Dan Roodt, Praag (South Africa), August 1, 2009
Gates, the self-defined “black man in America”, should consider the plight of a white man in South Africa, a game farmer by the name of Ettienne van Wyk. He was arrested by some black policemen for transporting his animals without a permit. He and his farm manager, Mr. Zacharia Duvenhage, were tossed into a cell with 14 hardened black criminals: murderers, robbers, rapists. At around 3.00 a.m. Van Wyk was sodomized by some of the inmates, while the others sang songs to drown out his screams. During this impromptu a capello performance, the station commander was sound asleep.
Van Wyk later sued the South African minister of police for R1.2 million or $150 000 in damages. Duvenhage, who was not sodomized, sued for only R350 000 or $44 000 for suffering several minor injuries.
Why is this, another incident, so many thousands of miles away, relevant? Because the case of Van Wyk represents something like the mirror image of Louis Henry Gates’s minor spat with the law. He, “a black man in America”, was arrested and taken to the police station by a white policeman painfully conscious of his duty as an enforcer of the law. He suffered no injury, except to his zeppelin of an ego. Yet the global media lavished more attention on Gates, a self-confessed creation of affirmative action, than on the war in Afghanistan and a few other wars combined. In contradistinction, the liberal champions of racial justice and equality will never spare a thought, let alone a minute of prime time, for Ettienne van Wyk, a white man arrested for a minor offence concerning the transport of his own animals and sexually assaulted by black criminals while under the authority of a black policeman.