SHOOT BOER hatespeech has to be challenged:

‘Afrikaners would’ve had no place in this country… Shoot the Boer hatespeech had to be challenged in court’

… writes historian Hermann Giliomee

10 October 2011 “The main issue in today’s politics is whether the Constitution will flourish as a living document to which people of all classes and ethnic origins can appeal or whether it will become a dead letter. In the Afrikaans community the issue has recently surfaced in a polemic between Adriaan Basson, a journalist of City Press, and Kallie Kriel, who leads Afriforum, the civil-rights affiliate of the SA trade union Solidariteit.

 

KILL BOERE KILL FARMER AND SHOOT THE BOER ARE ILLEGAL HATESPEECH

Kill Boer protesters supporting allgd murderers of EugeneTerreBlanche ventersdorpVideos: Nelson Mandela sings Kill the Boer; Julius Malema sings Shoot the Boer: 

Julius Malema sings Shoot the Boer
Nelson Mandela sings Kill the Boer

Above: Kill the Boer and “Shoot the Boer” chants were heard outside the courtroom from an aggressive crowd supporting the two murder-suspects in the slaughter of AWB-leader and Ventersdorp farmer Eugene Terre’Blanche . The UK Telegraph quotes comments from this crowd: “as one of the accused was brought out of the Ventersdorp courthouse, scores of black yours, some armed with bricks (picture above) erupted into whistles, cheers and ululation. A woman described the two accused males as ‘heroes’, adding: ‘We are going to stand by them all the way’. Student Jerry Mooltsho, 20, was quoted as saying: ‘they (the suspects) have shown their anger towards the regime, Terre’Blanche deserves his death’. Terre’Blanche, old, ill and defenceless when he was attacked while sleeping in his homeestad, had by then already forsaken his crowd-pleasing Boer-nationalistic political rhetoric for religious evangelism before he was slaughtered: partially dismembered, just a few months after ANC youth league leader Julius Malema started chanting ‘Shoot the Boer’ and “Kill the Boer’ from public platforms. Two Gauteng High Courts have banned this crowd-chant as ‘inciting racial hatred’ in April 2010. The ruling African National Congress has appealed against each ruling made against it ever since: proving that they support Malema completely. Malema himself is using this chant widely and has gained such a huge personal support-base with it, that he now is seen as a direct threat to President Jacob Zuma’s political power.  The US-based Genocide Watch organisation has placed the 4-million ‘Whites’ in South Africa and the few thousand Zimbabwe whites as being in the penultimate stage of all-out Genocide because of Malema’s racial incitement: the man also also has close political links with Zimbabwe’s ruling regime and has even called for the overthrow of peaceful, democratic neighbouring states such as Botswana.

_________________________________________________________________

ANC treats minorities as ‘the threat to their idea of national unity”

Giliomee: “ The place of minorities in South Africa is a burning issue in South Africa, as in other democracies where the ruling party considers the demands of minorities troublesome and even vexatious. Such parties, and the ANC is no exception, treat community-based minorities and any form of (ethnic-cultural) nationalism as the threat to their idea of national unity For the ANC there is no unity in ethnic diversity but dangers in diversity. This belief has deep roots in African history where the (British, French and German) colonial rulers exploited ethnic divisions in African societies in a policy of ‘divide and rule’.

The Constitution of 1996 offered the hope of a new path to democracy and tolerance of ethnic minorities, but that hope soon faded.  Demands of Afrikaans-speakers for the recognition of language rights in schools and universities were soon denounced as longing for the past and a threat to national unity. The court action of the trade union Solidariteit against the singing of the song ‘Shoot the Boer’ was dismissed as an attack on the ANC’s political traditions.
As could be expected, Solidariteit, in taking legal action on the song, was immediately branded as an organisation that tried to capitalise on Afrikaner nationalist sentiments and was intent on pursuing destructive nationalist politics. Nationalism is an enemy that must be destroyed by any means.

Nationalism is often depicted as the ‘Dark God that wrecks nations’. But nationalism is not the enemy that causes catastrophes in one multi-national country after other. It is the failure of the constitutional democracy that cause the rise of nationalism.
The enemy is made up of people who abhor diversity, who want one nation, one language, one history, and of politicians who undermine and assail the Constitution.

South Africa has always been a conglomeration of stubborn national (ethnic) communities:

The tension between assertive minorities and an intolerant government is far from new. It is an old story that crops up often in South Africa. Only the terms and the concepts change. The underlying reason is that South Africa has always been an ‘empire’ – a conglomeration of stubborn national (ethnic) communities rather a nation united behind respected leaders and inspiring goals.

From the earlier times there were always government leaders and the acolytes who assured people that the country had never had it so good and all communities should be thankful for the privilege of living under such progressive rule. For the British imperial government of the nineteenth century its the most popular subjects were the “Cape Dutch”; a small elite who underwent a form of assimilation through which they surrendered their language and every other form of difference in order to become part of the “progressive majority” in the British empire.

Alexis de Tocqueville, the great political scholar of the nineteenth century, knew precisely what was being asked whenever minorities were expected to conform. “There are communities in which the members of the minority can never hope to draw the majority over to their side,” he wrote, “because they must then give up the very point that is at issue between them.”

‘The cold indifference with which the Dutch Boers were being treated by the British as a subject and inferior race…’

The writer Olive Schreiner – who had been a governess on Eastern Cape farms in the 1860s and 1870s – understood how aggrieved the the Dutch colonists were by this “progressive” haughtiness.   “But that which most embittered the hearts of the colonists was the cold indifference which which they were treated and the consciousness that they were regarded as a subject and inferior race … [The] feeling of bitterness became so intense that about the year 1836 large numbers of individuals determined for ever the colony and the homes they created.”

The British’ inhumanity towards the Boers – fuelled Afrikaner nationalism:

At the end of the century Alfred Milner – a “progressive” reformer if there ever was one – coldly engineered the Anglo-Boer War. Afrikaner nationalism was driven by memories of this inhumane war, anti-imperialism and through the struggle for equal status between the Dutch and English languages.
In the competition between the two big white communities between 1910 and 1990 the term “minority” was never used. Instead, it was seen as a struggle between two “nationalities” or “races” (the “Anglo-Saxon” and “Boer” or “Dutch” races.)

Just after Union some English speakers believed that it would be “progressive” if English evolved into the sole national language. The Union constitution required that Dutch and English should enjoy equal status, but many English speakers rejected any practical efforts to secure real equality between the two as a form of racism. The revered writer CJ Langenhoven once posed the key question to an English speaking politician: “Why is it that my politics is always racism and your racism is always politics?”

The term ‘minority’ became popular only after the First World War:
The term “minority” first entered into popular use after the First World War. It was used to refer to the “national minorities” of Eastern Europe, each with their own culture, national history and area. In British-American parlance the term minority only really acquired weight in the 1930s, but with a completely different meaning. A “minority” was overwhelming used to refer to individuals from disadvantaged or stigmatised groups such as, for example, black people.
The different meanings of the term minority has occasioned great confusion. At a Moscow conference in 1988 Russian academics warned ANC representatives against alienating the Afrikaner minority if they wanted to govern a prosperous and stable country. The academics used the term minority in the East European sense and they were also worried over the fate of Russian minorities in some Soviet Republics.

ANC delegation wanted to hear nothing of Afrikaners ‘as a minority’, which could lay claim to certain rights as such.
The ANC’s Pallo Jordan said that ‘while the acknowledgment of minority rights in the Soviet Union was progressive and a prerequisite for empowerment and self-determination’ it would be “reactionary” in the South African case.   “It would subvert the rights of the majority and preserve the power of the oppressor minority.’   At the time the Afrikaners were a national community which wielded its political power in a futile effort to define all ethnic groups as national minorities while Afrikaners ruled alone.

Afrikaners are quietly determined to claim their Constitutional Rights and to resist Stigmatisation:

Today Afrikaners do not conduct themselves as stigmatised minority. The defensiveness of the first ten years of the new order has given way to a quiet determination to lay claim to constitutional rights, to develop new strategies and to resist stigmatisation. Solidarity and AfriForum function as dynamic catalysts for communal action.

‘Shoot the Boer”
Among the minorities in South Africa there is an increasing realisation that we now live in a state where the drums of blood and land are being beaten ever harder. In VS Naipul’s novel A Bend in the River, which was set in independent Zaire, Salim, a member of the Arab minority, describes a reality that is also applicable to the minority communities of South Africa.  A character in the novel says: “The world is what it is, men who allow themselves to become nothing have no place in it.”

Two weeks ago in Business Day colummnist Steven Friedman wrote that the judgement in the ‘Shoot the Boer’ case was ‘unwise because it reifies the white minority’s economic and cultural dominance’. I think there are some double standards at work. 

—-  It seems to go like this: Any victimisation of minorities is wrong except if it upsets the Afrikaners. If the song upset the Afrikaners there must be something right about it…

But what would have happened if other communities had been targeted? How does “Kill the Jew (or Englishman) and kill the capitalist” sound? Silence in the face of such vilification as “Kill the Boer” would reduce the Afrikaners to a powerless minority required to live on its knees. People who, as Naipaul phrases it, have “no place in this country.”

A symbol of identity: Afrikaans is being reduced to powerlessness:
The Afrikaans language remains the most important symbol of Afrikaner social identity. Just as before 1950 those who campaign for Afrikaans as a public language are attacked when they question the growing dominance of English in government, business and the universities.
But it would be wrong to blame only the government.

Dutch academic author Gerrit Komrij placed his finger on the biggest problem: Afrikaans is being reduced to powerlessness by Afrikaners themselves. Komrij said Afrikaans is “living dead.”  It is like a “healthy, struggling body which is having its limbs cut off.” Komrij concludes: “Whatever the future holds for Afrikaans, it is the Afrikaans speakers who are the biggest threat to the language.Without much pressure from government the University of Stellenbosch has over the past decade reduced Afrikaans-medium classes to ten percent. In some departments the extinction of Afrikaans-medium is in sight.”

But the example of the (the Protestant-Christian University) Potchefstroom under the visionary leadership of Dr Theuns Eloff, which has secured a proper place for Afrikaans, will haunt the other universities. 

‘What ultimately matters is the determination to keep going’ – William of Orange:

The struggle will continue despite the best efforts of the “progressives”. It will be a long, merciless, struggle but not necessarily a hopeless one.
Winston Churchill liked to quote the Dutch statesman William of Orange – who said in the seventeenth century:
“Success is never final. Failure is never fatal. What ultimately matters is the determination to keep going.”

This is an expanded version of an article that first appeared in Die Burger and Beeld.
http://www.politicsweb.co.za/politicsweb/view/politicsweb/en/page72308?oid=260478&sn=Marketingweb+detail&pid=90389

About Adriana Stuijt
Retired South African-Dutch journalist formerly Sunday Times Johannesburg

One Response to SHOOT BOER hatespeech has to be challenged:

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