Niels Dempster, American Renaissance, July 2000
Although it is very much a tragedy in its own right, the plight of white farmers in Zimbabwe is only the latest step in the historical process of ethnic cleansing that has taken place everywhere in Africa since independence. The real significance of Robert Mugabe’s antics is that they have drawn the world’s attention to this process in a way that reveals its true nature more clearly than ever before. The real horror that the chaos in Zimbabwe portends—horror that will make what is now happening seem like a mild disturbance—will be played out in South Africa.
When we view recent events from a historical perspective we see that it is the continuation of what has happened throughout Africa since the end of colonial rule: the disappearance of non-African minorities. Sometimes this has happened peacefully, as in Kenya, from which former British settlers quietly returned to the UK after independence. Sometimes it has been abrupt, as when Idi Amin decided overnight to rob and deport Uganda’s entire Indian community. Sometimes it has been horrific and bloody as the former Portuguese citizens of Mozambique and Angola will tell you. The end result, however, has always been the same.
With the exception of the whites of South Africa there are now no significant non-African minorities left in Sub-Saharan Africa. (I would note, by the way, that this phenomenon is not restricted to Africa. On a recent trip to New York I couldn’t help noticing a glaring lack of diversity in Harlem. With the exception of a tourist bus and a harried-looking Korean I was the only non-African north of 125th Street.) Once Africans gain power and become the majority, people of other races leave or are driven out.
Viewed from this perspective, the flight of the European minority in Zimbabwe is inevitable with or without Mr. Mugabe. It is wishful thinking to believe, as many whites in southern Africa still do, that replacing Mr. Mugabe with a more moderate leader would change things. A new, more reasonable leader in Zimbabwe could stop the blatant ethnic cleansing now underway and probably would enable whites to continue living in Zimbabwe for another decade or two, but he would only delay their inevitable departure. Unlike Mr. Mugabe, however, a credible leader would not solicit sympathy from the West for the plight of southern Africa’s white minority.
If black governments do not force whites out of southern Africa, crime, general lawlessness, and the inevitable decline in living standards to a Third-World level eventually will—regardless of who is in charge of Zimbabwe or South Africa. The tragedy of southern Africa is that unlike other former colonists the majority of whites do not have a European passport they can use to get out when the going gets tough. Whites who don’t have the means, education and passport to leave—the majority—will be stuck in a Third-World hell of violence and poverty. We are already witnessing the steady exodus of educated South Africans to the USA, Europe, and Australia.
This slowly unfolding tragedy has been largely ignored by the international media. Yes, occasional articles are published about the increase in crime and corruption in South Africa but in most cases these are attributed to the legacy of the brutal apartheid regime. With leaders like Nelson Mandela talking in moderate tones about reconciliation, it is difficult to elicit much sympathy for whites forced to witness their civilization crumbling around them.
Now for the first time, thanks to Mr. Mugabe, the general public in the West is learning that Africans are capable of unprovoked systematic racial violence and discrimination against Europeans. [Editor’s note: Zimbabwe has received considerably more attention in Britain than in the United States.] Despite the media’s instinct to ignore and downplay the ethnic cleansing, Mr. Mugabe’s outlandish remarks, along with those of his ally Chenjerai “Hitler” Hunzvi, make him irresistibly newsworthy. It is difficult not to report a world leader’s comments on the sexual orientation of Britain’s Prime Minister, not to mention the anti-white venom of his Idi Amin-style tirades. Thanks to Mr. Mugabe’s antics it has been impossible for the liberal intelligentsia and media to show the recent land grab in Zimbabwe in a positive, anti-colonialist light.
Because of the media’s decades-long anti-apartheid campaign, there has been very little sympathy for the plight of whites in southern Africa. Most people in the West find it difficult to sympathize with people they have been conditioned to view as racist oppressors. There is a feeling among many—and not just among members of the liberal intelligentsia—that black violence against whites in southern Africa is understandable and in many ways justified given the region’s history. Mr. Mugabe has cast a tiny shadow of doubt on this view, and driven a small minority to start thinking in a new way about what is going on. For that we should be thankful.
The fact is that in some respects the situation in South Africa is already worse than in Zimbabwe. Accurate figures are hard to come by, but since Mr. De Klerk ushered in the new rainbow nation an estimated 1,000 or more white farmers and their families have been assaulted, murdered and in some horrific cases tortured to death by their fellow African citizens. Unlike the case in Zimbabwe, this continuing outrage receives absolutely no coverage by the word press. This is because it has not had psychopathic clowns like Robert Mugabe and “Hitler” Hunzvi to draw the world’s attention to it. If it weren’t for them the plight of Zimbabwe’s farmers would also be a non-event. Mr. Mugabe has inadvertently succeeded in highlighting the plight of whites just as Idi Amin made headlines when he expelled Uganda’s Indians in 1972. Interestingly, Britain at that time granted the Indians the right to live in the United Kingdom, something the current government seems reluctant to do for Zimbabwe’s whites.
Mr. Mugabe has therefore issued a wake-up call to whites in South Africa—but they aren’t asleep, they are in a coma. On a business trip to South Africa last December I was astonished at the state of denial in which I found most European South Africans. It was surreal to sit in a luxurious restaurant in Sandon, a suburb of Johannesburg, discussing business and rugby—everything except what really mattered, which is the future of the country. People carry on as if everything were normal.
As a visitor it was easy to believe after a couple of days that perhaps my perception of South Africa’s future was excessively gloomy, since everyone seemed so confident that things were going to sort themselves out and improve. In fact I avoided meaningful conversation about South Africa’s future to avoid being seen as negative—no doubt others do, too, and much that should be said remains unspoken. And yet the constant sight of razor wire around suburban homes, along with polite advice not to visit downtown Johannesburg even in the daytime served as reminders that despite appearances, things were not normal. Hopefully, Mr. Mugabe’s actions have succeeded in driving home the hard fact that denying a problem and not talking about it does not make it go away. Perhaps those who can leave but hesitated are now packing their bags, abandoning their homes and businesses, and getting out while they still can.
The real tragedy in southern Africa has yet to take place. In the years to come the West will no doubt be faced with several million whites pleading to be taken in as refugees. The mass media and Western governments will try their best to cover up and ignore what is going on until the plight of whites becomes so extreme that even the most liberal reporters won’t be able to resist the newsworthiness of filming white women and children begging for their lives.
But even after it becomes impossible to ignore what is happening the liberal media will resort to smearing the whites trying to flee South Africa as racists unworthy of living in a multicultural society. In my mind’s eye I can already see distinguished men of learning and religion reminding the public that we shouldn’t focus on the plight of only one segment of the South African population and that all South Africans of every race deserve our sympathy and support, etc., etc. When that happens it will be useful to point to the likes of Mr. Mugabe as examples of the real reason southern Africa has degenerated into barbarism. Mr. Mugabe has given us a striking example of the incompetence, corruption and hopelessness of African rule and in doing so has generated a groundswell of public support for the millions of white South Africans who, before long, will be knocking at our door.