DA Desmond, American Renaissance, October 10, 2020
This is part of our continuing series of accounts by readers of how they shed the illusions of liberalism and became race realists.
I was born at the end of the apartheid system South Africa. I spent my childhood in the post-apartheid collapse and the beginning of black rule in the early 1990s. Crime was rampant and violence was everywhere. I could remember hearing my parents talk about close friends of theirs who were murdered or were the victims of the farm attacks that were becoming more common every year. There was always a sense of anxiety in the air. We didn’t know what would happen next. The look on the faces of the black South Africans said it all. It said, “This is not your country anymore.” That was true.
The moment that made me racially aware was in the summer of 1997 when I was just seven years old. My mother and I were on our way to the bank to withdraw some money for the day’s shopping. When we pulled up there was a large group of black men loitering in front of the entrance. They were being very loud and rambunctious. I looked at my mother as we stopped outside and could see the fear in her eyes. In a young and naïve way, I said to her, “Don’t worry mom, I’ll protect you.” As we exited the vehicle I remained close to her, staying near her hand bag in order to protect it from a purse snatcher. As we moved into the crowd I used my body as a barrier between the men and my mother. We managed to squeeze our way into the bank and withdrew our money. I knew leaving would be even more dangerous, as the men outside knew that we now had cash in hand. We managed to push past them just as before, and once free of the crowd we rushed back to the relative safety of our car and locked the doors. We were lucky that nothing happened, but the terror of it was unreal.
Later that night I overheard my parents talking about this trip to the bank. My mother said to my father, “We have to get out of this country. I do not want to live in a country where my seven-year-old son feels like he needs to protect me.” That night where my parents made the decision to leave South Africa. After failing to be accepted by Australia and the United States, we finally settled on immigrating to Canada. But it would still be many years before we finally left, and that was time enough to see the nation crumble.
One of my close friends lived on a small farm just outside the city I lived in. We used to spend our days exploring the land, playing games, and helping with some of the chores. We had a very fond and friendly relationship with the black farm workers. One day, my friend and I were escaping the summer heat in the cow’s barn, and two of the black workers were doing the same in a small adjoining room. We noticed they were drunk, really drunk. They became belligerent with us. We were just boys, no older than ten at the time. They approached us. One of them had a cattle whip in his hand. I stared at the whip and then looked at my friend. We instinctively knew what to do. We both ran to the far end of the barn where there was a small window we could jump up to and escape out of. My friend jumped first and escaped quite quickly. Unfortunately, I wasn’t as lucky. As I went through the open window, I felt a short, sharp, hot pain across my back. I had been struck with the cattle whip. I limped back to the farm house alone and felt ashamed and embarrassed. I couldn’t bring myself to walk freely on that farm again for fear of running into one of those farm workers again. I began to feel like a stranger in the land that my parents and I were born in.
My great-uncle was a true believer in the new rainbow nation. He was a member of the African National Congress (ANC), Nelson Mandela’s political party, and openly supported black economic empowerment. One night, he took my father to an ANC party rally to show him how wonderful these young black leaders were and try to make him into a liberal, assuring my father that many ANC figureheads had been to England for university and training. He was adamant that these new leaders were going to lead us into the bright new future of our country. My father humored him and went with him. The event was a disorganized mess. The head speaker was so intoxicated that he had to crawl on his hands and knees to get to the podium he was supposed to deliver his speech at. My father walked out laughing, my great-uncle trailing him, silent in shame.
A few years later this same liberal great-uncle was at his small cottage alone when he heard knocking at the door. He opened up and was met by three young black males. They forced their way in and stabbed him in the process. As he lay bleeding out on the floor of his kitchen, the robbers ransacked his cottage and took his wallet and cellphone. He managed to call for an ambulance via landline, but not soon enough: he died of his wounds later in the hospital. It didn’t matter how many ANC party meetings he had been to, or how much he truly believed in the egalitarian spirit of this new South Africa. He was an outsider — a hated outsider, and treated as such.
Many years later, once my family was settled in Canada, my father and I spoke frankly about race. He told me he had been racially conscious as far back as he could remember. I’m sure much of that comes from his time serving in the South African Army during its long running border war. We discussed what went wrong in South Africa. My father said the country was going nowhere. That once black rule was established he knew there was no going back. As of 1994, the country was destined to fail. He went on to explain that due to black tribal and chieftain culture, there would be widespread corruption from “our” elected officials. My father stated with some level of sadness but a clear eye of realism that eventually South Africa would eventually become like every other African nation. I fear he is correct in his predictions. Soon after that talk, back in South Africa, infrastructure fell into disrepair and economic recession set in as investors were weary of the instability and corruption. Social trust in institutions such as police and hospital services disappeared. The nation’s wealth was pillaged as dirty politicians and bureaucrats embezzled each sector of the government.
My impression of Canada as a white South African was mixed. On the one hand, once we arrived in Canada and I started going to school there, the sense of anxiety that used to follow me around in South Africa disappeared. I felt safe and secure around many of my own people. They looked like me, spoke the same language and had the same values. On the other hand, there was anti-white propaganda woven into almost every lesson plan in school. We learned the evils of colonialism and how Europeans disturbed the peaceful Indians that had apparently been living in perfect harmony with nature. Some of the teachers were openly hostile to me, aware of where I came from, and what my leaving said about me and my family. I had a teacher of mine approach me in private one time. He leaned in and said quietly to me that all of us South Africans and the Rhodesians deserved what happened to us. Most of the school’s staff at that time were aging hippies; either not racially aware or eagerly preaching multiculturalism. Some say that is changing. I hope so.
As a white African in North America, I can tell you that cities like Baltimore and Detroit have more in common with Nairobi or Lagos rather than Salt Lake City or Burlington. Whatever the continent, blacks and whites cannot meaningfully and peacefully coexist within the same country. Our morals, our values, and the texture of our lifestyles are simply incompatible. One or the other race will come to lord over the other, and sooner rather than later.
If you have a story about how you became racially aware, we’d like to hear it. If it is well written and compelling, we will publish it. Use a pen name, stay under 1,200 words, and send it to us here.