposition of African symbolism and values. There is even a quest for Afrocentric science, law and medicine. Just as the Soviet Union ignored the laws of science and practised “proletarian science” during the Lysenko era, the South African government is spending millions of mainly white taxpayer money on what it calls the “African Renaissance.” This is a fundamentalist revival whose objective is the replacement of Western precepts of science and law.
The government-funded African Renaissance Institute has branches all over the country. Its offices are lavish and its personnel wear designer clothes and drive luxury cars. The head of the branch at the University of South Africa recently derided South Africa’s Western legal system, based on Roman-Dutch law, as “neo-colonial,” and called for its abolition. African tribal customs were recognised by former white governments when it came to settling dowry disputes or clashes over tribal land, but the idea that a sophisticated economy and society should return to palavering elders under a tree beggars belief.
Traditional ideas and superstitions are definitely in resurgence. Patients going to witchdoctors will soon be able to file insurance claims, and a recent article in the local edition of Sports Illustrated described the use of muti or “medicine” in the National Soccer League, where players and teams routinely cast spells and drink potions before matches. Christianity has had little success in stamping out animal and sometimes even human sacrifice. Police statistics record an average of 400 so-called “muti murders” every year, in which body parts are harvested for magic rituals. Progressive theologians, both black and white, have stopped fighting muti, and are calling for the reconciliation of ancestor worship and Christianity. Some have proposed animal sacrifices in churches.
The subversion of the South African takes many forms, and as we saw in the case of Kleinboer, the Afrikaner is not exempt. People as diverse as Nietzsche and the French-American historian Jacques Barzun (From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life, 2001) have accused the West of decadence. As Westerners, albeit also white Africans, Afrikaners share this decadence. The loose morals, lawlessness, and free availability of drugs that have accompanied black rule have further weakened them. Many have become prostitutes and drug addicts, others luxuriate in gay or interracial sex, or they have become just as enamored of flashy consumer goods as their black rulers — materialistic, Americanized, deracinated.
Other Afrikaners are collaborationists who will bend to the black man’s will even to the detriment of their own people, language, and culture. Such is Dr. Theuns Eloff, the president of the last remaining Afrikaans university, in Potchefstroom, who recently succumbed to pressure to merge with a third-rate black institution so that his campus may be swamped by blacks demanding instruction in English. “We had no choice,” is their favorite refrain.
Abandoned by the West
The tragic fall of Afrikanerdom from having been almost a ruling aristocracy, with the English-speakers providing the merchant class in Africa’s only industrial power, is in no small part due to the fanatical opposition of most Western governments. South African whites have made many mistakes, but they are today ruled by Africans mainly at the behest of their Western kin, who until recently vilified and ostracized them, even imposing economic boycotts and arms sanctions as if they were Saddam Hussein.
The reasons for this are complex, and range from the worldwide syndrome of white guilt to the sheer incompetence of Afrikaner leadership after the assassination of Hendrik Verwoerd in 1966. Verwoerd did his utmost to implement a policy that would ultimately have led to the creation of an ethnic federation in South Africa, guaranteeing the Afrikaners’ own future as well as that of other whites in an independent state free of black domination. After his death, however, the most talented Afrikaners preferred medicine, law and business to politics. Perhaps this was understandable in a country where any white politician could be certain of few things, except being misquoted, vilified, caricatured and condemned by most of the world media.
When black activist Steve Biko died in police custody in 1977, this single African death on a continent where millions are routinely slaughtered in genocides, civil wars, organised famine, etc., caused a worldwide outcry. Since 1994, at least 1,500 Afrikaner farmers have been killed in horrible atrocities by marauding black gangs responding to the ANC’s slogan, “kill the Boer, kill the farmer,” yet not a single editorial has been written in the West condemning these killings.
One Afrikaner who understood the intimate relationship between white dominance in South Africa and Western dominance on the global scale, was G.D. Scholtz. He was a personal friend of Hendrik Verwoerd, and wrote an elaborate philosophy of apartheid as well as a multi-volume Afrikaner political history. In his 1964 book with the prophetic title, ‘n Swart Suid-Afrika? (A Black South Africa?), Scholtz warned that white people worldwide were no longer in their previously dominant position, something which would have grave consequences. “One of the greatest tragedies regarding South Africa’s whites,” he wrote, “is precisely the fact that so many of them remain in complete ignorance as to the great change that has occurred in the world and how their own position as a privileged aristocracy has been affected by it . . . In this ignorance — and consequently also negligence — that so many whites display toward the major changes in the world, lies the biggest danger that currently threatens the civilization at the southern tip of Africa.”
In the early sixties when G.D. Scholtz was writing, the notion that South Africa could be governed by blacks was as farfetched as the United States being governed by Nigerians, but he correctly predicted that the threat would not come from anything blacks could do, but from international pressure to give up power. Despite decades of advance warning in this and other publications, South Africa’s whites blundered along until they ultimately surrendered simply to please their Western kin.
Afrikaners must, in turn, take some blame for the collapse of Rhodesia because, as a prelude to selling out their own people, their leader at the time, John Vorster, stabbed the white Rhodesians in the back in an attempt to appease Great Britain. Just a few years later, after having turned over the second most prosperous country in Africa to Mr. Mugabe and his thugs, Britain fixed its sights on South Africa.
After betrayal by the West, demography has been the great weight on Afrikaner shoulders. On the first page of his book, Scholtz cited the South African population census of 1960 that recorded 15,841,128 people, of which 10,807,808 were Bantu as they were then called; 3,067,638 were white, 1,314,392 Colored, and 477,414 Asian, including Indians. Even the most radical demographic projections at the time did not foresee a rise in the black population to its current level of 36 million, nor did it anticipate the Colored demographic explosion to almost four million, while the white figure barely crept up to 4,500,000.
Since the black takeover, South African census figures are no longer accurate. Perhaps deliberately, as many as one million whites were not counted in the 2001 census. Whether whites are five or six million makes little difference, given the total population of 45 million, of which black Africans are just under 80 percent. A hundred years ago the black-white ratio was less than two to one, and now it is six to one and getting worse. For the next few years, AIDS deaths will keep the population from growing, but after that it is projected to double again by the year 2025.
There is also a steady stream of immigration from other African countries, with some estimates putting the number of illegal immigrants at ten million. A Western government would have tightened controls and sealed the borders. The ANC plans to abolish all visa requirements for other Africans, and the ultra-liberal/communist Constitutional Court has just ruled that foreigners qualify for welfare payments and health benefits. Up to a third of blacks may well be foreign-born, and have simply walked across the border from other African countries.
It is true that since Verwoerd’s assassination in 1966, Afrikaners have been making concessions to black South Africa so consistently that the 1994 vote to give them the country may seem inevitable in retrospect. However, the same trend has been seen in the West since 1920. Every European or North American country has made one concession after another with regard to immigration or race preferences. Here and there the tide has been temporarily halted on minor issues, but the trend continues. The influential Italian postmodernist author Umberto Eco, representing mainstream intellectual opinion in the West, already accepts European decline and the disappearance of the white race, writing in 2001: “Europe will become a multiracial continent — or a ‘colored’ one, if you prefer. That’s how it will be, whether you like it or not.” In this sense, Afrikaners will have to liberate themselves from the West and its pessimism if they are to escape the prevailing trend of white surrender.
In his often brilliant 1975 essay on Afrikaner history, The Puritans in Africa, W.A. de Klerk describes Afrikaner civilization as “a mere fragment” of that vaster edifice known as the West, but it is a fascinating fragment, well worth preserving. The Afrikaner struggle for survival under the domination of vastly more prolific and thus more numerous Third-World peoples, mostly African, but also Indians and mixed-race Coloreds, descendants of slaves and Khoi-Khoi hunter-gatherers, foreshadows the coming survival contest of the West itself.
By a curious historical and demographic twist, the percentage of white people in South Africa — nine percent — corresponds precisely to the portion of whites as a share of the global population. South Africa is a microcosm of the world. The processes of demographic expansion, territorial occupation, and moral and intellectual subversion we have suffered are similar to what the entire West is experiencing. Thabo Mbeki’s vociferous calls for an end to “global apartheid” and a free sharing of world resources among the developed and undeveloped worlds may sound extreme today, but in the context of the dominant values of our time they are by no means outlandish. George W. Bush, Tony Blair, Jacques Chirac or Gerhard Schroeder may also undergo a “conversion” like F.W. de Klerk, throwing open their countries to a global system in which a few hundred million ageing whites will forever be subject to the young and growing populations of Africa, Asia and Latin America.
We Always Had a Choice
“We had no choice,” is the phrase heard over and over again in the recent history of South Africa. Yet we always had a choice. The Goethe of Afrikanerdom, a poet named N.P. van Wyk Louw, published a famous essay entitled “Die ewige trek” (The Eternal Trek) in 1939, in which he wrote that “the entire coming into being of a small nation is a gamble. It must rise up between the major powers like a small plant between the feet of great cattle. At any moment it may be crushed. Let it beware if it thinks that its ‘rights’ alone will protect it in a world of great power moves.” He goes on to discuss major turning points in Afrikaner history, showing that upon every such occasion there were two equally attractive alternatives, the one rational and logical, the other emotional and irrational. At each point the Afrikaner had gambled on the irrational alternative and won.
He wrote that one must sometimes choose the rational course and sometimes the irrational one, not knowing which is which, nor being certain of the outcome. If Louw had been alive in 1994, his theory would have been vindicated, for the Afrikaners chose the rational course of conceding to world opinion, and lost, horribly so. If they had chosen to persevere, to call the black nationalist bluff of revolution or outright war, they would today have had many more choices.
Rationally, the Afrikaners do not stand a chance against South Africa’s 40 million blacks or against the 600 million in sub-Saharan Africa, predicted soon to reach a billion despite AIDS, wars, and famine. However, at the Battle of Blood River the Voortrekkers were also outnumbered at least 30 to one by Zulus. When the Boers took on the British Empire, according to one estimate, they were outnumbered two hundred to one. If the British had not played dirty with their concentration camps for women and children, they would probably have had to abandon the war, and South Africa today would still be an Afrikaner republic. Without English liberals and communists to propagate their cause, blacks would never have gained power.
So Louw’s gamble of the small nation continues. Some Afrikaners are doing the rational thing and emigrating, others are collaborating with the regime in the forlorn hope that they and their families will be spared. More and more, however, I see the most talented Afrikaners opting for the irrational, to challenge the black power ruling over them, to insist on their birthright at the cost of being denigrated as racists and rightists.
Even left-wing and liberal authors who castigated the old apartheid government are starting to criticise the new black one. Hermann Giliomee, for one, was a liberal critic of apartheid ostracized by the old Afrikaner Nationalist establishment, yet he has played a leading role in the current struggle for Afrikaner rights, and, through his book, rekindled international interest in Afrikaner history. Small groups of dedicated activists are rising to the challenge to make our message heard in the world, knowing that the major powers will always support black South Africa, if only to keep their own multicultural societies from exploding under them. The Afrikaner is the scapegoat of the West, and has been put on the altar to die, as the price the West has to pay for its colonial history and resulting sense of guilt.
A left-wing French philosopher visiting South Africa two years ago took one look at the place and told me, “you Afrikaners should call out an independent republic in five years’ time, and do your own thing.” That is the obvious answer, but to make the psychological jump to Afrikaner secession after a century of South Africanism would not be easy. Afrikaner farmers still own 70 percent of the land in South Africa. The Afrikaner attachment to the land acts as an impediment to leaving parts of it to attain freedom in just one corner of the country.
Also, the ANC government is fearful of any Afrikaner attempt to break out of its fatal embrace, for it would lose half of its taxes and most of its intellectual slaves, possibly scuppering the system of institutionalized parasitism known as the South African economy. It has recently passed a new bill defining as “terrorism” any attempt to alter the constitutional order of the country. Without Afrikaners, South Africa in its present condition might collapse and become another Zimbabwe.
There is another theory about Afrikaner history. I would call it the “lessons theory.” Afrikaners are probably as likely as any people to treat blacks as equals, take their utterances at face value, and so on. However, on at least four occasions they have learnt very painfully that being under the power of blacks translates into utter horror. The first period was in the Eastern Cape during the 1820s when the combination of lax British colonial rule and zealous foreign missionaries siding with the Xhosa tribesmen against indigenous whites led to the burning of farmsteads and an insecure existence like that of South Africa today. This triggered the Great Trek into the interior, where Afrikaners encountered the warring Zulu tribe for the first time. Here they experienced the treacherous killing of Piet Retief and his men by King Dingaan in 1838, and the subsequent slaughter of the women and children at Blaauwkrans and Weenen, where the brains of white babies were dashed out on wagon wheels by Zulu warriors. This second lesson is indelibly marked upon the Afrikaner consciousness. Vengeance was taken at Blood River, the quintessential racial confrontation of the 19th century.
The third lesson was during the Anglo-Boer war, when Britain armed up to a hundred thousand black men to terrorize the Boer women and children. This piece of history has been carefully suppressed, but many Boer women were massacred and others were raped by marauding black “soldiers,” resulting in the birth of mixed-race children. In the northern parts of the country, this is often cited as a cause of the revulsion against race-mixing that endured until perhaps 10 or 20 years ago.
Now, for the fourth time in our history, we are experiencing black terror first hand, and despite the ideological brainwashing by the media and the government through the schools and universities, every Afrikaner knows what our most recent Nobel prize winner, J.M. Coetzee, an anglicized Afrikaner, wrote in his 1999 Afro-pessimistic novel Disgrace: “they do rape.” While the newspapers omit the race of perpetrators in their daily reports on South Africa’s constant wave of killings, robberies and sex crimes, and liberal commentators blame the crimes on “patriarchy,” “apartheid,” or “the cult of maleness,” Afrikaners are not hoodwinked. The race of any white who commits a violent crime is always reported so it can be said, “see, whites also do it, sometimes;” therefore all those other crimes must be committed by blacks.
The Afrikaners’ experiment in applying mainstream Western race theory in South Africa by submitting to rule by black Africans is turning out to be the worst mistake in their history, apart from the siege of Ladysmith, which was a waste of troops that enabled the British safely to land their forces in 1900, instead of having to take the country from the sea. According to conservative estimates, 30,000 Afrikaners have already been killed by blacks since 1994, more than the number of women and children who died in the British camps from 1899 to 1902, and 30 times more than the number of soldiers who died in the Angolan war against the joint Russian, Cuban and Angolan forces over more than a decade. For the fourth time, Afrikanerdom is receiving a bloody awakening because it failed to read its own history.
It may be that the anti-Afrikaner season in the West is bottoming out, and that we are on the way up again. But the price in human lives and suffering is as high as it has ever been. In 410 AD the Romans submitted without resistance to barbarian invasion. Was the Western imposition of black rule in South Africa a decade ago a similar sign of effete surrender to the Third World? The drama unfolding in South Africa may determine the future of the West, and 1994 may yet become the date that marked the beginning of the end for Western peoples as they succumbed to the syndrome of white guilt and penance for 500 years of excellence.
Dr. Roodt holds degrees from the University of the Witwatersrand and Université de Paris VIII (Vincennes/St. Denis). He is a well-known novelist and Afrikaner commentator who has played a leading role in what has become known over the past four years as the “Third Afrikaans Language Struggle.” Like his ancestors, he is forced to live in a laager, a Johannesburg security village surrounded by an electrified fence and cameras, and patrolled by armed guards.
The Great Trek
The Dutch ancestors of today’s Afrikaners founded the first permanent white settlement near present-day Cape Town in 1652. In 1795, following the French victory over the Netherlands, the British occupied the Cape Colony to secure the sea lanes around the Cape of Good Hope. The Dutch chafed under what they considered heavy-handed British rule. They resented the abolition of slavery in 1834, and the tendency of the British to treat them as they did the native blacks. These policies were, in the words of one Boer woman, “contrary to the laws of God and the natural distinction of race and religion, so that it was intolerable for any decent Christian to bow down beneath such a yoke, wherefore we rather withdrew in order to preserve our doctrines in purity.”
Between 1835 and 1843, some 12,000 Boers, a quarter of those living in the Cape Colony, hitched their oxen to covered wagons, and, with their wives, children, servants, and livestock, moved to the interior in what became known as the Voortrek, or Great Trek, the defining event in Afrikaner nationalism.
The Boers’ intention was not conquest. The lands in and around the Traansvaal, north of the Orange River, had been largely depopulated by tribal warfare. Piet Retief, a Boer leader, had written in a published manifesto that, “We propose . . . to make known to the native tribes our intentions, and our desire to live in peace and friendly intercourse with them.” Nevertheless as the Voortrekkers continued north across the Vaal River they entered lands claimed by the Ndebele, the second most powerful native tribe in southern Africa after the Zulu, and now a substantial portion of the population of Zimbabwe. The Ndebele under Chief Mzilikazi let the first Boer wagons pass unmolested, but began attacking later parties, killing women and children. It was during the fighting against the Ndebele that the Boers perfected their style of warfare.
On October 19, 1836, a party of 40 Boer men, along with their women and children, successfully fought off an attack by thousands of Ndebele warriors at the Battle of Vegkop. They formed their 50 wagons into an outer laager, or ring, lashed them together with chains, and jammed thorn bushes under and between them to prevent attackers from creeping through. Each Boer kept a spare gun or two that his wife had loaded for him. The Boers also cut their bullets so they would split apart in flight and hit several men.
During the battle, Boer women and children sheltered inside an inner laager of four wagons formed into a square and covered with planks and hides. The Boer men used the laagers only as a final retreat, riding out on horseback with long, large-caliber muskets, called snaphaans, which they loaded and fired from the saddle. They rode well away from the laager and tried to pick off as many warriors as possible before returning.
The Ndebele suffered heavy losses at Vegkop, perhaps 1,000 dead. Their spears could not penetrate the thick canvas covering the wagons, while a blast from a musket loaded with splintering bullets could take down as many as six men. The Boers lost just two men at Vegkop and no women or children. In early 1837, the Boers launched a punitive raid against Chief Mzilikazi, burning his village and killing 400 warriors.
Many Boers were content with the lands they settled in the Traansvaal, but others, including Piet Retief, believed the Afrikaner nation needed access to the sea. This meant crossing into Natal, the land of the powerful Zulus. Retief thought he could negotiate with the Zulu, and on February 6, 1838, he led a party of 66 Boers and 30 black servants under a flag of truce into the camp of Chief Dingaan. After three days of feasting, Dingaan suddenly ordered his fiercest warrior regiment, the Wild Beasts, to “Kill the Wizards!” The massacre of Retief, his men, and their black servants began the Zulu-Boer war.
On February 17, 1838, the Zulu attacked the Boer laagers along the Blaauwkrans River, killing 85 adults and 148 children. It was on this day that Zulus earned a permanent place in the Afrikaner memory by killing infants by dashing their brains out against wagon wheels. Zulu raids continued throughout the year, killings hundreds of Voortrekkers.
By late 1838, the Boers had a new leader, Andries Pretorius (for whom Pretoria is named), who was determined to avenge the murder of Retief and the massacre at Blaauwkrans. On December 15, Pretorius and his force of 470 men spotted an approaching Zulu army of 12,500 men along a tributary of the Buffalo River near present-day Dundee. Pretorius formed his wagons into a D-shaped defensive ring, with two cannon to cover the entrances. Although facing overwhelming odds, his men carried modern Western weapons — flintlock rifles and muskets — whereas the Zulus carried only shields and short stabbing spears known as assegaais, which they seldom threw.
Before the battle, the Boers made a covenant with God: “Here we stand, before the Holy God of heaven and earth, to make to Him a vow that, if He will protect us, and deliver our enemies into our hands, we will observe the day and date each year as a day of thanks, like a Sabbath, and that we will erect a Church in His honor, wherever He may choose and that we will also tell our children to join with us in commemorating this day, also for coming generations. For His name will be glorified by giving Him all the honor and glory of victory.”
The Zulu attacked at dawn on December 16, 1838. The Boers held off the first attack, and the second. Although the Zulu drove right up to the line of wagons, they fought in such tight groups their men stumbled over each other, and withering fire from inside the laager drove them back. After the second repulse, the Zulu seemed hesitant to attack again, but Pretorius lured them into a third assault by sending some men outside the laager as bait. When they attacked again, Pretorius routed the Zulu with cavalry. The fleeing army left behind more than 3,000 dead along the banks of what became known as the Blood River. Astonishingly, not one Boer was killed, and only three were wounded. To the Afrikaners, the victory was indeed divinely ordained.
The Boers kept their vow to God. They built a memorial church in Pietermaritsburg two years later, and celebrated each December 16 as the Day of the Covenant (which the ANC government has officially renamed Reconciliation Day). There are two monuments on the site commemorating the victory. The first is an ox-wagon sculptured out of granite. Nearby is a reconstruction of the laager made of 64 full-size ox-wagon replicas cast in bronze.
Another Zimbabwe in the Making?
The many forms of white dispossession.
Philip du Toit, The Great South African Land Scandal, Legacy Publications, 2004, 271 pp. (softcover), $25.
There have been muted reports about the attacks on white farmers in South Africa since the African National Congress (ANC) took power in 1994, but Philip du Toit’s new book is the first detailed account of the many wrongs they have suffered officially at the hands of a hostile and incompetent government. This book dramatically illuminates the failure of South Africa’s “land restitution program,” which transfers white-owned land to blacks. In case after case, the government has taken once-profitable and well-managed farms from whites and turned them over to blacks who run them into the ground. This process could have a devastating effect on South Africa’s agriculture.
Dr. du Toit is a lawyer who has represented many of these farmers in court, and has thoroughly researched the struggles of white farmers. Although the book is sometimes confusing for Americans unfamiliar with South Africa, it does a valuable service in fleshing out the details of a tragedy of which the world is only dimly aware.
When the ANC came to power in 1994 it passed the Restitution of Land Rights Act, which promised to transfer 30 percent of white-owned land to blacks during the next 10 years. This was meant to compensate blacks who lost land after the passage of the 1913 Native Land Act, which restricted black ownership. In subsequent years, white governments relocated millions of blacks to native homelands that comprised about 12 percent of the area of South Africa.
The 1994 Land Rights Act also established the Land Claims Courts to govern restitution. Claimants had to prove in court that they or their ancestors had been dispossessed of the land after 1913, and that they had not been fairly compensated. The land-owners could present evidence that the claim was invalid, and haggle over the value of the land. Valid claimants were eligible for government help to buy the land. The deadline for applications for land restitution was Dec. 31, 1998, by which time blacks filed 68,878 claims. This legal process has been slow, and blacks have received about three percent of white-owned land. Militant groups constantly criticize the government for its slow pace.
In response, the ANC amended the Land Rights Act in 2003 so that the Minister of Agriculture and Land Affairs does not need a court decision to take land, as long as the minister is satisfied the claimants were dispossessed, and that the owners are getting a fair price. Predictably, this change has outraged white land-owners. As Andries Botha of the Democratic Alliance Party said: “We are moving from the rule of law to the law of rule. ANC ministers imagine themselves as beings of infinite wisdom whose actions should not be questioned. In 1990 the Zimbabwean minister of agriculture also held this kind of view.”
Dr. du Toit points out that the land restitution process has always been fraudulent. Courts favor blacks, and often award land even when claims do not meet legal standards. A particularly egregious example is that of the Botshabelo mission in Mpumalanga Province established by Germans in the 19th century on land not owned by any tribe. The missionaries sheltered black refugees from tribal wars, and gave them education and training. The missionaries built a village with a mill, a book bindery and press, a blacksmith, and other industries where the refugees worked. In 1972, the government removed the descendants of the refugees, and gave them housing and compensation in another area. After 1994, the resettled tribesmen successfully claimed the missionary land for themselves on the grounds that their forefathers lived there, although they were there only because of the generosity of the missionaries and never in any sense owned it. Nor did the claimants have to prove they were the people who were resettled, or their descendants.
Dr. du Toit offers many examples of such haphazard and unjustified “restitution.” One case is that of the Mamathola 635 tract, in the Northern Province, from which the government removed Mamathola tribesmen in the 1940s because they were overgrazing. The government resettled them and more than adequately compensated them: The new area was larger than Mamathola 635, and had houses, roads, and infrastructure that more than equaled what the tribesmen left behind. In 2000, the Mamathola filed a successful land claim — not for the original Mamathola 635 area, but for land that was several miles away! The farmers who lived on the claimed land pointed out this inconsistency, but an African bureaucrat replied that the Mamathola would claim their cattle had grazed in this area as well. The claim was filled with other inaccuracies: that the land on which the Mamathola had been resettled was “too small,” and that they had had to build their own houses. The court does not appear to have even tried to verify any of these claims.
In many cases the actual claimants never get the land. None of the tribesmen who petitioned for the Mamathola land had returned there by the time Dr. du Toit’s book was published. Instead, the government appointed a committee mainly of Pretoria residents to manage the land. None of its members had any connection to the Mamathola, and Pretoria is not even in the Northern Province. They are probably ANC loyalists being rewarded for service. Most of the committee members did not move onto the land, and none farmed it. Many farms awarded under the Botshabelo land claim also ended up in the hands of government bureaucrats and their relations. Dr. du Toit has heard that local warlords claim to own the farms, and are selling off parcels.
White South Africans have successfully farmed unfriendly soil because they have mastered modern farming techniques, which require substantial investment and intelligent management. The new African owners usually know nothing about these methods, and often scorn the help of previous owners. The infrastructure whites installed breaks down, and the farms become unproductive.
On the Mamathola tract, whites had equipped a farm with a computerized irrigation system of pumping plants, pipelines, and canals. They had also established an Irrigation Board to manage water use on various farms. When they left, the farmers told the claim committee that they would be willing to train the new owners. The committee rebuffed this offer, declaring not only that Africans were perfectly capable of running the farms, but that they would even “restructure” operations to improve them. When one of Dr. du Toit’s teams of researchers surveyed the land in 2003, they found it in a state of collapse. The packing sheds were empty, the pipes from the dam were broken, the fruit trees were sunburned, the tractors were rusting, the electricity was cut off, and not a soul was working.
Dr. du Toit has gathered so many examples of farm failure that he likens his book to a broken record. In another case, the government bought a modern, white-owned pig farm in Mpumalanga Province and gave it to a chief. Before the transfer, the farm supported 2,400 pigs. A short time after the transfer, all of the pens were in disrepair, and the 500 surviving pigs were so hungry they were eating each other.
When the government handed over a profitable Northern Province fruit farm to blacks in 2000, the previous owner agreed to stay on for five years to manage the handover. He later resigned in disgust, saying the new owners did nothing but argue about salaries. They stopped paying the electric bill, and had their power cut off. Eventually, they sold all the farm equipment for next to nothing and now survive by fishing and grazing cattle.
Reality belies South Africa’s propaganda of racial reconciliation. In 2001, when a white farmer in Eastern Cape Province transferred part of his land to blacks and agreed to help the new owners, Thabo Mbeki himself lauded him in Parliament as a model citizen of the new South Africa. The local newspaper published a glowing story, “White and Black Farmers Join Hands,” with pictures of the former and current owners smiling and chatting over a fence. Two years later, the farmer had given up on his neighbors; they made unnecessary purchases he had advised against, and had no fodder for their animals. The Africans had divided into two groups and were fighting and arguing. “I don’t want to be involved any more,” he said. “If anything goes wrong, they blame me.”
Another new law, the Extension of Security and Tenure Act of 1997, makes it virtually impossible for white farmers to expel tenants who refuse to pay rent or fire laborers who will not work. A farmer must get a court order to remove tenants, and must give them new homes. On Gert Pretorius’s farm in North West Province, workers he fired years ago still live in houses on his land. They steal his cattle and slaughter them in his sheds, and his staff must clean up after them. Since he does not have the money to buy them new houses, there is no way to get rid of them.
Camps of squatters, some containing tens of thousands of people, have formed all over South Africa, even in the public parks in Pretoria. Squatting on white-owned farms is common. In some cases, tribal warlords actually sell white-owned land to squatters. In 1999, Jabulani Mdlalose, a KwaZulu/Natal warlord, announced to farmer Steve van Jaarsveld that he would start settling people on white land. Sure enough, blacks began setting up shacks on Mr. van Jaarsveld’s land. When he complained to the police, they said they could do nothing because the squatters had bought the land fair and square! Dr. du Toit believes that policeman are often “very good friends” of the warlords. Mr. van Jaarsveld, like many of the farmers in the area, has suffered attacks from Zulus who have burned his crops and shot him in the leg.
Even if they don’t take over, blacks can cripple farms by stealing and poaching. One white farm owner in Mpumalanga Province described in Dr. du Toit’s book says he has found 4,000 traps on his property over the past two years. In 2003, he lost 20 head of cattle and 400 impalas to these traps. Like many white farmers, he pays for private security personnel, since the police his tax dollars support are useless to him. He notes that black neighbors with farms thrash poachers to within an inch of their lives, but he knows he would go to jail if he did that. “We are fair game,” he concludes.
Stock theft is rampant. According to the Traansvaal Agricultural Union, “everything is stolen — railway lines, telephone cabling, thousands of cars, electronic equipment, household goods, firearms, clothing, crop, stock, and even houses (brick by brick).” Marauders stole 37,000 head of cattle and 70,000 sheep and goats in 2000. That year depredations of this kind cost farmers R300 million ($43 million).
Of all the outrages suffered by white farmers, the worst are violent invasions by blacks, accompanied by theft, arson, rape, and murder. There have been 8,000 armed attacks on farms and 1,600 murders of farmers since 1994. Blacks have attacked one in five commercial farms in South Africa, and fewer than three percent of the attackers have been convicted. South Africa says it will not tolerate Zimbabwe-style land invasions, and there is no evidence it promotes them, as Zimbabwe does. However, law enforcement in the South African countryside is so lax, and the justice system so biased, that the difference between the two countries increasingly appears to be a matter of government rhetoric.
Attacks on South African farmers are most prevalent in the KwaZulu/Natal province. Dr. du Toit devotes a chapter to the experiences of the Dunns, an extended family that owns farms bordering on a Zulu reserve called the Macambini Tribal Authority. The chief, Inkosi Mathaba, is an Inkatha Freedom Party strongman who ran hit squads that committed murder and arson before the handover in 1994.
With his encouragement, Zulus have been moving onto Dunn farmland since 1993. These invasions got worse after the 1994 elections, when the squatters began building solid structures. Since then, the Dunns have faced robbery, threats, intimidation, arson, and even rape and murder. One of the wives, Pat Dunn, says Zulus shot her husband and beat her so badly they broke three vertebrae. They stole her car and destroyed it, killed her dog, and have burned her crops five years in a row.
The Dunns called on the South African courts to stop the invasions. However, because Chief Mathaba filed a land claim on the property in 1994, the courts refuse to do anything until the claim is settled. The Dunns also complained to the KwaZulu/Natal provincial government, which claimed that “the KwaZulu government will not allow a precedent for Zimbabwe-style land invasions in the province.” However, they have done nothing. Dr. du Toit comments:
“This type of behavior has become a hallmark of the present government. Promises to ‘look into the matter,’ to ‘[get] back to’ the complainants, to appoint a ‘commission of enquiry,’ to ‘address the problem’ are made, but nothing happens. In most cases, the situations actually worsen. [Derisive] laughter greets official promises now, laughter from all shades of the population.
In many cases, blacks simply kill white farmers. Theft explains some of these murders, but Dr. du Toit points out that this is not the entire explanation. First, many killings are unnecessarily brutal, and some involve torture. Prosperous black shop owners in the same area are not nearly as likely to be killed as white farmers. South Africa’s blacks have always been poor, but no other period has seen anti-white violence on such a scale. The more plausible explanation is that blacks are trying to drive whites off the land entirely.
Dr. du Toit’s book is a useful corrective to the bland pap about South Africa that appears in the mainstream press. In January, The Economist ran a story about South Africa entitled “More Squeeze than Grab: Don’t Expect Zimbabwe-style Land Invasions in South Africa.” Max Boot of The Weekly Standard tells us in his recent panegyric to the transition to black rule, “the most inspiring thing about South Africa is that there seems to be so little rancor.” This book argues persuasively that South Africa is not nearly as harmonious, nor as different from Zimbabwe as these writers suggest. Moreover, the recent amendment to the Land Rights Act shows that the government is losing patience with even the trappings of fairness, just as Robert Mugabe did when he found land reform going too slowly for his tastes. Dr. du Toit deserves a large, world-wide audience for this disturbing book.
|IN THE NEWS
O Tempora, O Mores!
There has been a trickle of South Africans applying for asylum in the United States on grounds of racial persecution. Almost all have been deported.
In 1999, Michael and Carol Gormley, both 55, came from Durban to the US on a tourist visa, in part to visit family near Seattle, but also because they were victims of the “New South Africa.” Mr. Gormley worked as a construction supervisor and Mrs. Gormley was a cargo coordinator for the railway. Both lost their jobs to “affirmative action,” and could not find work. They claimed that the new affirmative action laws amount to race-based persecution, and told the court they were victims of “violent, rampant crime,” largely aimed at whites.
On April 22 of this year, a three-judge panel of the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that “the Gormleys have established only that they fear (1) future racial discrimination with adverse economic consequences, and (2) potential criminal attacks from black assailants. These fears, while perhaps well-founded, do not amount to persecution.” (In order to qualify for asylum, applicants must demonstrate persecution based on race, religion, national origin, political opinion or membership in a distinct social group.)
The Gormleys’ lawyer, Carol Edward, says they are considering an appeal to either the full circuit court or the US Supreme Court. “They are afraid to go back,” she says. “Our argument was that the South African government took one racist government and replaced it with another one that is racist.” [David Kravets, Court: Being White Not Grounds for Asylum from South Africa, AP, April 23, 2004. Sam Skolnik, South Africans Lose ‘Persecution’ Appeal, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, April 23, 2004.]
Some white South Africans are so desperate to leave the country they fall prey to criminals who claim they can get work visas for them in the US. Wessel and Frieda Steenkamp and 26 other South Africans each paid $2,000 to Petras Botes, who claimed to be a recruiter for temporary agricultural workers in the US. When the group arrived in Salina, Kansas, Mr. Botes was missing — immigration authorities had arrested him and four relatives on charges of alien smuggling and visa violations. The Steenkamps and their two young children were stranded with virtually no money, and the problems with their visas meant they could not work.
The Steenkamps decided to apply for political asylum, since they had been farmers in a region where blacks have murdered many whites. “My husband farmed with a gun on his body,” Mrs. Steenkamp told a reporter. She said she quit her job at a bank in town because it was unsafe to drive on country roads, and that blacks were raping white women and girls because they thought it would cure AIDS.
The INS advised them to travel to Mexico and reenter the country legally, so they borrowed money, rented a car, drove from Kansas to Mexico, turned around and recrossed the border. They surrendered their questionable visas, asked for asylum on the grounds of racial persecution, and were granted parole status, which meant they could work while their case was considered. The Steenkamps got jobs on a farm in Warner, South Dakota, attended a local church, and were by all accounts model immigrants.
In 2002, a federal immigration judge denied asylum, saying black attacks on white farmers are criminally — not racially — motivated, and ordered deportation. Carey Nilsson, the man who offered them jobs, said, “It’s the biggest injustice I’ve ever seen in my life. [Mr. Steenkamp] is doing everything for all the right reasons to make a better life for his kids. He’s here, keeping all his money here, and they’re going to kick him out.” Another associate said, “If there were good productive people who would be an asset to our state and this country, it would be these people.” The government deported Wessel and Frieda Steenkamp and their two sons on January 9, 2003. [Betsy Rice, Warner Couple Forced to Return to South Africa, AP, January 1, 2003.]
There has been at least one successful but odd case. In 1997, after black employees of Michelle Thomas’s father-in-law tried to kidnap one of her children, Mrs. Thomas and her family fled their home in Durban to the United States. The Thomases applied for political asylum, claiming they would be persecuted and possibly killed by blacks if they returned to South Africa. Mrs. Thomas said her father-in-law, “Baas Ronnie,” was a racist who abused blacks, and that his workers would retaliate against her and her family. She said blacks poisoned her dog, ransacked her home, and threatened to kill her in front of her children, and that the police did nothing. She claimed that as a white South African she became a victim of persecution by black South Africans.
In 1999, an immigration judge denied asylum because he found that the South African government did not promote violence against or persecute whites. The Thomases appealed, and this March, Immigration Appeals Court Judge Ferdinand Fernandez granted asylum. While he argued that merely being white in South Africa was not sufficient grounds, he believed the Thomases were targeted because they are “members of a particular social group” — the family of the allegedly racist “Baas Ronnie.” [Marthinus van Vuuren, SA Family Gets US Asylum, News24.com (S. Africa), March 15, 2004.]
South Africans who want asylum but don’t have a “racist” father-in-law might try contracting exotic diseases. In April, after a five-year legal battle, Canadian authorities granted permanent residency on compassionate grounds to a South African family that suffers from porphyria, a potentially life-threatening allergy to sunlight. The disease forced the Vivier family to leave Johannesburg, which receives 3,126 hours of sunshine each year, for the tiny Canadian port of Prince Rupert, 40 miles from Alaska, and Canada’s wettest and cloudiest town. It gets 100 inches of rain and snow per year, and only about a third as much sun as Johannesburg. [Jane Flanagan, Family Find Their Dream Place in the Gloom, Telegraph (London), May 2, 2004.]
Lower Standards or Else
Of the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) Law School’s 140 graduates in 2004, only five are black and two are Hispanic. The 2006 class has even fewer. Other law schools across the country also graduate few non-whites. That, says UMKC professor Rogelio Lasso, an immigrant from Panama, is “a formula for disaster in the making.”
“In 20 years,” he asks, “when Hispanics, African Americans, Native Americans and Asians make up nearly 50 percent of this nation’s population, who will be the judges, lawmakers, and business leaders?” Prof. Lasso says lawyers are the guardians of “the rights and liberties of all members of society,” but thinks whites will not be good at this when they become a minority:
“I know that I am more comfortable with people who look and are like me. White prosecutors and judges will see themselves in young white offenders and are more likely to ‘cut them a break.’ To the white judge or prosecutor, a black or Latino offender is more alien, more likely to be perceived as guilty.”
He says whites are fighting to maintain dominance in the courtrooms and legislatures as their numbers dwindle, and fears this may lead to a form of apartheid, or minority white control over a non-white majority. Unless whites make way for non-whites in higher education, he says there could be disturbances like the riots of the 1960s. “In a very real sense,” he says, “the health of the nation and of our communities depends on how much access we give to the growing population of color to higher education and professional schools.”
Prof. Lasso thinks law schools put too much emphasis on objective criteria like the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT), on which blacks and Hispanics do poorly. He has designed an alternative law school admissions system that would increase the number of non-whites. His goal is to produce a “critical mass” of non-white lawyers who can help run a post-white America. [Carmen Cardinal, UKMC Law School is as Segregated as Ever, But Now for Different Reasons, MissouriBarReview.com, April 16, 2004.]
Nuran Halitogullari, a 14-year-old Turkish girl, survived kidnap and rape, but her father Mehmet believed her defilement stained the family honor, so he garroted her. Miss Halitogullari is the latest victim in the centuries-long tradition of “honor killings” in Turkey and other Islamic countries. The Turkish government, under pressure from international women’s groups, is trying to stop the practice. [Turkish Father Strangles 14-Year-Old in ‘Honor Killing,’ Orlando Sentinel, April 30, 2004.]
In Khanbary, Pakistan, a man known only as Ibrahim suspected his wife Rozina was having an affair. In keeping with local custom, he chopped off her right ear and shaved her head. The practice of removing the ears and shaving the heads of adulteresses is a longstanding tradition in remote northern Pakistan, but the local police arrested Ibrahim anyway. [Pakistani Husband Cuts Off Wife’s Ear Over Suspected Affair, AFP, May 4, 2004.]
Americans have quaint customs, too. On March 30, in Volusia County, Florida, police discovered Michael Rogers, an American Indian, skinning the head of a bald eagle. Mr. Rogers, who has a license to handle live bald eagles — but not mutilate dead ones — says he found the bird already dead and was preparing the carcass for a spiritual ritual and burial at an Indian mound near the Daytona International Speedway. The police arrested Mr. Rogers, who faces a $500 fine or 60 days in jail. They sent the eagle to Colorado for an autopsy. [American Indian Arrested After Skinning Head of Bald Eagle, Local6.com (Orlando), April 20, 2004.]
On April 14, police partially evacuated the Palm Beach County, Florida, Courthouse and called the bomb squad after discovering a suspicious package and a bag of dead animals near the entrance to the judges’ parking garage. The bomb squad blew up the package, which contained only brown powder. Investigators think the powder and the dead animals — three birds and a turtle — may be part of a Santeria spell that someone put on either the courthouse or the judges. Animal sacrifice is an important part of Santeria, a religion popular among Caribbean immigrants. [A Suspicious Package and Bag of Dead Animals Left Outside the Palm Beach County Courthouse, Palm Beach Post, April 15, 2004.]
The latest class of recruits to the Baltimore Fire Department is entirely white, the first time this has happened in 50 years. Although the test was carefully vetted for “bias,” almost all the candidates who passed were white. The blacks who passed had criminal records or failed a drug test.
This caused much distress. The Baltimore Sun put the story on the front page, with the headline, “City Fire Department Recruits 1st All-White Class in 50 Years.” A group of retired black firefighters said the results “set this department back 50 years.” One councilman declared the results of the test “unbelievable.”
Fire Chief William J. Goodwin held a press conference and promised, “We will make sure that this never happens again.” “Was [the process] fair?” he asked. “It was absolutely fair. Did we follow all the civil service laws? Absolutely.” Later he added, “The process will be changed immediately.” The department quickly let six blacks join the class on probation. [Reginald Fields, City Fire Department Recruits 1st All-White Class In 50 Years, Baltimore Sun, April 20, 2004. Les Kinsolving, A ‘Fair’ Process Results In All Whites! WorldNetDaily, May 1, 2004.]
Who Are the Criminals?
Starting in late March, rumors of immigration raids began spreading in Houston, and were picked up by Spanish-language radio and television. Illegals lay low, and construction sites, meat markets, and taco stands were emptier than usual. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) denied raids were taking place, but many Hispanics did not believe them.
Houston authorities felt compelled to lay their fears to rest. On April 26, immigration officials, police, and politicians held a meeting, conducted almost entirely in Spanish, to explain that illegals had nothing to fear. Joseph Webber of ICE promised his agency had not been conducting raids. The Houston police explained there was nothing to fear from them, since Houston is a sanctuary city that does not enforce immigration law. US Representative Gene Green said the main goal of immigration services was to protect national security. “If you don’t get in trouble with the law, you probably won’t get picked up,” he said, implying that immigration violations were not really against the law.
The crowd took an accusatory and indignant tone, as if illegals deserved compensation for the disturbance they had suffered. Immigrants’ rights groups complained that ICE was causing panic by parking its vehicles near work sites. The groups made it clear the meeting did not let ICE off the hook, and that they were keeping an eye on them.
This was too much for Congressman Tom Tancredo of Colorado. Two days later, he angrily demanded a White House investigation into the meeting. “The fact that an administration official and a United States Congressman would take such pains to publicly assure people that they have no plans to enforce the laws they are sworn to uphold is simply mindboggling, and they owe the people an explanation,” he said. [Edward Hegstrom, Work Nearly Grinds To Halt as Immigrant-Raid Rumors Circulate, Houston Chronicle, April 16, 2004. Edward Hegstrom, Immigrant Roundup a Myth, Officials Say, Houston Chronicle, April 26, 2004. Tancredo Slams Immigration Bureaucrat For Refusing to Enforce the Law, Press release from Congressman Tom Tancredo, April 28, 2004.]
The American Association of Retired Persons commissioned a Gallup poll on the state of race relations in America, and the May cover story of their magazine reports the results. It says Americans have made great “progress,” meaning they accept integration more than they used to. The writer, Adam Goodheart, believes the strongest evidence of this “inclusive spirit” is the finding that 71 percent of Americans and 66 percent of whites said they would not object if a child or grandchild married someone of another race, which is up from just four percent of whites in 1958. Non-whites are more enthusiastic about miscegenation than whites: the results for blacks and Hispanics were 86 percent and 79 percent, respectively. The article fails to point out that the statistics for actual intermarriage are low: only 3.5 percent of whites and 4 percent of blacks marry someone outside their race.
Fifty-seven percent of whites, 61 percent of Hispanics, and 78 percent of blacks said they would “prefer to live in a neighborhood that is mostly mixed,” again showing that non-whites find whites more attractive than the other way around. The 2000 census shows, however, that segregation has not decreased over the past 10 years, and some researchers claim that it has actually increased, and is now at the level of the 1960s. One wonders how genuine this “inclusive spirit” is.
Whereas 42 percent of Americans thought race relations would always be a problem for their country in 1963, 63 percent do today. Moreover, respondents over 65 were most optimistic about the prospects for harmonious race relations, and those under 30 were least optimistic. [Adam Goodheart, The New America, AARP Magazine, May 2004, pp. 43-61.]
According to the 2000 census, six percent of Georgia’s 8.2 million people are Hispanic, but demographers say the actual number could be twice as high. Hispanics started moving to Georgia in large numbers during the late 1980s and ‘90s to work in the carpet mills of Dalton and the poultry plants around Gainesville, but are now spreading everywhere. “There’s not one single county in the state of Georgia that does not have Latinos. We are everywhere,” says Sara Gonzalez, president and CEO of the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. (In Henry County, southeast of Atlanta, the second-most common foreign language after Spanish is the Indian language of Guajarati, of all things.)
Hispanics make no secret of their desire to reshape America. “In 2050 [when Hispanics are projected to be at least one quarter of the US population], we’re going to look back and sort of laugh about the fact that in 2004, we pointed to [just] one Latino governor and a handful of Latino members of Congress as the extent of our opportunity for future Hispanic leadership,” says Adam Segal, director of the Hispanic Voter Project at Johns Hopkins University. “I would certainly question anyone who would suggest that Spanish will not become a far more dominant language in the United States by that time.” [Larry Copeland and Haya El Nasser, Population Getting More Diverse as it Gets Bigger, USA Today, March 18, 2004, p. 2A.]
It already is. This fall, voters in Hall County, Georgia, (home of the Gainesville poultry plants) will have a choice of ballots in English or Spanish. The federal government says counties in which more than five percent of voting-age residents do not understand English must offer foreign-language ballots. Although Hall County has not yet reached that threshold — most of its 19.6 percent Hispanic population is under 18 — state officials decided to offer the Spanish ballots as part of a pilot program to prepare for the future. [Elliot McLaughlin, Bilingual Ballots Come to Northeast Georgia, Herald (Miami), April 15, 2004, p. 3A.]
In St. Paul, Minnesota, the Hispanic population doubled between 1990 and 2000; in neighboring Minneapolis, it quadrupled. Many smaller cities and towns in Minnesota have also seen big increases. Just five years ago, only 48 of Minnesota’s 439 schools districts had at least 100 Hispanic students, and only four had more than 500. The current figures are 68 and 14, respectively.
The proximity of Latin America, coupled with modern technology, means today’s immigrants are not assimilating as the Scandinavians did when they settled large parts of Minnesota and the upper Midwest. “I’ve been back and forth a few times,” says Mexican immigrant Jose Salinas. “I maybe want to stay here. But even if I do, I can’t forget my country, my family, my traditions.”
Dan Pena, an American-born Hispanic who is a chef at a restaurant in Chaska, Minnesota, doesn’t expect Hispanics to assimilate. “When Europeans came here, home was an ocean apart. For Mexicans, it’s a river, just 60 feet wide . . . We are headed toward that ‘one world’ thing, like it or not.” [David Peterson, Immigrants Not Settling in Traditional Enclaves, Star Tribune (Minneapolis), March 18, 2004.]
|LETTERS FROM READERS
Sir — I read with fascination the first part of Dan Roodt’s article on the Afrikaners, and am left with a great mystery. Why did such a strong and proud people turn over their country to blacks? This is particularly incomprehensible, given that South Africans have lived with blacks all their lives, and have seen the chaos of black rule in dozens of countries to the north.
1994 was a terrible mistake that cannot easily be undone. The only option now is withdrawal into enclaves like Orania, where a remnant of a once-happy people can perhaps continue in some form. This ghetto solution is particularly risky in Africa, however, where a black government can run amok any time, and the rest of the world will do nothing.
Perhaps Part II will explain.
Ellen Sturges, Roanoke, Va.
Sir — I enjoyed Dan Roodt’s article on the struggles of the Boer nation. Afrikaners are indeed a tough people, and that is why I am surprised Mr. Roodt did not include any of the great Afrikaner boxers in his list of accomplished Boers. In the last 20 years, there have been three heavyweight boxing champions from South Africa. All three have been white, including two Afrikaners (Gerrie Coetzee and Francois Botha) and one Anglo (Corrie Sanders). These men were not especially big or fast. But they were strong, and fought with a will that served them well against their often more physically gifted black opponents.
All South African whites will need these same fighting qualities if they are to survive the increasing savagery.
Christopher Glenn, Seattle, Wash.
Sir — According to Samuel Francis, Charles Murray says a society must have religion — in combination with other important ingredients — if it is to create great art. I think a good case can be made for this view. At the same time, a good case can be made for the view that white men need religion in order to maintain coherence as a race. It may not be coincidence that the destruction of white racial consciousness took place during the second half of the 20th century, at a time when religion went into decline, certainly in the United States and even more so in Europe.
Christianity, like any religion, sets limits and boundaries. It posits a clear distinction between good and bad. It sets a path for men to follow. Without religion, Western man seems to have lost the capacity to make distinctions of any kind. It is not only the traditional prohibitions of fornication, theft, lying, and excessive materialism that have gone by the boards. Western man’s cynicism now extends to distinctions between the beautiful and the ugly, the healthy and unhealthy, male and female. This is why there is so little outrage when urinals are displayed as art, AIDS carriers are treated like innocent victims, and homosexuals claim to want to marry. Can it be a surprise that such a society cannot draw racial distinctions either? If a crucifix in a jar of urine is art, then everything else we always thought must be wrong. If a man can marry your son, a black should certainly be able to marry your daughter.
The sturdy Christianity of our grandfathers — not the mush that passes for Presbyterianism or Methodism these days — would have been a bulwark against these things. And, who knows, it might even provide the social framework Dr. Murray says is needed for great art.
Angela Weishart, Tampa, Fla.
Sir — In his letter to the editor in the April issue, Thomas Oleson writes, “I would like to see all illegal aliens deported and our borders closed by whatever means necessary. Mexico, however, is a special case,” because it needs a “safety valve” to avoid “chaos.” It is hard to see how chaos in Mexico could cause us anywhere near the harm we are already suffering by the US government’s unconstitutional refusal to stop the current invasion. Some problems really do have simple solutions: Enforce border law! This is just as true whether or not Mexico is in chaos. It is not our job to prop up corrupt Mexican elites, the same elites who promote invasion. Besides, how in the long run does it help the Mexican people for us to serve as a “safety valve” for a government that is so corrupt and inept that it cannot otherwise survive? In the final analysis, if we do not have the courage to defend our own borders, no amount of cowardly fudging with half-baked “guest worker” schemes and the like will save us — nor should it.
Tom Andres, Sonora, Calif.
Sir — Where did you get the figures for Hispanic marriage rates on page three of the March 2004 issue (“The Myth of Hispanic Family Values”)? If the source was Census Bureau data, the rates are probably too high.
My wife is an RN in the maternity ward of a Massachusetts hospital, and one of the things she must find out from patients is their marital status. Even though a Hispanic patient may refer to a man as her “husband,” when my wife asks if they are legally married, with a license, nine out of ten times the answer is “no.” It appears that Hispanics have a different concept of marriage from the rest of us. If a couple has been living together long enough or has children, they apparently consider themselves married.
Many Hispanics who claim on their census forms that they are married probably aren’t. If they will lie to a maternity ward RN about their marital status, what’s to stop them from lying on a piece of paper from the Census Bureau?
Marshall North, Belchertown, Mass.